By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 0 Comments
Cory’s website was an incredible resource and a wonderful model of what the Internet could mean for the House of Commons. (And Cory also patiently put up with my periodic requests for help.) Hopefully what he created is just the start.
Conservative MP Dan Albas pays tribute.
If you never had a chance to visit this website, it was one of the first that provided a summary of data on politicians including voting records, absences in the house, dissentions, and even commonly used words. All of this information was provided in a transparent and easy to understand manner for members of the public. This type of overview not only provided a convenience for citizens, the information could also be used to help hold Members of Parliament to account. While much of this information can be located on Government websites, it is often much more difficult to locate and at times is presented in a less user-friendly manner.
Fortunately websites like OpenParliament.ca are still in existence that are carrying out this important work however as the shutdown of How’d They Vote has not gotten much media attention I feel it is important to note this unfortunate new development.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 9:20 AM - 6 Comments
For their assistance when I was putting together last week’s piece on the House—and for the indispensable sites they respectively maintain—I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Michael Mulley of openparliament.ca and Cory Horner of howdtheyvote.ca. I also must thank Ned Franks, both for his writing on Parliament and omnibus legislation and his perspective.
Beyond those, there are several other texts that proved helpful. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM - 2 Comments
David Eaves writes to the Parliamentary committee studying open data.
There is one arena where politicians need not wait on the government to make plans: Parliament itself. Over the past year, while in conversations with the Parliamentary IT staff as well as the Speaker of the House, I have worked to have Parliament make more data about its own operations open. Starting in January, the Parliamentary website will begin releasing the Hansard in XML – this will make it much easier for software developers like the creators of Openparliament.ca as and howdtheyvote.ca to run their sites and for students, researchers and reporters to search and analyze our country’s most important public discussions. In short, by making the Hansard more accessible the Speaker and his IT staff are making parliament more accessible. But this is only the beginning of what parliamentarians could do to make for a truly Open Parliament. The House and Senate’s schedules and agendas, along with committee calendars should all be open. So to should both chambers seating arrangement. Member’s photos and bios should be shared with an unrestricted license as should the videos of parliament.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 17, 2010 at 4:14 PM - 0 Comments
The magazine’s Rethink issue—Warning: sideways design may blow your mind—includes this story on the open data and open government movements. The ideas discussed there may or may not change everything.
For now, while everyone else is getting excited about the Twitter and the blogs (and maybe someday a new TV network featuring that guy who’s already on radio and that other guy who likes to shout about stuff), punditsguide.ca, threehundredeight.com, openparliament.ca, howdtheyvote.ca, disclosed.ca and governmentexpenses.ca could be the six most important (and, in a way, exciting) contributions to the political process, and the coverage and scrutiny of same, to appear in recent years.
And beyond those projects is what’s going on, or could be going on, within and around government. Continue…