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First POST: Connections

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 12 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The connection between Edward Snowden and Jeff Bezos; how Moore's Law is destroying privacy; responses to Obama's Friday press conference; Twitter's new #PAC; and much, much more. 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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WeGov

Is Civic Hacking Becoming 'Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?'

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, July 25 2012

David Eaves writes: "So far, it appears that the spirit of re-use among the big players, like MySociety and the Sunlight Foundation*, only goes so deep. Indeed often it seems they are limited to believing others should re-use their code. There are few examples where the bigger players dedicate resources to support other people's components. Again, it is fine if this is all about creating competing platforms and competing to get players in smaller jurisdictions who cannot finance creating whole websites on their own to adopt it. But if this is about reducing duplication then I'll expect to see some of the big players throw resources behind components they see built elsewhere. So far it isn't clear to me that we are truly moving to a world of 'small pieces loosely joined' instead of a world of 'our pieces, loosely joined.'" Read More

Gov 2.0 Summit: Tom Steinberg on .gov Sites as Public Goods

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 9 2009

I'm attending the Gov 2.0 Summit today and tomorrow, and the program is thick with great speakers and topics. Posting may be in snippets. Read More

Gov't is broken. Citizen scrutiny is the bugfix.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, March 16 2008

Last week at ETech, one of my favorite tech conferences, three Brits convened a delightful panel on "moving theft-based activism to the global stage." The title actually made the discussion sound a bit illicit, when ... Read More