Open Parliament

A new site launched quietly a couple of days ago: Openparliament.ca is a great place to find out what’s going on in that house of mirrors on the hill. A voluntary effort by Michael Mulley, it offers you:

  • Hansard, but formatted (finally!) in a way that is sensible, daily topic by daily topic, or, of course, by date
  • a place to use your postal code to discover what your MP has been up to, including any Twitter posts, mentions in the press, and speeches in the House
  • a list of all MPs, linked to their recent speeches in the House
  • a list of former MPs, going back to 1994, similarly linked
  • information on who has voted for current bills and what they’ve said about them, and
  • the ability to sign up for an email telling you that your MP has broken silence in the House (and, presumably, pointing you to what was said)

This is a beautiful site, well designed and cunningly constructed from data that is publicly available but not formatted (properly, i.e. XML) so as to be re-mixable, as it ought. Mulley, a programmer and linguist, did the hard work of taming the data so that he could serve it up in a way that’s useful. (These internets, they do seem to bring out the best in some people, whatever else can be laid at their door.) I’m very impressed — and grateful.

[hat tip: @JacobGlick]

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