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Politicians interests and associations database

FROM: David

What NEED does this meet?
Provide background on persons, companies, quangos and other entities for anyone interedted in determining the influences and motivations of these entities

What is the APPROACH?
Web accessible database of individuals and organisations, updated online by any contirbutor, possibly seeded with e.g. MPs register of interests, directorships and shareholdings obtained from company registrations. Anyone who learns that councillor X does occasional "consultancy" for company Y could log the fact, and it would be linked to both X and Y's entries. Even as informal as head of quango A regulalry plays golf with politician B, etc, etc.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
When lobbying anyone from MPs to local councillors it would be useful to have an understanding of the interests of all the paries involved in an issue.

What is the COMPETITION?
Bits and pieces, MPs register of interests, various sites that allow searches of company registration information (some of it free, thers paid for).

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Technically, pretty straightforward, and fairly easy to scale. Usefulness depends entirely on obtaining a critical mass of contributions and contributors.

October 31, 2003 in Political, User Created Content | Permalink


There are other sources here too - the guardian artistotle site for one, but also commercial companies like Dodds, ePolitix, and PMS. I wonder if perhaps, given that this sort of stuff is available for free on the guardian, if we might think of a different thing. One idea is a "what has my MP been up to" or "what do people think about her" idea. If a lot of people can be persuaded to add little tid-bits - I saw my MP in the paper talking about this - we could build up profiles of activity. If you cross reference that with the fortchoming Hansard Blog / RSS Feed project you could create fairly reliable bottom up home pages for MPs based on what other people think of them, rather than the other way round. In the best case, MPs could then feed this information back into their own sites.....

just a thought.

Posted by: James Crabtree at Oct 31, 2003 11:42:45 AM