Here are a few words from the co-founder of Citizenbridge.org:
“CitizenBridge has just kicked off, I had a startup weekend this summer to get teams built and the idea moving forward. There is about 10 volunteers now, we’ve been planning out the technology workflows and now we’re building up the business development/marketing teams. We are setting up as a non-profit NGO and the next step is to start to apply for some grants and start initial marketing campaigns for fundraising.
2 key parts of the project, first being the technology we are developing which allows you to interact with your representatives from all levels of government. You will have the ability to login to a dashboard which is like your overview of your riding, ward, etc. where you will see how bills, by-laws affect you, your family and your community. Second part of the project is more grass-roots where we try to get involved with university programs which will help translate bills and by-laws into common language for the website and spread the awareness of government 2.0 and technology in the government sector.” – Kayam Khosa
Visit www.citizenbridge.org to learn more about this revolution.
Keep up the great work!
Disclaimer: the following ideas presented here do not necessarily represent the vision of citizenbridge, they are simply some of my random thoughts on government and policy.
I recently expressed the desire to become Prime Minister of Canada (half jokingly, half seriously) on my facebook page. In a recent conversation with a close friend of mine, I unveiled my ‘why’ for wanting to run for PM: to leverage the power of the internet and technology to bring about true democracy.
Let’s be clear about one thing, government has played an integral role in providing us with the high quality of life we experience here in Canada. I am grateful for being Canadian and for what the government has done for me and those closest to me. But I’ll be honest, up until recently, I found the entire political landscape to be awfully boring. It feels more and more like the people in government spend all their time focusing on ‘how’ and ‘what’ instead of ‘why’.
I just don’t get it. We vote these people into office every 4 years based solely on what they tell us in these fancy, formulated speeches. Then, these politicians disappear for a couple years and many times, chase their own dreams and aspirations, with little or no concern for the people they represent. But it’s not their fault. Up until recently, that’s really the only option we had.
Even the selection process baffles me: we are given this false illusion of choice. They put a few parties in front of us, often with drastically different points of view, and then we’re told, ‘you have a choice, so choose wisely’. But why are we voting for people, should we not be voting on ideas?
With the emergence of technology, namely the internet, things have changed drastically in the past few years. Our decisions need not be binary and uninformed. Think about it. Leveraging simple tools like facebook, I’m able to ‘like’ a friend’s comment or picture. Or think about the revolution that took place in Egypt and how it all started through a facebook group. People went to this group and freely expressed their ideas and then others ‘voted’ on those ideas. Not only did they vote, they also took massive action. They organized silent protests and eventually, well, you know the rest. Why can we not do the same with decisions that impact us directly? I believe that citizenbridge is a huge step in the right direction.
I can imagine a day when a majority of the decisions made by government is made by the very people who are affected by the decisions, us. I can also imagine a day in the near future when important decisions are made by the people for the people, in real time, not every 4 years. Just like how the internet is helping remove the middle man in the world of business, technology will also help us do the same for government.
So, what’s my ‘why’ behind wanting to run for Prime Minister? It’s simple. I wish to render the role of PM obsolete. Decisions should no longer be made by one person, they should be made by us all. But until that day arrives, we need someone in politics who appreciates and embraces the empowering role of technology and how it impacts every aspect of our lives.
Here’s one of my favorite TED videos titled: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Message: focus on why, not how and what.