New ventures in political crowdsourcing

yourbudgetresponse.jpg

User-contributed content is often far more up-to-date than other sources. I just stumbled across some interesting current news while browsing through Wikipedia’s List of crowdsourcing projects.

The UK Conservative Party has launched Your Budget Response 2010, a website that is intended to allow anyone to identify problems, oversights and issues in the government’s budget, to fuel the Conservative Party’s response to the budget.

It’s an interesting experiment, though it seems to be largely for show. As many have pointed out, the single page small jpgs of the budget are very difficult to read, and of course unsearchable.

Submissions are not made public, ostensibly so that Labour doesn’t know how they are formulating their response. Once the Tory response is made, the submissions are supposed to be made public.

I would be surprised if the contributions to the site are seriously considered by the Conservative Party analysts. However it will be interesting to gain some insights after the fact, and I don’t doubt that these approaches will become common tools in the political arsenal.

  • Thanks for the link! This got me thinking…
    1: The Guardian’s expenses system has a similar objective but is much, much better http://mps-expenses.guardian.co.uk/
    2: The Conservative Treasury team will already be crowd-sourcing, in a narrower sense, from their network of associates, friends, think tanks, pressure groups etc.
    3: What kills this dead, IMHO, is the total lack of feedback. There’s no opportunity for user interaction or to see what has happened with your information. It’s basically a black hole.