26 March 2010

Walk Like a Geek? Talk Like a Geek? Vote Geek

As you may have noticed, there's some kind of political thingy happening in a few weeks' time. Too often, the geek vote is simply ignored amid all the exictement. As readers of this blog will appreciate, that's wrong at many levels: there are lots of us and we know what we're talking about when it comes to technology (unlike most politicians).

Here's a fine initiative that wants to do something about that sad state of affairs. Called “Vote Geek”, it demands “Technocracy not Idiocracy”:

Welcome to Vote Geek, our mission is to find out where the candidates in the forthcoming UK General Election stand on issues of technology.

The website depends on your participation, we need you to write to your candidates and ask them what their views are on the issues that matter to you.

First find your constituency using the search or list of counties to the right. We are gathering information on the standing candidates and how to contact them, if it is incomplete or wrong then please leave a comment and it will be corrected. You can see what other people have written to the candidates and you can leave copies of letters you have written to them, plus any responses you get back.

Although this website is run by a bunch of Free and Open Source Software enthusiasts it is not here to tell you what to think, it is here to find out what the candidates think. If you think the Digital Economy Bill is a good thing for you then please do write to your candidates asking for their support and post the responses here. Which ever way they respond would be just as interesting as a response to someone with a negative opinion. It would of course be very interesting if a candidate’s views changed depending on how the question was asked!
This is a really great move, and the people behind it are to be commended for being both civic-minded and geeky. I urge everyone to pose some suitably burning questions relating to technology to their candidates and to post the results to this site. Speaking from personal experience, I know that these letters do have an impact, if only because they get candidates say something about technology, which requires at least some thought by them and/or their handlers. If enough of us do it, it will bring home to future MPs that technology is important and that geek power shouldn't be overlooked.

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