Bob Spink has written an Early Day Motion (EDM) that asks mySociety to add Early Day Motions to TheyWorkForYou. You can read it here.
TheyWorkForYou doesn’t currently include EDMs for a couple of reasons:
1. They’re clearly less important to what Parliament does than Bills and committees, and are way down the priorities list as a consequence. We’ve nearly finished the process of adding bill committees, but we need the help of everyone who can lend a hand to overcome the opposition of senior unelected officials to get Bills published in a way we and others can use. If you haven’t already, please join the Free Our Bills campaign.
2. We are very tightly constrained by the amount of money we have, and we barely have enough to keep the site running, let alone add every new feature requested.
3. We’re a bit wary about EDMs in general because they’re not tied to any actual power. But that’s a reason to warn and educate readers, not exclude them from the account of Parliament.
So, if you really want EDMs on TheyWorkForYou, then, there are two things you can do. The first is donate to our parent charity, UKCOD. The second is to push in every way you can to get Bills published in the way we’ve asked for. That means writing to your MP, or if you are an MP, asking the modernisation committee and the Leader’s office what they’re doing to push past internal opposition to get Bills done right.
NB. Interestingly, the internal opposition is so ill-informed that we have it in writing they they think that TheyWorkForYou already includes EDMs – doh!
What’s wrong with the existing EDM database? Granted, it’s not pretty or API-able, but it works. I can see details of all the EDMs an MP has signed and tabled, hence meeting the stated objective of the EDM in question. Sure, an RSS feed would be nice, but there are bigger fish out there waiting to be fried.
The inference I got from reading that EDM, is that they’d like EDMs to be part of TWFY because they think a lot of people are using it and would like the users of TWFY to be able to see the EDMs their MPs are signing. As an MP you’d presumably be in favour of this if you think the public’s view of your EDM ‘record’ would be ‘above average’…
Maybe mySociety could commit to adding EDMs to TWFY if Parliament were to provide a convenient API/feed to allow the data to be grabbed with as little effort as possible. This would then provide another opportunity for MPs to encourage the House Authorities to provide data in useful formats.
EDMs are Parliamentary graffiti. There are far more important things to worry about.
Where are the EDMs kept now? I’d have expected to find them at:
but those only go up to 2004.
I like the question it was very imaginative. I have another question given the state of the economy..
what could the Government do that would cost absolutely nothing?
Simply changing to the law, or even policy will always have some cost but I am happy to ignore that. “Nothing” can mean at no cost outside of existing budgets.