Not Apathetic

FROM: Tom Steinberg

What NEED does this meet?
A site for people to state that they are planning not to vote at the next election, and to explain why. James Crabtree's idea - www.theisociety.net

What is the APPROACH?
Everyone else in this sphere tries to persuade people they should vote, instantly discouraging people who don't want to be hassled afterwards. This site will just let people speak, without threatening a conversion (unless they opt in).

One particular avenue for innovation is to use natural language recognition. This is a limited art, but for sentances all beggining "I'm not going to vote because..." it may work better.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Well, they could sit around and tell all their mates in the pub, but the chances of that making its way to the people who need to hear is non existant. Unless they're in the pub with Philip Gould, that is.

What is the COMPETITION?
The BBC did something a bit like this at the last election, but this is being set up precisely to ask what is happening between elections that drives people to not vote. The BBC page also tried to persuade people to vote - a noble cause, but one I think has downsides in terms of discouraging people from signing up to express their displeasure.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
It depends on whether the site is super simple, or whether it tries to do more clever natural language stuff. A basic site could be put together and debugged through real-world usage over the course of a couple of months. However, this is probably the smaller part of this project. The larger part will be engaging government and civic organisations to use this, as a way of solving their own democractic problems.

October 24, 2003 in Idea from mySociety.org team, Increasing Awareness, Perhaps Government Remit?, Political, User Created Content | Permalink | Comments (7)