In April Scoop received crowdfunding from our generous supporters in order to achieve the goal of “Opening The Election” in 2017. We are happy to announce that Scoop’s new Opening The Election 2017 page is live now.
With this undertaking to open the election, Scoop is seeking to increase the transparency, accountability and openness of our government. We strongly believe New Zealand needs more open and participatory discussion on the merits of various policies, proposals and suggestions in this election campaign.
What have we been doing?
To open the election we decided to focus our limited energy on 5 key themes. These themes were crowdsourced selected by Scoop readers as important issues to be addressed in this election year. These were Housing, Environment, Inequality, The future of Work and Health.
The two key tools we have developed to Open the Election are:
HiveMind - An online participatory discussion forum allowing you to collectively address complex and contested issues in our society.
Any Questions - A platform to allow you to ask questions directly to our candidates and receive open and transparent answers which can be ranked by users.
We have now run Three participatory HiveMind conversations on election issues: Housing (completed), Water Quality (completed) and Universal Basic Income (Live now here).
These conversations have engaged a combined total of over 400 participants so far over the past two months. You can view the conversation graphs, journalism and open data reports produced as part of each of these HiveMinds at the Opening the Election page clearly split into separate themes. We hope this information provides valuable insights into each of these important issues in our society.
This new platform for a more democratic New Zealand is live now. We invite you to use the platform to ask ‘any questions’ you may have to the political parties contesting this year’s general election. The questions with the most Up-votes from other users are promoted and put to all parties for an answer.
We believe this transparent model will aid people in deciding which party represents their values and policy preferences. It will also provide a clear record of answers made before the election with which to hold parties accountable after the election. We believe this tool bringing citizens directly into contact with politicians is a valuable step towards a more participatory and direct democracy in the future.
Any Questions is based on the Askaway software developed in partnership with Massey University’s Design & Democracy Project developed and successfully run in the 2014 election.
Open Government Information
We have also provided a list of resources and
articles relating to Open Government. This includes links to
reports and articles on openness and transparency in New
Zealand. It also includes links to pro-democracy and
engagement organisations such as RockEnrol, On the fence and
The Spinoff’s new Policy page (which Scoop is proud to be
a supporter of).
These tools are all valuable interventions in engaging more New Zealanders in democracy this Election and we hope you will check them out.
Stay in the loop and help Open The Election
Bookmark our Opening The Election page or make sure you return regularly to see the latest.
Sign up here to get updates on future HiveMind engagements both before and after the election.
Email Newsletters - Those who supported this project financially have also been receiving weekly email updates of the latest election news as well as information on these new projects.
Please contact us if you wish to receive updates, collaborate or support this project in any way.
Thankyou again for your support as we Open The Election in 2017.
Co-editor/Community Engagement manager
If you like what we are doing to increase openness and transparency, please support Scoop by donating to the Scoop Foundation. Funds will further the purposes of the Foundation in supporting more public interest journalism in Aotearoa.