Crowdsourcing Policies!?

Suggested clause for constitution:

'The government will widely solicit citizens' views on proposed policy. It will give due consideration to the technology used to ensure that citizens are not restricted in joining the debate.'

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edited on Apr 17, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Christine Farquharson Apr 7, 2015

Here's a quick summary of what was discussed back in phase 1; hopefully it helps during the refining phase! Please remember to keep voting and commenting so that idea authors have a better sense of what the community considers important.

- GavinRuss supports the idea but notes that it could skew the process in favour of those who have access to/are comfortable with technology. He supports e-democracy but suggests that politicians should crowd-source opinions about policy rather than the writing of the policy itself. (2 up)

- JimF echoes the point about digital access skewing any crowdsourcing efforts (1 up, 1 down)

- IanSmith1 suggests that the government could open internet cafes so that those without internet access can participate in testing policy ideas.

- kenmactavish notes that this project has engaged only a very small fraction of the UK population and worries that crowdsourced policy would have similar problems engaging voters and would therefore lack legitimacy (1 up)

- BenKing-Beck suggests that crowd-sourcing could play a role in public consultation (1 up)

- degauntier argues that MPs should not be forced to adopt any one mechanism for coming up with policy (evidence-based, crowd-sourced, etc.) because it is their job to come up with policy as they see fit, which is why they are elected in the first place. (2 up)

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 7, 2015

Actually, Christine, all I meant with that rather frivolous comment was that 'well thought out' would be a radical departure from what we have now!

Christine Farquharson Apr 8, 2015

Sorry, fixed! Thanks for letting me know.

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Saeeda Bukhari Apr 16, 2015

It would be relatively cheap and easy to have a small basic devise for each household that does not want to use their current computer, laptop etc. It could be very simple with big buttons, voice sensitive so it can both hear and speak. India currently experiments on this front, for people who cannot read or write and speak a variety of different languages, a much more sophisticated issue then the UK would have.

It could be for voting and commenting,   There is nothing technically that prevents instant voting by a huge amount of people on many issues. As well as crowdsourcing on many issues.

If pensioners needed assistance, booths could be put in libraries, post offices, banks and corner shops, colleges, universities and school. Either talk to camera, or talk to text. Or text recognition. This is currently deployed in some form, to gain feedback on service by local councils.

Engagement would be an issue, and I expect the issue would dictate how much people would engage.

View all replies (3)

Christine Farquharson Apr 17, 2015

With only one day remaining in the refining stage, the facilitators will draft some language for this idea. We'll do everything we can to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. If the original poster would like to take over the idea they are more than welcome to at any point. Please do comment to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting them up/down).

'The government will widely solicit citizens' views on proposed policy. It will give due consideration to the technology used to ensure that citizens are not restricted in joining the debate.'

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Ian Smith Apr 17, 2015

That's really helpful, thanks.  You will see that I have now edited it into the idea above.

Kind regards,