The British people – the ones who are not politicians – rarely fail to impress me.
Discovered TheyWorkForYou during the usual quickie Monday morning web trawling – usually for work-related tech news.. ahem… – but this one caught my eye for reasons that I shall explain below.
After the last Malaysian general elections, I had some thoughts about setting up some kind of website where my constituent MP’s performance could be graded by the public – something like a report card. The website could also serve as an information portal where the public could get details of how to get in touch with relevant local authorities and procedures and processes for complaints and things like that. Of course, user input like comments would have to be moderated – this is Malaysia, after all.
Then those ideas expanded to include all constituencies and MP, and perhaps state assemblymen, and what the heck, Cabinet members too….
But eventually, as all grandiose plans are wont to do, this one got shelved away into the recesses of my mind while I became more involved with work and such.
Until I came across TheyWorkForYou, of course.
From their About Us page:
We are a dozen or so volunteers who think it should be really easy for people to keep tabs on their elected MPs, and their unelected Peers, and comment on what goes on in Parliament. We’ve done this sort of thing before, but never on this scale.
For all its faults and foibles, our democracy is a profound gift from previous generations. Yet most people don’t know the name of their MP, nor their constituency, let alone what their MP does or says in their name.
We aim to help bridge this growing democratic disconnect, in the belief that there is little wrong with Parliament that a healthy mixture of transparency and public engagement won’t fix.
Hence this website.
Web developers/volunteer activists/unemployed geeks would be interestd to know that the source code for the web project is available under the Open Source license (download from here). Ah, a website after my own heart…
So…. anyone interested in starting a Malaysian edition of TheyWorkForYou (Mereka Bekerja Untuk Anda)? 😉
UPDATE: I’ve been looking at the source code, and it’s interesting to note the many subtle references to Guy Fawkes – a password to a wiki (not available right now) is a derivative of ‘November‘, and examples in the README file refer to a home directory labeled ‘Fawkes’. Heheheh…..