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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

@AndreaHorwath and @TimHudak: Open By Default

We haven't heard a lot about Open Government this campaign.  It could be that the NDP and PCs see it as a Liberal thing - which is odd, seeing how OpenGov is being championed by the Conservatives federally.

PhotoOpen Gov and Open Data aren't a Liberal thing - it's being spearheaded by the bureaucracy.  It's also not limited to Canada, Ontario and Toronto; literally, Open Gov is a global movement, which is very cool.

There's more than a passing chance that they really have no idea what Open Government is about, though, or why it's both common sense and a job creator.

They can't be blamed; as of now, there are really passionate, smart, engaged people speaking in complex technical terminology at events called hackathons.  

While the concept is about engaging, the message still needs refined and designed to become a conversation.  That is, however, the goal.  Makes for a great, already-built opportunity that political communications pros could capitalize on, don't you think?

I wouldn't want to think that either the NDP or PCs are shy about embracing Open Government because, well, it's open; after all their smack talk about the Ontario Liberals, they could be extra cautious about creating opportunities for their own selfish plays or examples of mismanagement getting out.

Thing is, this is a genie that's out of the bottle.  

People are more disaffected than ever with government and politics.  Those who've been inside the system for a while are assuming the disaffection is the same as it always is and are therefore continuing to play by outdated rules of engagement.

They don't realize the game has changed and that there's a new player at the table.

In the very big picture, it doesn't matter who forms the next government - the challenges faced are the same and the solutions are all variants on the same theme; open, authentic engagement, from top to bottom.  Nothing less has the capacity to deliver the shared solutions we need, nor empower people from every walk of life to be part of their implementation.

People are sharing their lives online.  Leaks and FOIs are revealing the inner lives of politics.

It's simply good planning to get out in front and be open first.  

As every pol knows, it's better to define yourself than let someone else do that defining for you.


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