‘Open Up’ Digital Democracy Commission’s Report published

‘Open Up’ Digital Democracy Commission’s Report published

From the post:

The Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy has published its report ‘Open Up’. The report recommends how Parliament can use digital technology to help it to be more transparent, inclusive, and better able to engage the public with democracy.

  • Read the Digital Democracy Commission’s full report
  • Read the Summary of the report
  • Read the plain language version of the report (PDF 355 KB)
  • Information on events for the launch of the report
  • Commenting on the report, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said:

    “I set up the Digital Democracy Commission to explore how Parliament could make better use of digital technology to enhance and improve its work. I am very grateful to all those who contributed to the Commission’s work, and have been particularly struck by the enthusiastic contributions from those who expressed a desire to participate in the democratic process, but felt that barriers existed that prevented them from doing so.

    This report provides a comprehensive roadmap to break down barriers to public participation. It also makes recommendations to facilitate better scrutiny and improve the legislative process.

    In a year where we reflect on our long democratic heritage, it is imperative that we look also to the future and how we can modernise our democracy to meet the changing needs of modern society.”

    … (emphasis in the original)

    Do you think I should forward the U.S. Congress the full report or the plain language summary? 😉

    I was particularly encouraged by the methodology of the report:

    We asked people to tell us their views online or in person and we heard from a wide a range of people. They included not just experts, MPs and interest groups, but members of the public—people of different ages and backgrounds and people with varying levels of interest in politics and the work of Parliament.

    I wonder if that has ever occurred to the various groups drafting standards for IT in government? To ask an actual citizen? They aren’t rare or so I have been told.

    What ever sort of government you want or want to preserve, a good lesson in how to “feel the pulse” that drives the average citizen. Even more useful if you are interested in democratic institutions.

    PS: There is an IT rumor that the Texas tried legislative transparency a number of years ago, for maybe a day or two. It was so transparent and disruptive of the usual skullduggery of the legislature that they jerked the system. I heard the story from more than one very reliable source with first hand knowledge of the project. I suspect there is documentation in the possession of some office at the Texas legislature to corroborate that rumor. Anyone feeling leaky?

    If you put the Texas legislature in jail, the odds of imprisoning an innocent depend on whether it was bring your child to work day or not.

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