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5 April 2005

Surely, it's only a matter of time now before someone sets up a website that lets you vote online for the next pope. There have been quite a few articles on how the next pope needs to be hip to technology and new media, and certainly the old pope blessed the internet and was an early adaptor - the Vatican has had a website since 1999. In these past days, journalists were informed of the Pope's health and eventual passing by official Vatican SMS messages.

On 3QuarksDaily a reader suggests a wiki with information about each candidate, and a feedback system that helps the 117 cardinals come to a decision. e-Democracy meets the Catholic church. "Do we even need the Church or can we DIY this?" asks Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing. It may seem silly now, but I sincerely believe this will happen someday. How else would you poll 1 billion Catholics around the world? The difficult part is getting the Church to care what they think in the first place.

How is the British police crackdown bill a threat to democracy?

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill creates new stop-and-search powers, allows the police to put more conditions on protests, and threatens Gypsy and Traveller rights to roam.

It's been met with mass protests from Bristol to Belfast. Is this bill a threat to our human rights – and is there any stopping it now?

Join us for this free live discussion at 5pm UK time, Thursday 15 April

Hear from:

Moya Lothian-Mclean Politics editor at gal-dem
Luke Smith Founder of GRT [Gypsy, Roma and Traveller] Socialists
Zarah Sultana Labour MP
Chair: Nandini Archer Global commissioning editor, openDemocracy

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