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.

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Comments on “White House Opens Up For Questions About The Economy”

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Manny says:

the mewling of girly men

Whine whine whine. He used a teleprompter for his opening statement! He’s so arrogant he answers questions in complete paragraphs instead of in sound bites I can understand! He’s priming the pump to avoid a depression after my heroic marketworshippers concocted a $50 trillion unregulated credit default swap market that brought the financial system to its knees! He won’t answer my question about why he’s stoopid! He’s a socialist! He’s not angry enough about the bonuses! He’s too angry! His wife has big arms! Whine whine whine.

Don says:

Stop the bleeding

I’m sorry but the wind-bags in Washington cant get us out of this mess. They have no common sense or street smarts.To stop the bleeding you apply pressure directly to the wound.The tax payers should get the bail-out not the banks or wall street. It’s the tax payers money to begin with.Please return it so we can buy products and stimulate the economy. Respectfully, Don

Anonymous Coward says:

Answering questions is not being inclusive. Inclusive is working with people on the solutions from the beginning, not answering the questions after the fact.

This is an old tried and true consulting trick. It is nothing more than a moderated workshop, led by the consultant. You bring a bunch of people in a room and talk to them about the problem and then guide them to the solution that you have already came up with. When the process is done, the people in the room actually believe that they came up with the solution and have more buy in.

It is actually a very good technique if you do it right. Of course, it is a sham, but it works.

Larry Dillon says:

President Obama

Mr. president,We voted for you and believe in your leadership 100% WE PRAY BOTH PARTIES DEM.&Rep. parties would get their priorities together and support you so this economy will turn to the point putting americans to work faster and projects viable to the most needed project to the mondaine means jobs. We are lucky my wife workd for Wal-Mart 16yrs. we have insurence and benifits allowing us to live in Alaska,and now here in Kailua Kona,Hawaii. Your leadership is driven to represent the people of America and you have accomplished a lot already and do not slow down sir. We need your leadership and pray for your safety and your families safety harm not to touch you in anyway. God Bless you Mr. president go forward undonted with an open mind yours tasks are monumentel but win able. I could not handle this task and would not wish this on anyone,God has you on this path and you must keep vigulent as Mr. Lincoln much is to be done and you remaine focused with telopromter and all at your means your heart is for us the American public we do apprediate how and why your goals are moving forward. Mr. King’s I have a dream for all Gods children and you are it the dream,leader of compassion and love. God Bless You Mr. president and w/love Larry & Pam Dillon

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