As an open source developer I collaborate with other developers on projects. More so now I’m working with Code For The People (best WordPress agency in the world, obvs).
Thanks to James Smith starting the OpenPolitics Manifesto I’ve thoroughly enjoyed applying that same collaborative spirit to a political endeavour. When you have something you want to add to the manifesto (anyone can) a pull request is created.
Collaborators, and anyone else, can then comment on that pull request – thus starts the debate. And that’s the big enjoyment for me.
We offer our views on a topic, but there’s never a sense of argument. It’s good, intellectual debate with everybody considering the merits of their own and others’ opinions at once. Changes of opinion are not uncommon as a result, such as Paul’s abstination-turned-shock at Royal immunity, and often there is a fantastic effort to reach consensus, such as this one on MPs remuneration.
Another great aspect to the collaboration is the use of evidence. Although plenty was being offered, I added a note to remind folks to ask for evidence in support of any claims made. Admittedly, I’m guilty of breaking that rule a few times myself, and sometimes evidence is scarce. As I type, Tim has posted a fantastic example of using evidence to look at a proposal.
I’m doubtful as to whether this would ever translate to the manifesto of an official political party (if it does, it already has a name) but the effort in itself is a great way to put a mirror up to your own political beliefs and challenge them in a constructive, collaborative way.