Sunday, 17 January 2010

mySociety brings democracy to the masses - go on, join the club

You may have noticed - we are entering election season.  The locals will be held on May 6 and the general no later than June 3.

So we will expect to see all the usual madcap electioneering from all the parties, with everything from demonic eyes to creaseless airbrushed brow. Cutting through the campaigning comedy capers are those developers with the beating hearts of journalists - mySociety.

As we know, mySociety is the voluntary group behind some of the best citizen journalist (or should that be just journalist ... no, I'm not getting into that pointless argument) websites which bring democracy to the masses.

Here's a list of mySociety projects so far:
In their own words: "Using our services, 200,000 people have written to their MP for the first time, nearly 19,000 potholes and other broken things have been fixed, over 10,500,000 signatures have been left on petitions to the Prime Minister, and at least 77 tiny hats have been knitted for charity."

Who can argue with that?

The mySociety chaps must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a double whammy election year.

And in preparation, they have already launched Democracy Club where they are calling on volunteers to make the forthcoming elections "the most transparent ever".

Democracy Club is a new, independent network of volunteers who want to help internet-savvy transparency groups like mySociety and The Straight Choice to hold election candidates and representatives to account. Both of these organisations endorse this project. If you sign up, we will (in time) suggest ways you might want to help them.

When you sign up, representatives of these organisations will occasionally suggest tasks by email, such as gathering information on general election candidates or finding and sharing election leaflets, to help them build awesome sites that will make the next election the most transparent ever. They'll also help you to collaborate with other volunteers in your area.
So sign up and help them to cut through the spin this election year.

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