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Germany's Friesland mulls using Pirate's open source decision-making tool

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The Friesland district could be the country's first to use LiquidFeedback, a web-based open source decision-making tool developed for the Pirate Party. The administration of 'Landkreis Friesland' will decide early next month if it will use the software to involve online its almost one hundred thousand citizens in its political discussion and decision process.

On the website of the district, the administration explains why it wants to use LiquidFeedback. "Communities are looking for ways to involve their citizens in local decisions. Often, residents can express their opinion, but never find out whether and how their arguments were taken into account and if they influenced the decision. LiquidFeedback works around this problem by allowing citizens take a position on topics, and to submit their own constructive suggestions."

In May, the district council unanimously decided for a pilot project, voting for a proposal by council member Sven Ambrosy. Friesland will vote on the next phase on 11 July.

The district will most likely make the tool available to the citizens in November. It will use the software to involve citizens in all of the political decisions. Their votes will be taken into account by the district, but will not be binding. The test will run for a year.

LiquidFeedback, published as open source using the MIT licence, is mainly developed by the Public Software Group in Berlin. The tool was originally written for use by the members of the Pirate Party in the capital. Now, all Pirate Party chapters in the country use the tool to develop political decisions. The software is meanwhile also used by Slow Food Germany and by the German IT retail firm Synaxon.

More information:
LiquidFeedback
Liquid Feedback in Landkreis Friesland (in German)
Spiegel news item (in German)
Taz news item (in German)

 

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