You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >
WeGov

A “World First”: France's Data.Gouv.Fr Opens Platform To Citizen Submissions

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 7 2014

Data.Gouv.Fr is an open book, and you can help write it. (Flickr/muffin9101985)

The French task force for open government data, Etalab, launched the new open data platform in December, one that is open to submissions from anyone. This marks “a world first for a government open data portal,” write Rayna Stamboliyska and Pierre Chrzanowski, of Open Knowledge Foundation France.

Read More

WeGov

The Five Star Movement Launches an Electronic Parliament

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 12 2013

A screenshot of the electronic parliament platform (image: http://www.parlamento5stelle.com/)

On July 10, the Five Star Movement (M5S) introduced its long awaited "electronic parliament" platform, Five Star Parliament, which allows citizens to vote, comment and even write pieces of legislation. M5S is an anti-government political party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo. They put out the site just weeks after 15 members of the Italian parliament had launched their own, Tu Parlamento. Five Star Parliament is currently available only to those living in Lazio but will soon launch in Lombardy and Sicily, then nationally. Read More

WeGov

Twitter a Mirror for the Turkish Press, and the Reflection Isn't Pretty

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, June 3 2013

Istanbul protestor (credit: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

While comparisons between what is happening in Istanbul now and what happened in Cairo's Tahrir Square between January and February 2011 are perhaps inevitable, they are most definitely not accurate. This is not a Turkish spring, although it might be the Turkish version of the Occupy movement. But Turkey is not Egypt and Erdogan is no Mubarak. Prime Minister Erdogan has been elected three times by popular vote and Turkey is a democracy with an ostensibly free press. How, then, to explain the near-farcical failure of the Turkish media to cover the largest spontaneous demonstrations in the country's recent history? Read More

WeGov

New Mobile App Tags Racist Graffiti For Removal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Innocuous French graffiti via Wikipedia

Racism is reportedly on the rise in France, but an anti-racism organization has developed a mobile app that allows users to upload photos of racist graffiti and geo-locate them, making it easier for authorities to find and remove the offending tags from public buildings. LICRA, the International League Against Racism and Anti-semitism, says the app will be available June 11, and that they will work with local authorities to get the graffiti removed.

Read More

WeGov

Denmark to Close Down on Openness in Government Administration

BY Jon Lund | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Copenhagen (credit: JamesZ_/Flickr)

A clear majority of Danish parliamentarians supports the new Freedom of Information Act, which would increase the right of government to keep internal documents and correspondence between members of the legislative and executive branches of government secret from the public. The law could prevent the media from exposing political scandals. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and it is the civil servant culture. Read More

WeGov

Estonian President Submits Crowdsourced Proposals to Parliament

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, April 11 2013

Tallinn, capital city of Estonia (credit: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr )

This Tuesday, April 9, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of the Republic of Estonia presented the parliament with 16 proposals generated by civilians though the online platform Rahvakogu, or People's Assembly. As he handed the proposals over, Ilves requested that legislators take them seriously. The proposals cover topics related to Estonia’s electoral laws, political party laws, such a party financing, and civil participation. As opposed to other ongoing solicitations for citizen-generated proposals and feedback, the Citizen’s Initiative Act in Finland for example, People’s Assembly will apparently be a one-time housekeeping event not a necessary permanent institution. Read More

WeGov

Latvians Create their Own Parliamentary Bills Online

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 10 2013

Riga, capital city of Latvia (credit: Leif Sobremonte/Flickr)

The social initiative platform ManaBalss — "my voice" — offers Latvian citizens the opportunity to get directly involved in their government. Already, ManaBalss points out, two new laws have been passed because of this initiative. This might be a turning point for Latvia, which generally has one of the lowest levels of political engagement and trust in government in the European Union. According to the New York Times, until recently Latvia’s “national politics were largely controlled by a handful of business tycoons…and who are said to have chosen Latvia’s last president in a secret meeting in a zoo. Read More

WeGov

Spanish People's Party Hires Out Online Commenters to Toe the Party Line

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, March 22 2013

Last month, a major political scandal in Spain came to a head when the media was prohibited from attending press conferences addressing payoffs and other financial corruption within the left-wing People's Party. Now new evidence has surfaced that regional People's Party of the Balaeric Islands - Spanish-owned Mediterranean territories which include Majorca, Minorca, and Ibiza - has been recruiting netizens to comment on online articles that contradict the party line. Read More

WeGov

In Russia, Independent YouTube Programming Lures Viewers Away from State TV

BY Natalia Antonova | Tuesday, March 19 2013

Screenshot from Russia's independent Dozhd TV

In Russia, state owned television's coverage of high profile cases and events has been losing credibility amongst educated, middle class viewers who see it as anodyne, patronizing or insufficiently critical. A notorious recent case of poor television reporting occurred with the prosecution of feminist collective punk band Pussy Riot. It was impossible to miss the strong difference between state-owned television’s coverage and analysis, versus the reporting offered by independent Russian programming on YouTube. Read More

WeGov

Open Data Day: Lessons for Hacktivists

BY David Eaves | Thursday, March 14 2013

International Open Data Day 2013 in Ghana (credit: Mobile Web Ghana/Flickr)

Now in its third year, Open Data Day events is far bigger than we ever dared imagine. More interesting still is its impact, both expected and unexpected. Read More