UK Politics

Conservative Party: Harnessing the wisdom of crowds in policy making

News   •   Jan 05, 2010 10:36 GMT

The Conservatives have announced a competition, with a £1million prize, for the best new technology platform that helps people come together to solve the problems that matter to them - whether that's tackling government waste, designing a local planning strategy, finding the best school or avoiding roadworks.

This online platform will then be used by a future Conservative government to throw open the policy making process to the public, and harness the wisdom of the crowd so that the public can collaborate to improve government policy. For example, a Conservative government would publish all government Green Papers on this platform, so that everyone can have their say on government policies, and feed in their
ideas to make them better.

This is in addition to our existing radical commitment to introduce a Public Reading Stage for legislation so that the public can comment on draft bills, and highlight drafting errors or potential improvements.

Launching the competition, Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

"Conservatives believe that the collective wisdom of the British people is much greater than that of a bunch of politicians or so-called experts. And new technology now allows us to harness that wisdom like never before. So at this time of year, when families and friends are getting together, we're announcing a new idea to help the British people get together to help solve the problems that matter to them.

"There are currently no technological platforms that enable in-depth online collaboration on the scale required by Government - this prize is a good and cost-effective way of getting one.

"Too often policy has been ill thought through with disastrous consequences. When formulating and implementing policy why should we not listen to the hundreds of thousands of experts out there?"