Joonas Pekkanen from Open Ministry was interviewed at the 2014 Corwdsourcing Week in Copenhagen.
Finnish public broadcasting company YLE writes up about the citizens’ initiatives. It is not as bleak though - Open Ministry is working hard to turn around the situation for the initiative that have been rejected by the parliamentary committees (but are still coming to plenary, where things can change ;)
The Prime Minister’s Office, the Open Ministry and a number of government ministries is organising a fully booked (more than 700 people) event on September 15th in Helsinki - the International Day of Democracy. The Open Finland 2014 showcases the benefits of Open Democracy, Open Data and open everything.
All sessions on the 15th are webcasted including key notes from Bet Simone Noveck and Birgitta Jonsdottir.
The Open Ministry is attending the 24th annual Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland on Sep 2nd to 4th.
The Annual Report of the Open Ministry is finally online. Unfortunately only in Finnish though…
and up for comments on Google Docs.
Presumably, few people would answer to all of these questions with an unreserved “yes”, even if they have basic confidence in the Finnish decision-making processes. Yet the framework that governs those processes is not set in stone, but keeps developing. A significant recent addition to it is the system of citizens’ initiatives.”
Read the complete article on the SixDegrees website: http://www.6d.fi/6d/index.php/feature/40-feature/722-power-to-the-people
The Development Paradox blog just published an update on the latest at Open Ministry. Read the whole story here: http://www.developmentparadox.org/2013/11/the-open-ministry-worlds-first-internet.html
The Democracy One Day blog interviewed Joonas Pekkanen from Open Ministry and published this piece on the Finnish citizens’ initiative system and the Open Ministry: http://democracyoneday.com/2013/08/21/what-are-the-finns-up-to/
Open Ministry in todays Wall Street Journal, http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2013/08/15/open-government-and-open-data-are-not-the-same-thing/
“While governments have thrown out gigabytes of data “to promote transparency,” few — Finland being among them — have done much truly to “empower citizens,” and certainly not the U.K.”
“The problem, said Joonas Pekkanen, a democracy campaigner in Finland, is that there is no sense of empowerment. “Why should the people take it seriously if the government doesn’t take it seriously? You need to change the constitution and give people enough power that they feel they have actual power.”
Finland has done exactly that. Last year it passed the Finnish Citizen’s Initiative, which allows citizens to draft legislation that has to be debated by Parliament.
The idea is powerful because “the politicians now have lost their monopoly on setting their own agenda,” Mr. Pekkanen said. “Now they can be forced to take a process, suggestions that they would never want or come around to putting on their agenda.”
To-be-debated proposals must garner the support of 50,000 people within six months. Although the first proposal, on fur farming, was voted down by Parliament, two more have passed the threshold, one on same-sex marriage and one on copyright laws. They will both be debated.
Mr. Pekkanen said the power lies in crowdsourcing actual draft legislation, not merely in instructing Parliament to debate a topic.
Pretty much every new technology since the printing press has promised to change government; few have. Why should the Internet be any different?”
The main new broadcast in Finland (MTV3 10 o’clock news) on July 22nd of 2013.
The crowdsourced citizens initiative passed the required 50 000 (or 1,2% of the voting population) hurdle to merit parliamentary process.
“This marks a major paradigm shift for internet democracy and consumer rights. Not only in Finland but internationally. This is in fact the start of an international consumer campaign for deeper copyright reform including other organizations who perform these tasks daily such as La Quadrature du Net in France and individuals like Derek Khanna’s camp in the USA. We are all struggling with the vice grip the Entertainment Industries and Silicon Valley have on us - and very few can even begin to understand or map out the manipulation that occurs to this effect on a global scale. Today, we achieved a win, but this is only the beginning in a long road towards separating Industry and State.”
- Joonas Pekkanen, chairman of the Open Ministry