Prior to the UK election communication experts predicted an „internet election“. In the aftermath of the election, varying conclusions on the effect of e-campaigning have been drawn. A review of opinions.
The Lisbon Treaty is expected to enter into force on December 1st, 2009. Consequently the European Citizens’ Initiative will become reality. The European Commission is now asking its citizens for support: How should the idea be put into practice?
The European e-participation-scene gathered in BerlinInAugust 2007 to identify future aspects of the growing field of e-democracy. 25 Participants from 13 countries discussed for two days in the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin (ehemaliges Staatsratsgebäude) what issues are emerging, discussed good and bad practices and tried to build up a network. The British Council Germany gave some funding for travel expenses. On July 17th and 18th 2008 there has been a follow up – BerlinInJuly 2008 . Tom Steinberg, mySociety.org, Politik Digital, politik-digital.de and Christian Heise, e-politik.de / e-demokratie.org were bound to be the inviting group. The group of guests included some of the 2007 guests as well as some new people; important new networks in the field will be informed about the meeting. In total, there were about 40 international persons attending the unconference which was prepared, just as in the last year, through this wiki.
This year, on 15-16th October 2009, there will be another follow up: Berlin in October 2009. Even though this Unconference is by invite only, we are still looking for suggestions of smart, interesting people to join. The only real criteria for attendees: the desire and the determination to get things built that actually help citizens, rather than just talking about how great it could be if someone else did it. If you feel that you would be matching this profile, please contact one of the organising institutions. There are still open slots. We especially welcome non-EU participants. Limited funding is available.
For the upcoming German Federal election 2009, politik-digital.de, in a joint project with pro-bono TV production, published a video clip which shows various celebrities telling not to vote. You can watch the clip here (sorry, I couldn’t embed the clip):
For those of you who are non-German speakers, find an english article about the project on DW-World.de. This article comes along with a radio interview including a statement by politik-digital.de executive director Stefan Gehrke.
Launched on initiative by individual PEP-NET members, a working group came up with a strategy for PEP-NET to be promoted on conferences in our field of expertise. The main results of the working group are as follows:
1)The aim of the initiative is to brand and promote the name and idea of PEP-NET as well as to acquire new members;
2)Starting in September, PEP-NET will become an integral component of conferences organized by members of PEP-NET;
3)Presentation and implementation of PEP-NET during the conferences should remain within the responsibility of the respective organizers. Though the working group agreed on four minimum features which should be common in all conferences:
- 1.A PEP-NET workshop should be organized along a specific question; the question remains the same in all conferences, yet provokes hopefully very different results since the participants of the respective workshops have very different backgrounds (e.g. scientists, politicians, NGO-practitioners).
- 2.PEP-NET should always be presented in a short introduction, maybe also with the help of graphic displays (e.g. banner, stand-up displays, buttons).
- 3.The working group will design a leaflet, which contains information about upcoming conferences, a short whois and maybe contact details; the leaflet will be circulated among the PEP-NET members and should also be handed out to the participants of PEP-NET workshops.
- 4.Each PEP-NET workshop should start with the findings of the previous workshop and try to complement the views.
4) The results of PEP-NET workshops are thought to be summed up in a conference proceeding, which will be posted in a specific section on our web-log. A right-frame-teaser could possibly be created for the homepage.
The members of the working group are happy to receive your comments, feedback, ideas or support on this initiative. We encourage you also to communicate the new PEP-NET slots on conferences and to create awareness of our new initiative.
Thomas Gensemer is managing partner of Blue State Digital, the US-american think tank that had a significant share in the success story of Barack Obama’s eCampaign. politik-digital.de met him at the Medienforum NRW, Cologne, and asked him about the possibilities and limitations of an Obama-like campaign in Germany…
The „Bürgerforum Europa“, a web-based community launched on the initiative of the Bertelsmann Stiftung in cooperation with the Heinz Nixdorf Stiftung, assembles German citizens who care about Europe’s future. By publishing their resolution, the so-called „BürgerProgramm“, the community members direct their claims now to Brussels.
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Votematch.eu opens with a bold statement: “ Good ideas catch on“, implying that the new online platform, which compares positions of political parties in the European Parliament with one’s own, is indeed such a good idea. The project, which is organised in a joint effort by the Institute for Political Participation (IPP) in the Netherlands and the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) in Germany, was launched in June 2008. The educational tool is based on the original method of the Dutch StemWijzer, which reduces the complexity of political party positions to single-sentenced claims and compares one’s own preference with those given by the parties.
Since its first launch, the StemWijzer-method has been copied in the run-up to numerous elections in different EU-member states. “Vote match Europe” now assembles 12 different “Vote Matchers” on one platform and offers thereby a Pan-European overview of the respective national political parties grouped in political factions in the EP. In contrast to the EU-Profiler, the answers to the theses are not generated from the parties’ programs, but individually given and authorized by the parties themselves. This certainly improves the authenticity of the project, yet does not erase the question marks which evolve if political party positions are reduced to one single sentence. After all, Vote Match is still a clickable infotainment tool, which establishes a bridge between young potential voters and the confusing jungle of daily party politics.
For those who haven’t decided yet on their favourite party for the elections in the European Union, 4-7 June 2009, a new interactive web feature, the EU-profiler, helps to make up your mind. The tool promises support in discovering the political landscape for the upcoming elections in Europe. However, its functionality and clickability are not free of hitches.