David Bartlett on Wiki Government
PlaceSpeak board member, David Bartlett, recently wrote this article for Island, an Australian magazine. In the article, David, the former Premier of the Australian state of Tasmania, looks at “Wiki Government,” or how online communities can help improve public policy. He mentions PlaceSpeak as a trailblazer in this regard.
Our Canadian cousins’ seem to be leading the way with platforms like PlaceSpeak, a geospatial online consultation platform being rolled out across Canadian provincial and local governments. It switches the caps lock key off in public consultation by ensuring that participants are authenticated, and their voice is moderated by their authenticated proximity to the issue. That sounds fair enough. If, for example, a state government wants to build a Child and Family Centre in my town, then surely I should have a louder voice in determining its service dimensions than those living 200 kilometres away.
The chairman of PlaceSpeak is former British Columbia premier Mike Harcourt. Mike says: “PlaceSpeak creates a whole new way of expanding public participation, which I think is really important in this quite cynical age of “you can’t do anything, you can’t change anything, you’re powerless, they’re just going to make up their mind anyways”. It will hopefully break down that very negative dynamic we have built up in our democracy.”