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Gov for Dummies

FROM: mark simpkins

What NEED does this meet?
The actual workings of government, parliament, local government etc are wrapped up in their own jargon. How can you properly vote for your representative if you do not understand what it is they can / cannot do?

What is the APPROACH?
To produce a site that explains the different components and the workings of government. Broken down into modules that explain the relevant operations, what an MP does, what they cannot do. How to get in touch with them. What it means to be in opposition compared to being in government. How to lobby. When you should be speaking to local government. By using simple either / or links a user can quickly drill down to the relevant piece of information.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will be an educational tool as part of the new citizenship part of the cirriculum. The Dummies style of books are fun and popular and people do read them, so if we let everyone know the relevant part of the site before an election then people will have had the opportunity to RTFM before voting.

What is the COMPETITION?
Nothing. iCan has the potential to start holding this information, but first impressions make its focus look more towards activist, less geared towards gaining a basic understanding of what it is all about.

This is all about setting the groundwork, allowing people to get that basic understanding on what government does, why and how we give them the power to do it.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Technical budget would be relatively low. The site will consist of lots of pages, and it will need good indexing. The real work here is in writting the content in a way that is easy to understand and get around in.

I envisage that the site would be able to pass the users onto the likes of iCan, FaxYourMP, PublicWhip as needed, also I envisage certain aspects of it to reflect the current state of Parliament. (who's who, in session, maybe the proposed parliamentary timetable). These would need to be implemented as feeds, but that is another project. This would just be a consumer of such data feeds.

October 30, 2003 in Political, Static Information Site | Permalink


Why couldn't this information be compiled on an already existing public wiki, like wikipedia.org?

Posted by: Scott Reynen at Oct 30, 2003 4:06:28 PM

very good point, no reason why it can't. maybe that is what we should be doing.



Posted by: Mark Simpkins at Oct 30, 2003 5:33:05 PM

This is what you should be able to find at www.gov.uk. Instead you get an A-Z index of every office in government, a bunch or promotional stories and hot new reports. What I want to know is how the government is srtuctured and where the mandates for certain functions come from. Starting from the perspective of the nation and the needs it has or of the individual and the local, regional and national demands on them and how the various layers of government manage these would be much more useful. All the current site does is feed the informational needs of the people who are already very familiar with the structure. No need to feel to bad, however, the european parliament site is a lot worse.

-_-_ Alan Skea.

Posted by: Alan Skea at Oct 30, 2003 11:38:23 PM

Ok found this stuff over at the BBC news site:

Links to UK political sites

Find your MP

A-Z of Parliament

Cabinet guide

All linked too from the Politics index : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/default.stm

not much, but a start..


Posted by: mark simpkins at Nov 14, 2003 1:23:52 PM


Posted by: poppen at Aug 31, 2008 12:07:14 PM