White House Opens Up For Questions About The Economy
from the but-what-about-answers? dept
I’ve been a bit critical for the Obama administration’s lack of transparency and inclusion on certain issues — or rather, their claims of being “transparent” and “inclusive” by simply asking their mailing list to “sell” the packages put together in backrooms. I was hoping for a much more participatory process whereby citizens actually could take part a bit earlier in the process. So, it’s good to see a step in the right direction, as the White House has announced its Open For Questions initiatives (thanks to everyone who sent this in). The site lets people ask questions of the president, and lets people see and vote on each other’s questions. The President will then answer a few of the “top” questions.
This is definitely a nice thing to add, but I’m hopeful that it ends up going further. At this point, it seems like nothing much more than a glorified suggestion/Q&A box. Rather than involving the community to tackle the questions raised, it simply gives them to the President to answer back. Real participation is about allowing the community to help out — not just pass big questions up to the top. Obviously, it’s still quite early in the administration, so hopefully we’ll see more participatory tools on the way as well. This is definitely a good step — and I don’t mean to take away from it. But, I’m going to keep pushing for further participation and further transparency because I think it could be quite powerful and transformative.