Wikipedia for President

I have not been a very consistent blogger lately (partially due to the amount of spam that has been coming through my blog lately). However, I had an interesting opportunity last week that I couldn’t help blogging about.

Last week I had the opportunity to listen to US Senate candidate Pete Ashdown. Like other Democratic candidates, he expressed concern for the environment, education, lack of efficient public transportation in many parts of the country, etc. However, something he suggested, which I have never heard before, is the idea of “open source government”. This is geek terminology for using technology to make the government more accessible. For example, Ashdown has a wiki on this site that allows his constituents to actually create what they feel is good policy for key issues. Another example is his offer to provide free webspace from his web hosting company to any political candidate for the duration of the campaign.

While I’m not sure how much of a chance a young democrat will have in the state of Utah, I think this type of forward-thinking about integrating technology into government is an idea that I would hope other politicians would consider adopting. Could you immagine the improved efficiency if we were even able to get key members of the government using e-mail (see story on Rumsfeld).