Saturday, May 16, 2009

How to influence local government in the age of instant technology

Position
  • We elect people to make decisions for us but want to have an influence on their decisions
  • Although we want to influence their decisions ultimately we trust them to investigate the issues and to make their own minds up.
  • The present system of local government consultation is still based around organisations having a say in meetings which is an old style of communication that excludes many people.
Solution
  • Translate upcoming council decisions into plain English and publish them on tft screens in public buildings, School foyers, Hospital entrances, Bus stops, train stations etc, and onto openly accessible websites and via social networking sites. Give each voter in the area a unique code and allow voters to express opinion/vote via text, Twitter type applications or unique site created for this.
Drawbacks
  • You might get some people using codes from all voters in a family to add weight to their opinion but as this is only a way of expressng opinion it is not open to as much abuse. Most people would guard their code as being part of their rights as a citizen.

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