(Edit: This was part of the previous post, but it was kind of an overwhelming wall of text. Breaking that post up should be less intimidating.)
Soon I am going to start generating (“collecting” really) content surrounding a specific issue in Canadian political discourse. A timely topic would be electoral reform. I perceive electoral reform to be a highly important concern for a minority of Canadians, and a confounding topic for a very large majority of Canadians. Electoral reform doesn’t seem to be a huge news media story right now, but there are grassroots rallies happening across the country right now, and there was A LOT of discussion around electoral reform during the fallout of the recent federal election.
Also, just to get my personal politics on the record, I am in favour of electoral reform, but can’t fully articulate the benefits and disadvantages of different systems.
What are the arguments?
What is the general belief among the public?
What do the “professionals” say?
What are the facts? How can I differentiate facts from editorial commentary, opinion, and professional assumption?
I think this week’s game plan will be to gather enough information about electoral reform, electoral concerns and electoral history to understand what the hell I am talking about. Following that, I’ll round up a number of “digital information dissemination systems” and see what the pros and cons of each system would be if I were to plug the electoral reform research into each format. I feel that charts are going to be involved…
So far I am thinking of analysing: snopes.com, wikileaks, OpenFile, Wikipedia/wikis, twitter and a traditional news website (globe and mail, toronto star etc.)
For the few people out there who are keeping tabs on the progress of OpenCan, please pass this project on to other people who might be interested. Also, please email me or reply with a comment to this post if you have any questions or suggestions for me.