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Democracy Club Finally Lets Brits Know Who Is Running for Parliament

BY Wendy M. Grossman | Wednesday, April 22 2015

May 7, 2015 is the date of the next British general election. On that day, everyone who cares to vote will go to their local polling station, pick up a small piece of paper, and mark on it, with a stubby pencil, their choice of candidate for Member of Parliament. The person with the most votes in each district wins. If one party wins a majority of the 650 Parliamentary seats, that party can form a government. If no party wins a majority, there will be a lot of dickering to form a coalition, as there was at the last election, in 2010, when the Liberal Democrats emerged as kingmaker and chose to ally with the Conservatives. By doing so, the LibDems offended so many of their own supporters that their number of Parliamentary seats is expected to drop precipitously this time round. According to a recent poll by the Guardian, the next government could well be a coalition of Labour and…the Scottish National Party. Read More

First POST: Glass Half Full

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 21 2015

A new Pew study on open government data in the US; the FOIA exemption ruffling transparency advocates' feathers; social media bot farms; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Exposures

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 6 2015

Hispanic by marriage?; Americans (some of them at least) think Snowden runs Wikileaks; when people need food, not 3D printers; convictions for retweets and likes; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Correlations

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 4 2015

Civic hackers in Chicago spot powerful alderman getting special snow removal attention using open government data; how Twitter is teaching Washington's denizens to open up; debunking Uber's claim that it has reduced drunk-driving; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Jargon Busters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 28 2015

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Can Technology Help Swing Scotland’s Referendum Towards Yes?

BY Jon Worth | Wednesday, September 17 2014

Lady Alba for Yes versus PatronisingBTLady for No (screenshots)

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom since 1707 and the old cultural ties to the rest of the British Isles are one of the main arguments made against independence in tomorrow's referendum vote. Yet if the Yes to independence side is to succeed – the polls narrowed in the final month of the campaign to within a couple of percent after a sudden surge in support for independence – it will be something much more modern that will win the day: the use of online technology in a top-down data driven manner and networked grassroots way.

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First POST: New Bosses

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 14 2014

The battle over the UK's emergency surveillance legislation gets hotter; Color of Change goes after Congressional Black Caucus members over net neutrality; deep thoughts about self-driving cars and Amazon; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Unequal Relationships

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, July 11 2014

A rush to legislate new data collection law in the UK is drawing pushback; how the cellphone unlocking movement is a great example of "internet activism"; why journalists should fear Facebook; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

That's So Meta: To Test Digital Democracy, Crowdsourcing Comments on Digital Democracy

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 7 2014

Balanced facts on sensitive subjects, but could a community like Wikipedia come to a consensus on fraught policy decisions?

For more than a month now, Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, the global Wikimedia community site, has hosted a little experiment in digital democracy. Carl Miller, co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos-UK, and Wikimedia UK's Stevie Benton wanted to see whether the mechanisms that govern Wikipedia could be applied to political policy. The opportunity to do so arose when the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the Commission on Digital Democracy, an investigation into how digital technology can be used to improve democratic processes, and solicited comments from the public.

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WeGov

Weekly Readings: The "Snooper's Charter"

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Monday, July 7 2014

The UK wants to increase surveillance; Russia demands Google, Facebook and Twitter open local offices and hand over user data; Tunisians debate on social media whether to boycott the next election; and much more. Read More