TRANQUIL and picturesque, Friesland in northern Germany might seem an unlikely spot for an experiment in digital politics. Its population is ageing, its broadband patchy. Yet for five months local people have developed and submitted recommendations to their councillors using a website called LiquidFeedback, best known as the policy-setting platform favoured by the Pirate party, a tech-loving outfit that has won seats in four regional parliaments. Some citizens have voted for the council to stop publishing the location of speed cameras (on the ground that this helps drivers avoid them); others demand more say in how schools spend their money. Sönke Klug of the local council says he gets telephone calls every week, from big cities and small towns, asking for advice.