New Politics NZ Website
18 August 2005
Press Release: New Politics NZ Website – Department of personal opinions online
Once upon a time you could only vote for politicians once every three years, and then you were stuck with them for the next three years. However personable and willing to listen they appeared to be before the election, they seem to become fairly unaccountable for the next three years. Many have referred to this as an "elected dictatorship".
A new website "Politics NZ" now delivers online democracy to New Zealanders. Politicians will now be kept constantly informed and in check by the "department of personal opinions", providing a consistent and ongoing "general public perception" about all that matters politically. Politicians can be judged on their adherence to the democratic views of the public.
Politics NZ is a new website that allows the general public to record their opinions on key issues in politics and other matters relating to New Zealanders.. Topics range from key election issues, Treaty of Waitangi, immigration, through to religion and television preferences. You can vote on who you want in parliament, what you'd like on television, or democratically ascertain the validity of many religious beliefs.
Each topic contains several statements that aim to clearly determine society's opinion on that topic. Each statement either checks for consensus on the facts or agreement on solutions for the future. Sometimes a question can be misleading, or pre-empt a desired result. By asking some questions in different ways, a more accurate result is determined.
Politics NZ recognizes that the voting results may be skewed somewhat by those who are most interested in taking the time to cast their opinion online. That said, results are backed by demographic information that provides a clear indication of who the voting samples represent. More importantly, when opinion on a topic is polarized, demographic analysis might indicate which key groups are swaying the results.
The website was originally created for hobby interest by its developer Reuben Jackson of Web Widgets Ltd. He now believes the website could have significant implications for the political world. Reuben believes that there has not previously been any readily accessible means for the New Zealand public to communicate their opinions to politicians, aside from time consuming and expensive opinion polls and lobbying that many never have the opportunity to be involved in.
Anyone can suggest topics and questions of interest to the Politics NZ website.
In future phases of the website, Reuben plans to provide additional ways for the online community to communicate with politicians, and provide analysis of how often each politician has responded.
The website and voting software is only a few days old, but already has enough votes to indicate some interesting outcomes. For example, voters have consensus in their agreement that they do not like "big brother style television" , that "NZ is not as clean and green as many think" and "Rich nations should write off some debts of the poorest nations".
However, there is significant divergence of opinion on the death penalty, the existence of god or whether there should be any further treaty claims.
The website address is www.politics.org.nz
The voting software developed for the Politics NZ website is also available to any user of the Web Widgets Content Management Software. www.web-widgets.net