Sunday, February 20, 2005



Resources

A while ago I toyed with the idea of making a searchable database of Parliamentary votes (and particularly conscience votes) so we could track MP's voting records. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time, but I see that NORML is including the information in its MPs database. While they're really interested in MP's opinions on marijuana decriminalisation, their positions on the lowering of the drinking age, prostitution reform, the death with dignity and civil unions bills are all included.

This will be quite useful when assessing electorate candidates, but at the same time I have to ask why Parliament isn't doing this itself? Surely making the voting records of our representatives easily accessable and searchable is precisely the sort of thing the office of the Clerk should be doing?

7 comments:

It's a shame you can't use their database to extract a subset of MP's by voting record.

Posted by muerk : 2/20/2005 04:27:00 PM

That is basically what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, as I said, I don't really have the time. But such a tool would be beneficial to everyone, regardless of politicial affiliation.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/20/2005 05:15:00 PM

This is something I've been thinking of (and wishing for) for a while. This's given me the inclination to do it myself, since it seems it really isn't anywhere else — it's not really a tough task (just laborious in entering the data, but that can be worked on). So in a couple of days I hope to have it all sorted out and up and running, at least with a subset of information.

Posted by kietsie : 2/20/2005 08:23:00 PM

I agree it's something the OOC should be providing. It wouldn't be that difficult and I'm sure they would get support from parliamentary staff. It's the sort of information that would be used heaps. I am aware that most parties keep records of who's voting what on what, information usually supplied by the parliamentary library or manually by a researcher or someone. Maybe a little bird should suggest it to someone...

Posted by Kakariki : 2/20/2005 08:57:00 PM

And... done. It's right now admittedly ugly, but that I'll work on. You can search by party and vote on a bill, so, e.g., here's the Labour "traitors".
Also, so far it only has three bills (Prostitution Reform, Death With Dignity, Civil Unions), but I plan to add future ones as they come, and will add any old ones as suggested (link to the Hansard table is appreciated).

Take a lookTo do: multiple bill search/display, MP profiles, contact information, electorate details... it goes on. But a solid start.

Posted by kietsie : 2/21/2005 05:49:00 PM

Good Points. But, given the current culture of lack of accountability, this would be the last thing the Government would want.____________
I'd like to see Parliament Sessions broadcast on a dedicated TV channel. Easier than Hansard. Save the sessions and scan for interest sake. __________
I have a cable subscription, surely there is an extra channel available for this. I'd kick in $10 per month for this service (GST inclusive, after tax dollars).

Posted by Tyrone : 2/21/2005 09:49:00 PM

Tryone: Apparently full TV coverage of Parliament (though inder strict rules as to what they can show) will begin later this year, on the new digital TV platform.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/17/2007 11:44:00 AM