This whole RateMyTD idea went around the irishblogs a while ago and I’m just going to add more thoughts to it now and see will others join the debate. I got on to people in the Oireachtas and they said they had no plans for RSS feeds or XML feeds of speeches or Podcasts or any kind of audio feed. Mentioned stuff about editing and they don’t want to and this is their reason. It might be to do with TDs being able to say what they want in the Dáil and not getting into a libel action. Perhaps if this was stored as audio or video the publisher could get done for libel.
I was reminded of the Live Dáil coverage which they don’t keep archives of. When I asked why TDs emails and phone numbers were not on the website anymore they didn’t seem to know and I was told consult the phone book. This is E-Government!
So, first job for RMTD is to get proper contact info together for TDs. Second is to find a way of taking the speeches and ripping out the fancy decorations and exporting to a raw XML format which can be used in different applications. Third is maybe to channel the TV feed and store it somewhere and extract the audio and allow podcasts. Fourth is to then start building the apps to break up the XML feeds so we can populate a database that can be used to find how many speeches the TDs made, what are their views on whatever subject matter. Fifth would be to mix the audio speeches with the text of them allowing people to search audio feeds for quotes.
That’s transparency, I wonder can it only be achieved by an NGO?