2–3 September 2006
- Murmured beginnings around August 2003
- Set up almost entirely by volunteers
- Launched at NotCon in June 2004
- Winner of the Contribution to Civic Society Award at the New Statesman New Media Awards 2005
- Now part of mySociety
- House of Commons, since May 2001:
Westminster Hall debates,
Written ministerial statements,
Register of Members’ Interests,
Select committee memberships,
- House of Lords, since 1999: Debates, Written answers,
Written ministerial statements
- Both: Voting history, external links, various statistics, and more
Staying on top
- Daily updated (when Parliament is in session) from parliament.uk by a Python scraper and parser
- Changes at their end can prove… frustrating, but some things make it all worthwhile
- In the House of Lords, Lord Gould said we (well, mySociety) were the “probably the biggest single catalyst for political change in this country”
- In the House of Commons, Jack Straw blamed us this July for an increase in Written Questions by MPs, saying it “seems to measure Members' work in quantitative rather than qualitative terms”
- Awarded funding by the Department for Constitutional Affairs
- Build an API, and hold developer events
- Provide access to the data we have, for unthought-of ideas
- getDebates, getWrans, getWMS
Meaty functions to return actual sections of Hansard. Results by date, year, search, person.
- getMPs, getMP, getMPinfo, getLords, getLord
- Fetch lists of MPs or Lords, or information about particular ones.
Individual MPs can be looked up by id, constituency, or postcode
- Given a postcode, this returns the constituency that postcode is in.
- Returns list of constituencies, filtered by date, search term, or proximity to a particular location
- Fetches information on select committees, and their current members
- getGeometry, getBoundary
These functions return geographical information for constituencies, such as
bounding box, centre, area in square metres, and coordinates of its boundary.
Search/filter comments people have left.
- Given a parliament.uk URL, returns an equivalent TheyWorkForYou URL
- This leads to the obvious bookmarklet, the Hansard prettifier.
Should you find yourself on the official site, a simple click on this
and you’ll be taken to the equivalent page on TheyWorkForYou,
if it can be done:
- Niche perhaps, but I find it very useful!
Telnet MP Fight
MP Fab Farts
- TheyWorkForYou is already using some of the new features internally
- Each MP’s page now shows a list of nearby constituencies:
- Hopefully more (useful?) things using the API
- Developer events, in Liverpool (29th September), London and one other to be decided
- TheyWorkForYou public event, November 7th, London – email to book a place
- The last 200 years
- Scotland, Wales, who knows?
It’s all open source, so help, bug reports and patches are very welcome. :-)