the l-word

Whoddathunkit? ChangeCamp blogger expectedly expressing love of transparency and, plot twist of all plot twists, turns out to be a lobbyist. Yeah, I just dropped the real taboo L-word.

So I’m @withoutayard, meegs to my friends & a registered lobbyist in the province of Ontario. And you may ask yourself-well…how did she get here?

Living in Austin during the last not-quite-as-amazing American federal election, led me to blogging & playing with online communications tools to affect change, raise awareness & spread awesome.  Returning to Canuckistan, I served a tour at the Pink Palace, but never quite mastered the mysterious machinations of political parties.  Unlike @dchartier, I couldn’t cut it in the civil service, even though sound recording policy at Heritage Canada was pretty darn close to a perfect policy-wonkette fit during a brief federal foray.

Combine the forces (read: career failures & bad-fits) & it sort of makes sense, right?  Witnessing the Dean machine go off the rails as a viral video trainwreck, seeing Meetup’s potential beyond UT Japanese exchange & making campaign donations as easy as Amazon blew my mind in ’04 (& broke my heart the night of November 2nd).  True patriot love of responsible government, parliamentary democracy & social justice/equity brought me home & hoping to see these transformative tools used in a Timmy’s.

I doubt I’ll ever get to geek out in a war room or a party HQ.  Partisan politics brings out the agnostic in me.  The thought of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent during a campaign on balloons, signs, buttons & miscellaneous paraphernalia drives me absolutely bonkers.  Working within the system, keeping abreast of legislative issues, regulatory nerdery & jealously eyeing the open source enthusiasm, technological progress & federal government’s paradigm shift to the South is a great fit for now.

Blogging about the last provincial & federal elections, especially the creative campaigns on provincial electoral reform & federal vote-swapping was encouraging.  A taste.   But not enough.

Enter ChangeCamp. Citizen-initiated, non-hierarchical, collaborative & generally all things old-school civics.  We have the tools, skills & thanks to some shindig yesterday in DC, the enthusiasm & momentum.  So let’s do some heavy lifting & make our standards for transparency and engagement the new status quo.  Liberate APIs, wiki-fy policy docs, de-PDF the whole shebang.  Easy.


One Response to “the l-word”

  1. Michael Cayley on January 26th, 2009 7:52 am

    Hey Meghan, the “responsible government” reference is welcomed!

    Who do you think could write the best blog post about rooting this movement in the heritage of responsible government while perhaps even giving it a constitutional arguement?

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