E-government is important for democracy because government is the main executor of the decisions of parliaments. Online democracy has to be linked and realized by joined-up government (working internal networks of government information systems), networked government (governmental networks linked with company and public institution networks) and online communication between governments and citizens via digital public services and e-participation projects.
Contemporary strategies of government innovation in trying to solve the legitimation crisis of the role of government in politics and democracy will be compared. These strategies are traditional government, reinvented government, government by market and government by network. The latter is not necessarily more democratic. E-government tends to blur the distinction between parliamentary and executive power. Relationships between citizens and civil servants replace relationships with political representatives.
In the last sections of the chapter the potential democratic potential of online public services and e-participation projects will be discussed.