16 October 2011

Parliamentary Informatics

I reproduce part of the text from wikipedia (stable link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_informatics)


Parliamentary informatics is the application of information technology to the documentation of legislative activity.

Sources of Parliamentary Information by Country:


United Nations


The website Undemocracy gives hyperlinked access to transcripts of the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations, with parsed voting records.



Australia


OpenAustralia.org is a community-funded site which was launched in June 2008 and automatically collects and publishes in an easy-to-read format the transcripts of all Australian Government House of Representatives and Senate debates, questions, discussions and notices. OpenAustralia.org also made available the Register of Senators' and Members' Interests online for the first time ever in Australia.


Austria


The National Council of Austria is covered by meinparlament.at


Africa


"Africa i-Parliaments" is the portal of the regional initiatives of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) aimed at strengthening the role of African Parliaments in fostering democracy and good governance by developing common information services and tools, and building information management capabilities with the objective of making Parliaments i-nterconnected, i-nformed i-ndependent, or in short, i-Parliaments.


Brazil


Vota Na Web- Votes on the web.


Congresso Aberto - Open Congress.



Canada


How'd They Vote? is a volunteer-run website providing information about the voting record and speeches of MPs, as is OpenParliament.ca



Chile


Vota Inteligente Vote in an intelligent way.



Colombia


Congreso Visible


Czech Republic


KohoVolit.eu is a volunteer-run website providing a sample of votings both in the Lower and Upper Chamber of the Czech Parliament allowing the user to test her or his own preferences against the MPs.



Denmark


The Parliament website (Folketinget) has records of votes, speeches, laws and written questions in plain form.


Hvem Stemmer Hvadhas elaborate parliament voting statistics and tracks parliamentary questions and media mentions of politicians. The site offers access to its data through an API. The name translates to "Who Votes What".


Folkevalglets users debate and vote on concrete parliamentary issues. The site is financially supported by the EU.


Folkets Tingis a volunteer-run website with the same data that also offers rss feeds and lets users comment on content. "Folkets Ting" means "Peoples Parliament" and is a pun on "Folketinget".



European Parliament


www.votewatch.eu has collected and displays full records of the activities of the Members of the European Parliament starting with 2004. VoteWatch.eu is based on the expertize of academics from London School of Economics and Universite Libre de Bruxelles. The website displays full records of voting, attendance and other activities (parliamentary questions, speeches, reports etc.) of MEPs from all 27 member states. Furthermore, it shows a set of statistics that provide detailed information on how the coalitions are forming between the various European Political Groups. VoteWatch.eu has been updated for the 2009-2014 parliamentary term and in early 2010 has also released a report [view the report] on the voting behavior in the newly-elected Parliament.


The site It's Your Parliament contains voting records of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and makes it easy to compare voting records of individual MEPs and political groups. Users can comment on legislation, MEPs and cast their own votes. In March 2010 It's Your Parliament opened an API.


ParlTrack is closely monitoring the legislative process within the European Parliament. Among other things it covers committee agendas, votes and tracking of dossiers via email and RSS. Parltrack is available as free software.


Testbeeld Europa shows how the Dutch Members of the European Parliament voted. Made by the nonpartisan, non-profit Instituut voor Publiek en Politiek (IPP).


Follow the Money which aims to monitor the EU budget and runs the twin sites FarmSubsidy and FishSubsidy.



Finland


Kansan Muisti("the memory of the people"), follows the Finish Parliament and investigates whether the MPs votes in accordance with the promises made in voter advice applications before the elections.



France


Mon-Depute.fr was the first site that publishes MP's voting rolls.


Germany


The German federal parliament Deutscher Bundestag and four state parliaments (Landtag) (last update: November 2010) are covered by abgeordnetenwatch.de. The website supports the transparency of MP's voting behavior and MP's supplementary income. However, the main focus is on public Q&A.


Citizens can ask questions, which can be answered by members of parliament.Newer projects like Deutschland API, Bundestagger, and Frankfurt gestalten are parts of the newly founded Open Data Network, a non-profit organisation of software developers and political activists to promote open access, open data, open government, transparency and participation in Germany.



