Politics on the web

It’s interesting how politics is starting to the use the web in different countries.

The press spend all their time discussing cyber-terrorism, flash mobs for riots, etc., and little time promoting the use of the web as a great way to interact with your local council or government.

In the States, Open Government has been relaunched which helps track bills, votes, and members of the CA Senate and Assembly as well as following specific issues and contacting politicians.

Here in the UK we have DirectGov and the Parliament website, which I’ve used a few times for different issues (on a professional note, the information architects had their work cut out for them on those sites!).

My local council is Barnet, and whilst most of their services are available through their very standard, functional website, they have an interesting new twist to generate new ideas.

For instance, here’s a video showing how Barnet council spend their (our) money:

And there’s also a website where residents can recommend new ideas to the council. How very Googley.

The ideas on the website allow others to then comment on them.

Whilst I’m remain sceptical about the use of User Generated Content to run my local council in this current time, I do believe this is the way of the future. For instance I’ve never understood people who moan about their local MP but don’t write to them considering their email addresses are publicly available.

And if they continue moaning about their MP, they can always try being a virtual one for a week!

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