[Start] New Zealand mixdemocracy party

David Hovell david.hovell at xtra.co.nz
Thu Sep 3 16:11:41 EDT 2009

Thanks Owen,
I will take a look at those links. I would say mine is also more in the "vision" category than actual plan. Have been pulling bits and pieces of ideas together and still researching.

From: Owen Ambur <Owen.Ambur at verizon.net>
To: Metagovernment Startup Committee <start at metagovernment.org>
Cc: Phil Driver <phil at openstrategies.com>; TomL at communisphere.com
Sent: Thursday, 3 September, 2009 3:36:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Start] New Zealand mixdemocracy party

Dave, if you’d care to share it, I may wish to convert
your plan to StratML format for inclusion in our collection at http://xml.gov/stratml/index.htm#Other 
BTW, Ed et al., here’s another interesting site: http://beyondvoting.wikia.com/wiki/Beyond_Voting 
While I can’t say that it appears they have an actual plan, they do have
a vision and it might be good to try to engage them.
Owen Ambur
Co-Chair Emeritus, xmlCoP  
Co-Chair, AIIM StratML Committee
Member, AIIM iECM Committee 
Invited Expert, W3C eGov IG
Communications/Membership Director, FIRM Board  
Former Project Manager, ET.gov 
From:start-bounces at metagovernment.org
[mailto:start-bounces at metagovernment.org] On Behalf Of Ed Pastore
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 10:54 PM
To: Metagovernment Startup Committee
Subject: [Start] New Zealand mixdemocracy party
Hi, David.
I hope you don't mind that I'm replying on-list, but I think
other people on the list might have more to say than do I. And generally, we
prefer to do stuff on-list in the spirit of "transparency in
There are a few political parties which act along the lines
you are describing. You may wish to contact them to see if they would want to
offer direct experiences. The ones I know of are:
Australia: http://www.senatoronline.org.au/
Sweden: http://demoex.net/en/
USA: http://freegovernment.org/ (site is down?)
I have invited the first two to this list, but have not
heard back (would someone else like to try?) Foy Savas of FreeGovernment
is already on this list, though usually inactive. I would think particularly
the Australians would be helpful to you.
I don't think 2011 is too soon to get involved. I don't know
anything about NZ politics, but my impression is that folks there are somewhat
more politically active than the norm and may well be receptive to a more
democratic proposition. And generally, social media trends can develop quite
quickly, so if you have a good campaign, there is nothing to stop it from
growing as much as possible. 
But again, the above projects might have better ideas. I
know SenatorOnline did not have enough time to have the impact they desired in
2007, but their window was very small.
My suggestion would be to structure big but target small.
That is, target the local government in your town, but make a party structure
that is amenable to taking on local (and larger) governments all over New
Zealand. I believe that is how DemoEx did it, and they seem to be the most
successful of all. But if you think it would be better to target the national
parliament, then given the MMP structure, I guess you would have to try for a
full-blown national campaign from the start.
For branding, well... my experience is with American
politics, where all voters are assumed to be dumber than dirt, so campaigns are
embarrassingly stupid. I just can't speak to what would work in New Zealand.
I hope this helps. Hopefully others will chime in with more
helpful ideas.
On Sep 1, 2009, at 11:11 PM, David Hovell wrote:

Hi Ed,
I live in New Zealand and have a strong interest in politics and specifically
better forms of democracy. I read your introduction page & various comments
on the metagovt site, and I would say I concur with your ideology.

In New Zealand we have an "MMP" system, mixed member proportional,
part of which means a party needs a minimum of 5% of the vote to get seats in
parliament, which for our voting population is around 120,000 votes which gets
you 6 seats in a 120 seat parliament.

I have been working on a plan for some time to start a party, the basis of
which is to use the internet to guage the members' opinions on issues which are
in front of parliament, then present those views to MPs on behalf of the
members. If/when the party got voted in, then there is obviously a greater
voice for the members and maybe they could present their own issues to. I would
hope to appeal to younger voters, the politically disenfranchised/unegaged,
anyone who wants to have there voice heard. The intention is for the party to
be non-partisan (I realise that's an oxymoron!) but rather look at issues
individually making recommendations based on what the members want.

To me the above idea seems so simple and positive, I can't imagine why it
wouldn't be successful.

I'll keep perusing the site, but if you or any of your members have any
pointers/ suggestions/ reasons why it wouldn't work etc, I would be very
interested to hear... In fact it would be great if you could email this around to
the group in case anyone is able to assist with ideas. I joined your
"start" mailing list already and have had a few of the emails.

I'm just a private individual with an idea and a family to support—so a
VERY limited budget but lots of enthusiasm. I intend to use Yola to make and
host my website at least initially to keep costs down. I consider myself to be
quite smart and logical but have no political training or experience. To me
that should not hold a person back from being involved. My background is in
Supply Chain, most recently Demand Planning which entails determining
statistically what people want and where and planning the resources to make it
happen, kind of fitting.

Some questions are: What name/ branding/ advertising would be most effective in
gaining support? Simple or complex methodologies? I think simple would have
wider appeal but not sure. Is it realistic to contest the next election which
is in 2011? I want to keep it simple and manageable for a start, not try and
bite off more than I can chew.
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