Originally scheduled for next week – August 20-22 – the Stakeholder Summit generated so much interest that we need more time to prepare for it. Projections have to be revised upward and we have to find a bigger venue to accommodate everyone who might come. So, I’ve recommended that the Summit be postponed to September 10-12. Nothing official yet, but it looks like the recommendation might be approved. Would have gotten a definite response today, but work let out early today.
Also, we’re knocking around a proposal to set aside time for video comments to be played during the Summit itself. I like this idea considering that a lot of young voters – stakeholders they are – have strong opinions and can post videos to You Tube. If it attracts no one else, this move may bring out the vloggers (and the bloggers who dabble in online vids) and move us all a step closer to the day when blogging is considered a significant contributor to policy making.
And speaking of blogging, the concept of online legislation seems to be picking up. This is a great development, although I am not yet quite sold that wikislation is the way to go. Submitting proposed legislation to wiki-fication may sound like the holy grail of participative democracy, but the thing is language is as much an essential ingredient of law making as the primal seed – the basic idea – for the proposed law. Which means that no matter how many people are able to wiki-edit the proposed bill, the thing will still have to be re-written in the proper language and form. Legalese, after all, is not just a whimsical tongue but a way of plugging possible loopholes that future lawyers might exploit.
The strength of online legislation, I think, really lies in its power to solicit the opinions of everyone who has an opinion – not to tap them as legal writers. If so, then a forum will do much the same thing as a wiki (although of course, the pitiful state of the forum I put up makes me sigh).
Of course, there might also be advantages to wikis that I’m just not getting yet.