Does anyone else get the irony of wilderness and environmental petitions, or is it just me?
No more! In the UK at least… The snappily titled Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 is now in force. It mandates that all Councils in the UK must provide a facility for making petitions in electronic form. Interestingly the e-petition capability at Number10.gov.uk is still in beta.
What’s the story locally? I’m not aware of any similar legislative requirements. A quick scan of the web reveals that Queensland state government has an e-petitions capability and report the experience has been entirely positive. Aside from Tasmania, that is the extent of it in Australian state government.
The LGAQ (Local Government Association Queensland) have a capability on behalf of local government in Queensland. There are no current petitions and no ability to browse past petitions so it is unclear if the facility has had much use. By contrast, the City of Wellington has a very active e-petition capability.
That seems to be the extent of e-petition capacity in ANZ…
Sure this is not the most pressing problem in local government just now, but it must be one of the easier ones to solve. Managing a bunch of database records has to be less hassle than being on the receiving end of boxes of paper! If I don’t need to be accosted during the next of my very infrequent trips to the local retail temple then I’m all for it!
Can we have a new term for social media please. I can’t think of a single example where social combined with another word is a good thing; social security, social science, social worker, social drinker. See what I mean! But anyway…
I’ve been in a number of forums where local government folk have been discussing the pros and cons of engaging in social media platforms such as twitter, facebook, youtube and the like. In discussing the pros and cons the implicit assumption is that you have a choice. Of course you have a choice! The choice though is not whether you engage in social media or not but rather whether you do it or have it done to you.
A recent post on twitter illustrates nicely. One of the local government folk I follow on Twitter whom I only know as nz_d0nk3y recently posted a photo of a protest sign exhorting citizens of Wellington to go to a facebook page that protests against the closure of Manners Mall.
So you see the question is not whether Wellington City chooses to engage on this issue with people on facebook. The question is whether they choose to initiate that particular channel of engagement or whether they are simply responding to it.