Georgia


Georgian Parliament has information on MPs, and their voting records.


Civilin has information about legislation.My Parliament aggregates it all together.



Ireland


KildareStreet.com (named for Kildare Street, where the Irish Parliament is located) is a volunteer-made site launched in April 2009 which collects and republishes the transcripts of debates in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, and parliamentary questions.


Israel


Open Knesset is an open-source, volunteer-run website tracking legislative processes, voting records and trends of the Israeli parliament (Knesset).



Italy


openparlamentoallows to track legislative progress, votes and Parliament members using official data from italian Parliament. The platform lets users comment, vote and emend on every parliament act, supplies official legislative text and rss feeds. openparlamento is a non partisan project realised by openpolis


Jordan


The Jordanian Parliament Monitor is a website that provides information about the Parliament of Jordan. The site presents profiles of all members of Parliament, information about the MP's deeds and stances on public policy issues, bills and law proposals, questions to the Cabinet, interventions during plenary and committee sessions. The website also includes news about the various parties and blocs represented in Parliament, statistics about the Parliament and about MP's performance as well as the studies and reports published by the Monitor. It was established in 2009, and is run byAl-Quds Center for Political Studies, a Jordanian think-tank based in Amman.



Kenya


mzalendo: Eye On Kenyan Parliament provides electronic information about the Kenyan parliament, which is otherwise only available offline.


Kosovo


KDI Kosovo provides electronic reports and voting records from Kosovo's parliament.



Latvia


GudrasGalvas.lvis a social networking website between the citizens and their elected parliamentary representatives and ministers.Every visitor of the site (without registration) is free to view the profiles of MPs and ministers, read their pre-election promises, blogs, overview of their on-line and media "footprint", which is updated automatically. MPs and ministers can also add their blogs, start discussions as well as post other information at their will and convenience. Having logged in, the visitors of the site (using their Twitter, Facebook etc. accounts) can ask questions, post their comments or replies, participate in discussions and use other interactive features of GudrasGalvas.lv


[*] Gudras galvas - "smart heads", words often used in Latvia when referring to the Parliament as an institution or its individual members.



Lebanon


The Lebanese Parliamentary Monitor is a website that provides information about the Parliament of Lebanon. The site presents profiles of all 128 Lebanese members of Parliament, information about the MP's deeds and stances on 50 public policy issues, bills and law proposals, questions to the Cabinet, interventions during plenary and committee sessions and law challenges submitted to the Lebanese Constitutional Council. The website also includes statistics about the Parliament and about MP's performance as well as the monthly newsletters of the Monitor, summarizing the parliamentary activities. The Monitor organizes regular public hearings gathering citizens and one or two MPs from a certain district, to debate the MPs' commitment to voicing the concerns of aspirations of their constituents. It was established in 2006, and is run by Nahwa al-Muwatiniya(Towards Citizenship), a Beirut-based non-governmental civil society organization.


Lithuania


Atviras Seimas(Open Parliament) provides statistics for MP attendance, votes, speeches, rebellions, travel maps, popularity ratings based on internet search result counts. It is a volunteer-run website.


Mano Seimas (My Parliament) publishes voting records for interesting or controversial bills, provides MP's biography and allows to ask questions and receive answers from MPs. Part of the published data is fetched through API provided by Atviras Seimas.Mano Seimas is a part of e-democracy projectrun by Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University.


Manobalsas.lt (myvote) is a smart voting tool allowing users to take a test and find out which political party and candidate best matches their opinion. The site launched in 2008 before National parliament elections. More than 300 candidates registered on the site.



Malaysia


Citizen Think Tank



New Zealand


TheyWorkForYou.co.nz hosts a user friendly version of the NZ Parliament debate transcripts, and summarizies activity by bill, by ministerial portfolio and by organisations making submissions to the Parliament. It also provides lists of how parties voted on bills in Parliament. It is a is a volunteer-run project.


CommoNZ provides lists of how MPs votes on non-party votes in Parliament (in New Zealand, many votes are formally conducted by the parties rather than the individuals, even in respect of MPs with constituencies).



