Guidelines confetti – a few observations

Subjecting politicians to excessive regulation discourages interactivity.

Subjecting politicians to excessive regulation discourages interactivity.

I’d been planning to do this blog for years, but the thing that finally nudged me to get on with it was this story (my first post) about how an MP’s online allowance was docked by the Parliamentary authorities because he used it in the way that you would expect politicians to use such an allowance.

Meanwhile, the incorporation of social media into bureaucratic priorities gathers apace. A while ago, the Local Government Engagement Online blog has helpfully pulled together a set of guidelines from around the world, ones that can be added to the UK Civil Service Partipation Online guidelines.

Now, I’ve not read these all exhaustively, but I have put a fair bit of time in to scan them.

Given the size of the task, I may have not noticed something that I would suggest should be right at the top of each document – certainly each one that has been drafted by any governmental body. Continue reading

Two things noticed elsewhere

Firstly, this is a lovely idea about how design can be used to improve the quality of communication at a local level. Here’s the original site, and here’s an image to whet your whistle:

And secondly, totally unrelated, here’s a list of the petitions that have gone before the EU petittions committee.

Just for the avoidance of doubt, visitors to this blog will routinely get ‘ignore petitions / discrourage petitions’ posts on a fairly regular basis.

Local Referendums – coming to a town hall near you?

Well, we knew it was coming – here:

“New proposals to make it easier to get local leaders to hold a referendum on their leadership structure, putting communities firmly in control of their town and council, has been published for consultation by Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.”

It is particularly interesting that these votes will be on the chosen structure of local government. It appears to be an extension of the idea that ‘constitutional change’ is a suitable subject for referendums.

(Oh, one other thing: I know I should know this, but can someone give me a final ruling? I’ve never been certain – is the plural of ‘referendum’ really ‘referenda’?)