Dragging Parliament into the C.21st – how you can help…

by Stephen Tall on March 25, 2008

mySociety, the folk behind TheyWorkForYou.com, today launched its first ever campaign – to make Parliament publish bills better – in the nicest, politest possible way:

Free our Bills! The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21st Century Way, Please. Now.

You can find the website here – www.theyworkforyou.com/freeourbills – and Lib Dem Voice encourages readers to follow the link and add your signature. Here’s a snippet to give you a taster:

It’s time for Parliament to improve its act and start publishing these vital documents properly in the first place. Quite apart from the fact that we’re a tiny charity without many resources to fix this information, you’re paying for them to produce it in a uselessly old fashioned way. Unless Parliament produces better bills:

* We can’t give you email alerts to tell you when a bill mentions something you might be interested in.
* We can’t tell you what amendments your own MP is asking for, or voting on.
* We can’t help people who know about bills annotate them to explain what they’re really going on about for everyone else.
* We can’t build services that would help MPs and their staff notice when they were being asked to vote on dumb or dubious things.
* We can’t really give a rounded view of how useful your MP is if we can’t see their involvement with the bill making process.
* We can’t do about 12 zillion other things that we’re not even bright enough to think of yet.

Sounds good (albeit pretty obvious), doesn’t it? If you think so, too, you know where to click.