This week, a cross-party group of bloggers have come together to launch a project called ‘Political Innovation’. It is for anyone who has ever asked themselves “why is politics still done like this?”
When bloggers meet, I often find that old allegiances, be they left/right or Unionist/Republican, often dissolve into a different political spilt. Those of us who imagine that we ‘get’ the read-write web against the political colleagues that we have who, we believe, fail to foresee the possibilities or the threats.
About how a more effective participative political culture can bring about a range of subtle changes – to reverse the broken politico/media relationship out of some of the cul-de-sacs that it appears to have stuck in.
This week, a few of us have come together to launch a project called ‘Political Innovation’. It is for anyone who has ever asked themselves “why is politics still done like this?”
We have put a call out through our personal networks for initial contributions and we have already had promises of more than ten essays suggesting serious political innovations that are based upon an understanding of what interactive social media and the web can achieve.
All of our proposers have been asked to ensure that their proposed innovation is one that could realistically garner support from all sides of the political spectrum.
The project is being managed in conjunction with political blogs of all hues. So from the right our largest media partner, The Daily Telegraph will carry each essay which will be also be carried on Slugger O’Toole, Left Foot Forward, Lib-Dem Voice and SNP Tactical Voter.
The essays will touch on a range of questions, including:
• A proposed recasting of the whole FOI-based understanding of open government into something more ‘interactive’;
• A pop at the political problems that underlie dysfunctional government procurement;
• A version of ID cards that may suit both supporters and opponents of ‘the database state’;
• A proposal that could create a serious ‘reputational cost’ to politicians, journalists and campaigners who misuse facts and spin;
• A measure to help bloggers get more influence over public policy in their roles as conversation-convenors.
….and a range of other ideas (let’s not spoil the surprises, eh?!)
The (short) essays will start appearing on all of these sites shortly. We plan to follow this up with open gatherings in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Dublin and London in due course – as long as we can find some local partners there who will help us with the get-togethers.
We’d be very interested to hear any ideas that you have for an essay of your own – we’ll need an email and we’ll want to discuss it with you before it goes on the site. All contributions will be archived on www.politicalinnovation.org – along with details of what we’re looking for from essayists and a bunch of FAQs and a guide to how we hope the whole thing will play out.
I hope you’ll get involved in this as a commenter, participant or maybe even as an essayist. Make sure you don’t miss anything by the blog joining our Google Group, subscribing to RSS feed, getting each post emailed to you and, of course, following us on Twitter – @PICamp – and Facebook.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.