Netherlands


wiekiesjij.nl helps you find the politician of your choice based on expertise, professional background, age, religious affiliation, and political experience. More than 90% of Dutch candidates for national parliament filled-in an online questionnaire on which the system was based. It was made by the foundation "The New Way of Voting" (See: Het Nieuwe Stemmen or its international forum:Forum


POLITIX.nltracks voting behaviour of Dutch political parties.


Stemmentrackerwas launched in the national elections in November 2006. For crucial votes the site provides an introduction to the vote and shows how parties voted. A voter can also vote, so the systems shows the parties that voted most like the user. Made by the nonpartisan, non-profit Instituut voor Publiek en Politiek (IPP). IPP looking for possibilities for keeping it up to date in the future.



Poland


Sejmometrmonitors the Polish parliament.



Portugal


Demo.cratica by Manufactura Independente



Russia


In Russia projects in the shpere of Government 2.0 is actively developing. Most active participants in this area are:




Government Web catalog of all government bodies and official websites created by any government structure. It includes ratings of websites quality, special lists of government websites that violates russian laws and so on.


Government People automatic aggregator of all russian officials blogs. It includes ratings of persons, monitors activity by region and person competences and provides public API for reuse.


Project Duma 2.0 is a social initiative aimed to improve the laws and to find in Internet effective ways of solving problems. The aim of the project is not simply to inform officials about the citizens' decisions and initiatives, but lobbying of these ideas at the legislative level with the maximum of their application. Duma 2.0 - the first project in Russia, which was created in the global world trend called Citizen 2.0.


OpenGovData.ru - a non-profit project dedicated to the availability of information disclosed by the State for its citizens.



Romania


The Institutul pentru Politici Publice has created a web site with lots of structured data about the Romanian Parliament.The sitewas first lunched in 2006 and redesigned in 2010.



Slovakia


KohoVolit.eu is a volunteer-run website providing a sample of votings of the Slovak Parliament allowing the user to test her or his own preferences against the MPs.



Sweden



United Kingdom


The situation in the United Kingdom is very active, with several of the major volunteer projects run by mySociety.


The official UK Parliament website provides transcripts of the Parliamentary debates and votes in plain text form, and these are parsed by a project known as parlparse into a timeline of publicly available structured XML files. These files provide the data for TheyWorkForYou, which hosts the speeches in a user friendly form and creates email alerts and rss feeds, and Public Whip, which keeps track of the votes and allows for an expression of their meanings in plain English.


Independently of this, the academic Philip Cowley at Nottingham University researches specifically into how MPs vote through his Revolts website and publications.


Commercial companies Dod'sDeHavillandPolitical Wizard and Randall's offer paid for parliamentary monitoring.



United States of America



  • CampaignMoney

  • EarmarkWatch

  • GovTrack.us - GovTrack allows you to track the progress of legislation in the US. Offers access to data and apis as well.

  • Legistorm - Online access to government disclosure documents.

  • MAPLight - Looks at connection between money and politics.

  • Metavid is a searchable archive of legislative video.

  • OpenCongress - OpenCongress brings together official government information with news and blog coverage for compressive site on legislative activity

  • OpenSecrets.org - This website from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks money in U.S. federal politics, including contributions and expenditures for congressional and presidential campaigns, lobbying, personal finances of politicians, the "revolving door" between government and private industry, 527 organizations and more.

  • ProgressivePunch - Provides summaries and ratings based on votes.

  • WashingtonWatch

  • Watchdog.net - Combines various data sources into a unified interface. APIs and data dumps for everything. Free software. Also provides tools to get involved with politics.

  • Distributed Government - A proposal for re-enfranchising voters by a "division of labor" both among voters and among legislators.

  • congressdb - Votes statistics


Comparisons between countries



  • Arthur Edwards at Erasmus University Rotterdam has analysed retrospective voter information websites in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

  • Simon Hix at LSE analyses roll call voting records across Europe.

  • VoteWorld in the US is creating an archive of roll call voting records internationally.