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.
Democracy Club Blog
Here’s a technical post about our plans. Contact us if you would like to build something from our data.
As we previously posted, Democracy Club have a project to gather all the data on polling stations and polling districts in the UK.
“We could go to the hustings, and hand out the CVs, and ask questions about them!”
In 14 days time, on the 7th of May, the people of Britain will be voting to decide who runs the country for the next 5 years. What should you be doing between now and then? Here’s your election run-up survival pack.
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!
We’ve been collecting data on candidates for the General Election since November. Finally, councils have released their version: but in 400+ PDFs!
Our website that crowdsources a list of all the independent hustings events around the UK, MeetYourNextMP, has just reached a milestone as it now lists over 500 events!
The local authority that voters pay their council tax to might not be the one that administers polling for their parliamentary seat.
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.
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.
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!
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.
We’re after help from any and all sorts of designers to make our sites better.
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).
As I said on Sunday, keeping track of all the projects and tools out there is a little overwhelming sometimes.
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?
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.
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.