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Open Gov Tracker Reveals Best US Open Government Ideas 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-time-with-feeling dept.
jonverve writes "In May of 2009, the White House launched an Ideascale site to gather ideas from citizens to identify ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness by making government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.' The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins. Fast forward to February 6 and the same process has been repeated with individual federal agencies as the subject. This time the idea generation has been much more productive, with ideas such as establishing clear benchmarks on humanitarian progress in Sudan to the State Department, funding for open source text books and materials to the Department of Education, making it easier to access previously FOIAed documents to the Department of Justice, and creating a Wiki for NASA to share its data and to engage the public. Hackers from NASA's Nebula cloud computing platform have created a site that aggregates 23 of these idea sites to give a quick peek into the best rated contributions in each category. Programmed in Python and using the MongoDB and Tornado web server, the Open Gov Tracker was highlighted by the open government blog Govfresh this past week as well. Jessy Cowan-Sharp, one of the creators, explained their motivation: 'We thought that a single access point would give a sense of the participation on all the different sites, a window into the discussions happening, build some excitement, and inspire people to participate.' The process closes on March 19th, so go and visit the site to contribute your ideas and vote!"
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Open Gov Tracker Reveals Best US Open Government Ideas

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  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:01PM (#31307340) Homepage

    The digital letdown was when many of the top ideas generated by the process were to legalize marijuana, solve tax issues and to reinvestigate Obama's birth origins.

    So, in other words, they didn't get the answers they wanted to hear. What a "letdown."

    I don't know what "solve tax issues" means, but legalizing marijuana and investigating Obama's birth certificate are hardly innovative ideas promoting more effective governance, even if you think they're worthwhile it's stuff everyone has heard of, and the intent wasn't to give tired ideas a new platform

  • by mhajicek (1582795) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @08:34PM (#31310490)

    but legalizing marijuana ... hardly innovative ideas promoting more effective governance

    Unless of course, ending prohibition would drastically cut the amount of tax money needed to pay for police, courts, and prisons, while potentially generating significant tax revenue through the taxation of legal drug sales. In other words, perhaps not innovative but otherwise exactly what they're asking for.

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