After being buoyed by Australian post-election ‘let’s improve the democracy discussions’ I see the NZ Opposition is braving the twittersphere inviting open discussion on new policies, espousing transparency and an opening up of the public sector, just like our Australian ‘Indies’ are requesting – the evolutionary process?
Pre-election, the National Broadband Network issue was coming across as very important – ‘the Snowy River Scheme of the 21st century’ – and one of the few real policy differences between the two major parties, but I couldn’t find any detail on it, let alone an impartial assessment of the two approaches. I do listen/read/watch to a lot of current affairs programs, but perhaps I didn’t try hard enough?
WHAT I WOULD LIKE (Apart from getting rid of politicking)
An ongoing discussion of policy evolution, accessible online, in a comprehensive, easy to navigate website, as the NZ Opposition is starting do do.
HOW WOULD THIS BE ACHIEVED?
I would like our informed, impartial bureaucrats to run an info-exchange – a discussion of policy pros and cons, inviting comment, WELL before the 5 weeks preceding an election.
In my experience communications officers/PAs abound. A community-based info-exchange would be a worthwhile aspect of their usual workload.
AT THE LOCAL ELECTORATE LEVEL
Let every MP provide his/her electorate with their own online info-exchange focussing on local interests but linked in to the federal website for policy development info.
‘WORD OF MOUTH’ IS HUGE
I recognise that probably only a small percentage of voters would bother informing themselves BUT I do believe that ‘word of mouth’ communication is huge and if there are SOME informed members of the public the news will travel through family, schools, unis etc AND the media might even take an interest.
This would be part of the Green Paper/White Paper system – an inclusive, bridge-building 21st century approach.
SECRET GOVERNMENT BUSINESS
I also recognise that policy development is usually ‘secret government business’ but why should it be? If people were involved there wouldn’t be the terrible task of ‘getting the message out’.
A PIGS WILL FLY MODEL?
A Pigs Will Fly format with a bi-monthly editorial round-up of what people are clicking on and comments of interest might even be considered.
1. Transparency in political offices
2. Open public sector data and information
3. Opening up the public sector
4. Collaborative and participative policy development
5. Citizen-centric services
6. Open infrastructure
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Times DO seem to be changing.