Archive for the 'politics2.0' Category

Us Now: democracy, the web and people

May 25th, 2009 by Ian

This film explores power of mass collaboration, government and the internet. Ideas such as allowing people to choose policy, not the government are discussed. It features David Milliband saying, interestingly, that an election every 4 years isn’t enough. I’m inclined to agree with him.

Representative democracy is based on the idea that people are thick. That’s not true.

There are a host of interesting people featured here, from Cabinet ministers, users of Mumsnet, mySociety folk and even Linux geeks. More importantly; it looks past the current extent of e-Democracy which seems to be, basically, “Lets put everything on YouTube, yeah?”

via Core77

Democracy 1 – Shady MPs 0

January 22nd, 2009 by Ian

Thank you internet! Or more specifically I think we need to thank the ever-brilliant mySociety and other grassroots organisations. Parliament wanted to vote to ensure that MPs could conceal their expenses from the public (i.e. the people who pay for them) but the vote has now been cancelled. I’m not sure if MPs are aware of the irony of such secrecy. In a period when ID cards, national databases and cameras on every corner are being forced upon us by the government, those in power don’t even want us to see how they are spending our money! Hell; we may not trust them but at least we don’t suspect them of being terrorists, as they do to us.

Anyway, the vote was cancelled in part due to a huge internet campaign that let MPs know how unpopular this was. This is great news for anyone with a passing interest in living in a modern transparent democracy.

The argument made by Harriet Harman that publishing all 1.2 million receipts would have created “a blizzard of information at great expense” is again, an ironic one (given the massive cost of the national big brother database) and one that shows an ignorance to the possibilities of web and technology in general. Again, the web as a tool to ‘rally the troops’ has, like the Obama campaign,  shown itself to have a positive effect on real democracy and the important freedom of information campaign.

National Hack The Government Day

December 11th, 2008 by Ian

This is possibly not exactly what you’re thinking. This is ‘hack’ to improve, not destroy. Why haven’t we done this before?

Government isn’t very good at computers. They spend millions to produce mediocre websites, hide away really useful public information and generally get it wrong. Which is a shame.

Calling all people who make things. We’re going to show them how it’s done.

They’re completely right of course. Government currently are a bit of a joke on the web. Especially local Government. Just look my own councils awful awful website. Call that navigation? “Widescreen”? wtf? I’m not sure about this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if was the gang at TheyWorkForYou, simply because I know they are very much on the ball when it comes to the web and politics in Britain. The web is a great way to share information that should be available to the public. Doing that only strengthens democracy and increases citizen interac…. oh why the hell am I saying this? They know that. We know that. Lets hope someone does something about it.

I personally feel that when large companies get involved with the Government and computers then it almost always ends in unmitigated disaster (see; NHS). Maybe if APIs are created, access is encouraged (or even allowed), OpenSource is utilised and work is done by designers and developers on a volunteer/small agency basis, then we’d see a lot more useful stuff. Well, a lot more usable stuff anyway and certainly a lot less waste. I’ve signed up. Lets hope this flourishes.

edit: example of government waste provided

McCain still hasn’t learn the risks of speaking infront of a blue screen

September 7th, 2008 by Ian

BarackRoll’d, as it were. Colbert tried to make it clear for him, but what can you do ‘eh?

Super (Duper?) Tuesday

February 5th, 2008 by Ian

Yeah yeah yeah, It’s all very complicated.  I think I want Obama to win personally, but after a mere 219 years of all-white presidents, I’m not holding out that much hope. So as I can’t vote (what, being a British citizen and all), I’m forced to point and laugh from afar. I could join the ‘Brits for Obama‘ facebook group I suppose, but lets face it; the guy doesn’t need someone like me supporting him from over the pond.

This video makes all the salient points and stars McLovin (from Superbad) and professional Steven Colbert impersonator Ed Helms. I suddenly feel enlightened since it’s been explained so firmly and passionately.

Chuck Norris; officially a dead meme

November 22nd, 2007 by Ian

Chuck Norris and Mike HuckabeeDo you ever ask yourself; what would it be like if they crossed tired old internet ‘humour’ with right-wing US politics? The answer is this: a political campaign advert from Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee and old, bad action-film star Chuck Norris. Embarrassing?. Check. Unhelpful to the political discourse? Check. Hopefully a final nail in this Chuck Norris joke facebook-app, e-mail F.w., old-meme bollocks? Doubt it. Fingers crossed though. It will be interesting to see if important issues like border control are really the best place for Chuck Norris jokes.

View the video in question on YouTube.

Sorry Dad, I’m an Obama girl

August 6th, 2007 by Ian

Not me. And no, not that Obama girl. I keep meaning to write my take on the Facebook phenomena. When I do; this is definitely going to get a mention. Apparently on Caroline Giuliani’s (daughter of terrorism-obsessed mega-bore Rudy Giuliani) Facebook profile, she’s backing Barack Obama. This has to be pretty embarrassing for the Republican candidate. Kids ‘eh!? I guess even she got fed up of him going on about 9/11.