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Even in the "Birthplace of Democracy" Holding Parliament Accountable Is a Challenge

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, March 10 2015

“Once a symbol of democracy, the Greek Parliament in particular represents to the majority citizens a painful systemic failure,” wrote Antonis Schwarz and Panagiotis Vlachos shortly after they launched the political monitoring and accountability website Vouliwatch in March 2014. Read More

First POST: Scotched

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 19 2014

Why conservatives should back net neutrality; how big data may damage civil rights; the ways Silicon Valley start-ups are exploiting freelance workers; and much, much more. Read More

New Grant to Open Legislatures, Make Cities More Interactive

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 2 2012

The people behind OpenCongress will hire a developer to build out a local-government version of their legislative tracking platform and the social network for civic projects ChangeByUs will get significant upgrades as the two biggest recipients of $1.3 million in funding announced today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Read More

WeGov

How to Score Politicians Without Turning Parliament Into a Game

BY David Eaves | Friday, September 21 2012

There is no "right" way to assess the performance of parliamentarians. There is no algorithm that will rank them perfectly, no set of stats that will objectively determine their effectiveness. The problem with parliamentary monitoring websites like NosDéputés, TheyWorkForYou or even OpenCongress is not that they don't measure performance the right way, the problem is that they are the only websites in their respective countries really measuring performance at all. Should the public care how many questions their representatives ask in parliament? Maybe. Maybe not. But if you had a number of sites comparing parliamentarians performance you'd find out pretty fast what the public did care about. And frankly, I could care less if it made parliament more or less effective for the sitting government. Read More

Opening up the World's Legislative Bodies: The Global Game

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, September 5 2012

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and several partners have launched a Declaration on Parliamentary Openness that seeks, among other things, to make parliamentary information more transparent, accessible and available in bulk online. According to NDI, over 70 organizations in 50 countries, mostly transparency groups, have signed the declaration. Sadly, there are no parliaments or legislative bodies on the list. How effective will such a declaration be?

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