This really is fantastic. ‘Downing Street is working in partnership with the non-partisan charitable project mySociety to provide a service to allow citizens, charities and campaign groups to set up petitions that are hosted on the Downing Street website, enabling anyone to address and deliver a petition directly to the Prime Minister.’ Don’t underestimate the implications here. This isn’t just government allowing others to comment on its ideas; this is a government website actively encouraging people to tell government what to do.
(It isn’t unique, of course: the Scots have had a similar system for some time, and of course there are quite a few independent initiatives out there. But this is Downing Street we’re talking about.)
I’m most interested by the fact that it’s been done by mySociety, an external body who do it for the love of it. Their great work proves that it is possible… and it embarrasses the official e-government channels, who spend millions and don’t even come close to something like theyworkforyou.com. I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that the only way to really deliver change in the public sector is via such guerilla tactics.