True democratic government depends on citizens being able to monitor and participate in the actions and activities of their government. And this is not only true in our country, obviously. Just like Sunlight, My Society in the UK and VisibleGovernment.ca in Canada are applying Web 2.0 tools to facilitate openness and transparency in their governments.
Jennifer Bell, VisibleGovernment.ca’s director, learned of Change Congress‘ national movement to end corruption in Congress. Specifically, Jennifer was impressed by Change Congress asking congressional candidates to make four simple commitments: No money from lobbyists or PACs; vote to end earmarks; support reform to increase congressional transparency; support publicly-financed campaigns. So inspired, her organization has launched I Believe In Open .ca where they are asking candidates to agree to five commitments: Support reforms that increase government transparency and accountability; make campaign promises specific and measurable, and report progress on promises and their metrics at least semi-annually; publish the content of his or her daily schedule (quite similar to our Punch Clock Campaign), including meetings with lobbyists and special interest groups; support reforms allowing free access to scientific and survey data gathered by government institution; and support reforms that make it easier for Canadians to obtain government information they have a right to know.
You can read a good article about VisibleGovernment.ca’s campaign in The Epoch Times, which reports as of October 7, 274 voters and 111 candidates across Canada have signed up. The newspaper quotes Jennifer advocating for the creation of “tools outside of government that give a window on what’s happening inside, and provide incentive and visibility for [government] to modernize their (information technology) systems.”