eParticipation in policy making – Republican style

15. July 2008 – 10:48 by Bengt Feil

The American Republican Party (GOP) launched a site to gather comments and suggestions on policy issues by its supporters. The website is called Republican Platform Committee and allows everybody who is willing to register can participate in what the party describes as:

…seeking your input as we develop the policies and principles upon which we should stand for the next four years. On this website, you can share your thoughts, participate in polls, and communicate directly with the policymakers who will be shaping the party’s agenda. All comments and feedback will be reviewed and taken into full consideration as we prepare for our convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Techcrunch points out that among the topics suggested, e.g. national security, energy and gas prices, health care reform, judicial nominations, “Protecting American Values.” there is no specific mentioning of tech related topics on the website which would be a perfect fit for the medium. As an additional way to reach out to interested citizens the GOP also launched a Facebook app aimed at the same purpose. The site uses text and video based communication as well as polls to discuss the topics at hand and is moderated.

The old elephant GOP seems to be quite up to date when it comes to modern campaigning. One may hope that such a step towards eParticipation will also be part of the federal government program regardless who wins the election. As far as campaigning goes: This effort may help to convert the Ron Paul enthusiast to John McCain if he is smart enough to use this tool and pick up the right topics. I think the Democrats will have to introduce answer to this soon and their already made good steps towards it with BarackObama.com.

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