Democracy Club Blog

The One Where Democracy Club Meets A Venture Capitalist

Week 4 update from the bowels of Somerset House. The Thames is lapping at the door. The mice are building boats. We’ve built a new thing for you to test, gained some insights into our potential business models and learned about why it’s incredibly unlikely that we’re ever going to raise VC.

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Timetable of legal deadlines for May 2016 elections

We scour PDFs and take the dates out and put them in a Google Calendar so you don’t have to. Notice of election, statement of persons nominated, notice of polls etc. For all the UK elections in May 2016.

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Week Three in the Big Somerset House

It’s week three in the Big Somerset House. And the housemates are determined to write a blogpost that doesn’t smash through the 600-words-that-people-might-actually-read-limit.

A new prototype to look at, two business models to consider, EURef thoughts, mice, and a new team introduced.

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How (not) to make money

Week two, and the democracy thunder keeps rolling. In this week’s episode: how not to make money, how to attend a lot of meetings, and we introduce Bright Little Labs.

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Day 5 in the incubator...

In which we review the first week at Bethnal Green Ventures, discuss the quality of bacon sandwich available in Somerset House, and reminisce about the bowler-hatted civil servants that once ran the place.

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Why doesn’t Google know where I should vote?

It’s election day. It’s late, and you’re tired. Because in the UK, elections, unlike royal weddings, don’t warrant a day off work, so you’ve only just got home. Somewhere is a small piece of card that was delivered to your house several weeks ago that had the address of your polling station, and a little map of where it is. But now you can’t find it, you’re searching under the sofa and in that drawer in the kitchen, but it’s gone.

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How can you take 3 minutes this sunny weekend to make democracy better?

It’s a glorious weekend. You’re dusting down the barbecue, you’re poking around in the garden. You probably weren’t thinking about the election. But plenty of people are. This weekend hundreds of political party activists will take to the streets to post election leaflets to thousands of homes. In order to watch what the parties are saying, Democracy Club has helped build an election leaflets archive - and we’d love 4 minutes of your time out of the sun to help pack it with data!

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Find your polling station

We’ve tried to make it easy to find out who your local candidates are. We’ve tried to make it easy to see their professional and educational experience. And we’ve tried to highlight opportunities to meet them in person.

But of course, there’s one more crucial step - assuming you’ve already registered. And that’s actually knowing where to go vote.

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Developers, we need your help.

We have just over 50 days to go until the election, and we have a chance to make a real difference to the way people interact with it, but we can’t do it alone.

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Wordpress plugin for MeetYourNextMP.com

If you run a blog using the WordPress platform, perhaps one about your town or region, it is straight forward to add a list of election events in your local area. This helps to inform your visitors and gives them opportunities to meet their possible next MP!

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Emailing 1,800 people

To help make YourNextMP.com the best list of candidates there is, we emailed 1,800 candidates from 2010, asking them if they were standing again.

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A fair fight?

Nesta have an interesting blog post up about big data at the next election. It’s painful reading: it makes it sound like the election campaign will be something done by politicians to the rest of us. (Again).

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The odd one out

In the past two or three years — that is, at any time since the Arab Spring, since the tsunami hit Fukushima, or since William and Kate got married — have you discussed politics?

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Restarting

Although I wan’t involved in organizing Democracy Club before the 2010 election, I did get involved as a volunteer. I uploaded election leaflets that were shoved through my door (as well as getting everyone I knew to give me their leaflets to upload), called up my MP Richard Bacon, asking him why he hadn’t filled out the candidate survey and I even made a little project that stored the major party manifestoes and made them searchable.

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We need to talk

We have a lot of plans and ideas for how to make democracy and elections better that we’ll be blogging and emailing about over the coming months.

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