I am excited to announce two new and exciting Canadian political websites I’ve been working on all summer. Both are focused on increasing peoples engagement with politics and promoting open government.
http://politwitter.ca is a non-partisan service that strives to connect elected MP’s & MLA’s with the Canadian people via Twitter. From one easy location keep track what politicians are saying and doing and what regular Canadians have to say about current politics. politwitter does the searching for you, maintaining a list of politicians and political hash tags on Twitter.
“Twitter is a micro-blogging, social messaging service that can assist MPs in promoting themselves, talking to their constituents, promoting issues and increasing transparency in government. Twitter features brief, to-the-point messages and is accessible by computers and Mobile phones. It can be a valuable tool to get re-elected, creating that personal connection with the public.”
You can view federal & provincial tweets narrowed down by partisan affiliation, province, MPs and more. The site also has a list of MP’s not currently using twitter and allows the visitor to send communications to these MP’s, encouraging them to use twitter. Politwitter wants to see more MP’s using twitter to connect with the Canadian public, promote causes and increase transparency in government.
This service stands as the initial Canadian domestic Twitter site as well as it intends to have a broader range than alternative countries’ domestic Twitter mashups (tweetcongress.com, tweetmp.org.au). In addition to gathering together all the relevant tweets, Politwitter doubles as a complete Twitter.com replacement, since those who visit the site are able to tweet, retweet, post pics, shorten URLs & more directly from the site. The site also allows real-time updates of tweets, which is very useful during active events like elections.
The site launched right before the BC Provincial election and received a surge of traffic and interest, even being linked to on the BC NDP website. The federal Liberal.ca website is also linking to the site and politwitter has a new customizable widget which allows anyone to place political tweets on their website or blog. This is particularly useful for MP’s websites, they can add a widget showing other MP tweets from the same political party.
Politwitter archives all political tweets, so there is a permanent record that can be used for statistics, trending and a public record. There is a detailed statistics page, which breaks down many partisan and regional twitter stats. The site also tracks photos and links posted by political tweeters & MP’s.
I think Twitter is a valuable political tool and Politwitter a valuable tool to bring together everything in the Canadian political Twitter world.
I also want to announce the brand new http://parliament2.ca, based off http://whitehouse2.org/ in the US. Parliament 2 is where anyone can set the nation’s priorities. Imagining how the parliament might work if it was run completely democratically through the internet.
Visitors can add their top priorities for Canada and endorse or oppose the priorities added by others. Users can then add arguments for or against each issue and discuss them. Hopefully many Canadians will join including elected MP’s. It would be exciting to see what the results of an open internet democracy would bring.
The site is only a week old and already over 400 Canadians have joined adding over 60 priorities and hundreds of discussions. k29dt3fcei