The web keeps popping up interesting experiences all the time – today I had another.
I subscribe to Get Up!. They are an activist group. I have to admit, I don’t really know who is behind them, but they don’t seem to be directly affiliated with any mainstream political group. Get Up harness the power of the web to promote well thought out campaigns on a wide variety of issues… Cluster bombs to saying Sorry. The most recent one was Public Transport.
Get Up asked its 280,000 odd members to write a message to their local member of parliament, which they said would be duly delivered. It’s an issue close to my heart, so I wrote to Kelvin Thompson – I thought it was a good little letter. I hope he liked it.
Now sometime over the weekend I got a message from a friend of mine, (a far more politically motivated person than I), about the launch of OpenAustralia.org, a website that lets you track the performance of your local member of parliament via email alerts, and just generally simplifies access to the formidable amount of information passing through parliament. So, naturally, I sign up to receive alerts about Kelvin – he’s not a high profile pollie, so I’ve no idea how active he is in the house and whether he’s earning my vote. OA tells me that he got really busy around the end of May, but has been pretty quiet since, so I was confident I wasn’t going to be swamped by email alerts.
Imagine my surprise when this afternoon, I get an alert… Kelvin said something! So, I head off to the site to see what he’s banging on about and what do you know?
In the last couple of weeks GetUp! has engaged in a follow-up to that initiative, with an email campaign promoting the need for public transport infrastructure. I have received around 200 of these emails and I dare say other MPs would have received similar correspondence. The GetUp! members take the trouble to personalise their emails, which I think is a good thing.
I think he’s read my email! … I am mildly impressed to have seen the political wheels turn so quickly.
Oh, and by the way, subscribe to Get Up! they do good stuff!