What’s next?

So they passed the Digital Economy Bill during “Wash Up” – by the way, has there ever been a more ridiculous yet apt name for a political process? – riding roughshod over democracy and ignoring the flaws in the bill that were repeatedly pointed out to them (I won’t repeat them here, but instead point you towards Steve Lawson’s excellent round up).

So where do we go from here?

We keep on fighting. This is being called the first “social media election”, so let’s turn our gaze to the election process and our future elected representatives.

  • Register to vote

    This is the most important. If you’re not registered you can’t vote.

  • Research your constituency

    Who is your current MP, How strong is their position? Are you in a marginal seat, who are the candidates, where do they stand? Were they implicated during the expenses scandal?

  • Sign up with Democracy Club

    Democracy club is a non-party-political group of volunteers that want to hold candidates to account and motivate the public to get involved with the political process. You’ll be emailed small tasks like describing local issues or photographing campaign leaflets. You’ll be helping to build a resource of accountability.

  • Donate

    Organisations such as the Open Rights Group and MySociety campaign on our behalf and build the tools we use to track what’s happening in the labyrinthian world of politics. Give them some money so they can continue their good work.

  • Write to your MP

    Ask them how they feel about one of the most important bills in the last decade being forced through Parliament in just a couple of days with little-to-no scrutiny. Ask them whether they turned up to the debate, if not, why not? Be polite.

After recent events it would be easy to give up on the political process, but this is exactly the time to get more involved. Let’s show them the power of the network.

Update: There’s lots of good conversation and formulating of plans under the #Debill tag on Twitter.

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  1. Posted Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Did all that:

    My MP (who laudably (1) actually attended the 2nd reading (2) personally responds to WriteToThem contacts within the day) responded that m’Lords “have deep knowledge of the science and the commerce of the didgital world.”

  2. Matt
    Posted Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    It could be interesting to deeply examine government operated websites to see if they fall foul of the same copyright infringements the bill is aimed at!

    Alternatively, point out blatant examples of copyright infringement on media industry websites if they can be found.

    Effectively, demonstrate just how absurd parts of this bill are and how widely interpretive copyright can be.

  3. Posted Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    You mean this kind of thing?

  4. Gideon
    Posted Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    My thoughts on this: the MPs are going to be canvassing on the street over the next few weeks.

    Most people now have ready access to phone cameras (or video cameras) and available access to video-sharing websites.

    If your MP voted for the Bill, you can now call them to account in person — and then post the results online.

    Let’s see how many of them are vaguely aware of the subject they passed the Bill on; and how they react to street-level accountability.