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Loomio Gives Policy Power to Members

June 4, 2014

Loomio Gives Policy Power to Members

The Internet Party has launched a collaborative platform to give its members a direct role in leading policy discussions.

Using software developed by Wellington-based tech startup Loomio, the forum platform allows party members to propose, discuss and promote ideas for Internet Party policy.

“It’s important that we allow Internet Party members to draw on their experience, interest and expertise to come up with new policy ideas,” said Internet Party leader Laila Harré.

“It doesn’t make sense to limit policy development internally, so what we are doing is tapping into our members’ strengths and their interest in participating.”

The Internet Party has been running its policy discussion forum for some time but Loomio allows for new and different ideas to be brought into the mix.

“That process has been more narrowly constrained to taking draft policy to a final stage,” said Ms Harré. “The Loomio platform – our policy incubator – is complementary to that. It allows any member to start a discussion in a member-to-member environment and lead that through to a point where policy ideas are either advanced or shelved by consensus. Loomio is an effective and proven tool in promoting our core value of digital democracy, to generate ideas in a way that works without hierarchy or centralised control.”

To get the ball rolling the Internet Party has proposed an idea that members have already expressed a strong interest in – the decriminalisation of cannabis.

“It’s a fascinating area and most Kiwis have strong views on the issue,” said Ms Harré.

“Every year thousands of young people are convicted for cannabis possession, often for small amounts, meaning they have to go through life with a criminal conviction. There’s a global push toward decriminalisation but consistently high political barriers remain in New Zealand, despite growing public support for the decriminalisation of cannabis for personal use.

“What we are doing is gauging our members’ views and ideas on whether the Internet Party should support the decriminalisation of cannabis in New Zealand as a first step toward a sensible and comprehensive drug policy.”


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