Loomio
Tue 10 Feb 2015

‽irate ‽arty - The Participation Party

HM
Hubat McJuhes Public Seen by 190

In my opinion the Party should see PARTICIPATION as the core goal of all political efforts.

Participation as in encouraging and empowering all people to engage in shaping the rules and the environment we want to live in.

In my eyes this necessarily implies:
- improving access to shared resources for everyone,
- removing privileged access to shared resources where those exist,
- reducing humiliating and alienating social systems.
- providing easy (machine readable) access to all publicly available information so that people can make informed decisions,
- establishing and cultivating respectful communication processes where convincing arguments are valued higher than any other means of communication.

In this light political goals like the following are only the logical derivative of the above:
* replacing stigmatising welfare with a non-discriminatory Universal Basic Income (UBI)
* free education
* open data
* anti-corruption / anti-lobbyism
* civil rights / anti-mass-surveilance stance / crypto-wars 3.0

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 24 Feb 2015

  • improving access to shared resources for everyone,
  • removing privileged access to shared resources where those exist,

We need resources that can be shared for this to happen ;-)

  • reducing humiliating and alienating social systems.
  • establishing and cultivating respectful communication processes where convincing arguments are valued higher than any other means of communication.

As a large advocate of strong, effective communication and as someone who firmly believes in equality, I believe this issue to be hugely important. This is something that should be discussed in much more depth, but in another thread so that this discussion remains on topic!

  • providing easy (machine readable) access to all publicly available information so that people can make informed decisions,

Machine readable access would require more work (which I argue makes it a secondary priority) but easily-accessible, public information should be a top priority for a party that stands for transparency of organisations! (I'm working on a new CMS that should hopefully achieve exactly this, but more on the CMS later).

HM

Hubat McJuhes Thu 26 Feb 2015

We need resources that can be shared for this to happen ;-)

I was thinking of shared resources like:

  • MPs, which are elected into position by the people, but then much more easily influenced by well funded lobbyists.
  • the education system. Motto: 'Private School for everyone'
  • the health system. 'ACC for all health issues'
  • Mobility; 'Ticket free public transport'
  • economic growth: guaranteed participation -> UBI
  • Water, Land, Energy -> never ever privatise!
  • sovereignty -> don't you TTIP
HM

Hubat McJuhes Thu 26 Feb 2015

Machine readable access would require more work

Now I am surprised. If I can make a machine to gather a whole chunk of comparable data from different sources and mash it up statistically, that should be much easier than having to have humans to read through PDFs all the time.

Example: If states driven public transport where to provide machine readable time tables and the track records of all actual rides, then I could write a script to work out the average delays per bus stop far quicker than I could only print out the track records of one day.

Machine readable is key.

BV

Ben Vidulich Fri 27 Feb 2015

that should be much easier than having to have humans to read through PDFs all the time

Yes, but how do you think data is stored currently?

HM

Hubat McJuhes Fri 27 Feb 2015

If you request information based on the according information act, you receive one or many letters of people concerned with your matter answering your request exactly following your question. No context information unless you ask for that very explicitly. You don't get access to anything that you could follow up to understand what is/was going on.

AR

Andrew Reitemeyer Sun 1 Mar 2015

PDFs are a means of obfuscating large amounts of data hence the Herald's crowd-sourced data mining of the election expenses for 2011 and 21014. Surely they could supply an XML schema that would make use of the documents by computers easier.

HM

Hubat McJuhes Sun 15 Mar 2015

http://wikinewzealand.org to the rescue!

BV

Ben Vidulich Sun 15 Mar 2015

I agree that having machine-readable data from the government would be ideal, however I believe that it would be a huge task to process all of the information available in its current formats and turn all the data into something more useable. Also, government departments are slow adopters of technology which means that introducing any new technology (or more generally processes) to store data in open formats would take a long time for government departments to adopt.

Creating software to take data in its existing form and automatically turn it into more useful data would require an immense amount of time, money, complexity, intelligence, and computational power. And who would be responsible for funding such a project?

"We import that data into a powerful open source database, we carefully validate it and standardise it. We then make the data available in a series of standardised forms, both human and machine-readable, with rich metadata about the sources, licensing and datatypes." -- http://wikinewzealand.org/learn-about-us/how-it-works

The description of data transformation processes performed by Wiki New Zealand seems like it includes a lot of manual human interaction - this will dramatically slow down the time it will take to process all the government data that is available / data that is requested by the public.

I'm not saying it's waste of effort to try to standardise government data, because it's definitely not a waste, but I'd like to avoid trivialising such a task.

... hence the Herald’s crowd-sourced data mining of the election expenses for 2011 and 21014.

Crowd-sourced data mining could definitely mitigate some of the limitations I have mentioned above.

AR

Andrew Reitemeyer Sun 15 Mar 2015

Government is actually hostile to this - The example of the recent move to publish the transcript of Key's press conferences in a non-searchable format.
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/feature/pms-beehive-press-conference
The reason given - so they could not be 'manipulated'

HM

Hubat McJuhes Fri 20 Mar 2015

i agree with you, @zl4bv , and would not advocate for migrating historic data into reasonable formats. i would argue that wherever new software or workflows in the public sector get developed, the aspects which parts of the data can be published and how should be made a constitutive part of the development cycle. this way we could slowly and cheaply move towards a better future.

HM

Hubat McJuhes Fri 20 Mar 2015

@andrewreitemeyer They obviously agree with your assessment that their argument is ridiculous: They have taken the cited link down!

AR

Andrew Reitemeyer Mon 23 Mar 2015

@hubatmcjuhes
Typical :/

BV

Ben Vidulich Tue 24 Mar 2015

Here's an initiative relevant to our discussion about open government data: http://www.govhack.org.nz/

HM

Hubat McJuhes Tue 24 Mar 2015

very interesting, @zl4bv , see also: http://www.meetup.com/Wellington-GovHackNZ