Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What's your view on collaborative legislation? - US Congressman piloting collaboration on Health Care Bill

Collaborative legislation is one of the potential outcomes for Gov 2.0 - a process whereby those affected by legislation can be directly involved in the process of developing it, or even write their own legislation as a 'community bill' for government to consider.

We've seen some work around the edges of this space over the last few years, with the New Zealand Wiki Police Act and even with the Gov 2.0 Taskforce in Australia, who made their beta issues paper available online for comments before finalisation.

Now one of the US Government's best know Gov 2.0 advocates, Republican Congressman John Culberson, has take a further step, making the proposed US Health Care Bill available online for comments and annotations by his constituents.

I'm very interested in whether a collaborative legislation approach could work in Australia and what could be the barriers to it being successful. Anyone have views on this?


  1. Craig - I just had a look at the US congressman's site. I definitely think it is an interesting move, but just making the whole bill commentable has a very un-userfriendly impact. What you get, it seems, are fairly random comments and no real discussion. If you look at, it is hard to engage with what is supposed to be a consultative exercise and from the congressman's point of view it is hard to summarize the input - how can you tell from this exercise which bits people liked/hated most? where is there any discussion on solutions people think would work? I think all this underlines the need for discussions to be structured. Of course, structuring could be seen as distorting/manipulating, but without structure you tend to get a few random voices shouting and most people not sure how to contribute or what the point is.

  2. Hi Paul,

    I think it's a learning journey.

    What's important is that we throw approaches at the wall and see which works best - exactly as society does in many other areas.