Democracy in action

December 7, 2005 | Leave a comment

Here’s a genuinely useful application of RSS that puts you in touch with how your country is run.

US citizens: here’s a list of the members of the House as provided by the Washington Post. Click on one and you get their voting record – plus an RSS feed of their votes, so you can keep tabs on how well your representative is, well, representing you.

British citizens: you get a similar thing via TheyWorkForYou.com, which provides RSS feeds of questions your MP asks in Parliament. Every time they stand up and speak, it’ll show up in their feed.

I’d love to hear about any similar feeds for other countries. In every case you can, of course, keep track of this information using Your Resources, or an external tool like Bloglines, Mozilla Thunderbird, and hundreds more.

There are other, smaller applications that would be very interesting to me, all based on publicly available knowledge. How about a feed of applications for planning permission in my neighbourhood? Or of serious environmental health violations in restaurants and bars in my town? There’s so much information that could be made more easily searchable.

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