Finnish Open Ministry Platform

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= a hub for citizens who want new laws voted on in the country’s parliament.

URL = http://openministry.info/


How-To

Joonas Pekkanen:

"The system verifies the people’s identity through the APIs offered by banks and mobile operators. So people can sign the initiatives online with the online banking codes or their mobile phones.” (http://gigaom.com/europe/online-crowdsourcing-can-now-help-build-new-laws-in-finland/)

Status

Live on October 1, 2012

"The first batch of proposals on the Finnish platform is pretty varied: a ban on fur farming, a requirement for all public software procurement to take into account open data and APIs, a ban on energy drinks for under-16s, and a referendum on Finland’s restrictive alcohol laws (the government has a monopoly and prices are sky-high)." (http://gigaom.com/europe/online-crowdsourcing-can-now-help-build-new-laws-in-finland/)


Discussion

BY David Meyer:

"Could it work elsewhere? On a technical level, there is little reason why not. Indeed, the Open Ministry platform is (naturally) open-source and available on GitHub. “We encourage anyone to fork and contribute to it and use it in other countries also,” Pekkanen said.

But a lot of this drive for openness has a cultural and political basis. Perhaps it has something to do with the cold winters (as suggested to me by representatives of the Finnish Innovation Fund in Helsinki this week) or their small-ish populations, but the Nordic countries tend to have relatively close societies where people are enthusiastic about pitching into civic life. Politically, Iceland provides a great example with its partly-crowdsourced constitution.

And in terms of civic-minded tech projects that capitalize on open data, Finland has a particularly impressive roster.


Just a few examples:

  1. The Helsinki Region Infoshare project, which collates and offers up municipal datasets.
  2. APIs for official campaign-funding audit data.
  3. The crowdsourced digitization of Finland’s national archives.

That’s give-and-take activity, with some projects engendering trust between citizenry and government, and others benefitting from trust being there in the first place – people are less likely to contribute to an officially-sanctioned project if they think it’s pointless or exploitative." (http://gigaom.com/europe/online-crowdsourcing-can-now-help-build-new-laws-in-finland/)