About Calgary Democracy
This is an independent collection of information relevant to elections and government in Calgary.
At the core, I’m currently intending the project to be about the collection of all available information about the people seeking to represent us, or who have already been representing us. I also hope to use it as a tool to foster democratic dialogue in our communities.
There are a lot of ideas I have for the website and the project as a whole. I hope others will bring even more ideas for this. It is my intent for this project to be built collaboratively to reflect the diversity of viewpoints and interests in this city.
Some of the things I hope to eventually see here:
- Detailed profiles of every candidate and elected representative — past and present.
- Profiles on the individual wards, ridings and districts.
- Archives of, or links to, news and blog stories about the politicians.
- Voting records of all elected officials (this one is a particularly tall order).
- Pages covering specific issues. (E.g., a bicycle commuting page might include links to relevant news stories, results from relevant candidate survey questions, the relevant voting history of officials, links to applicable laws/by-laws/policies/etc., …).
- Surveys and polls for candidates and community members.
- Dialogue forums for the community to discuss candidates and issues. This one is kind of scary given how easily it could turn into a shouting match, so I’m investigating options for facilitating this in a way that fosters civil dialogue.
The project started during the 2007 municipal election in Calgary when I (Grant Neufeld) set up a simple little website to list all the relevant weblinks that could be found about the candidates running in that election.
The project quickly expanded to incorporate video interviews with candidates, posted online.
Following that election, I had a couple of people who told me directly that the reason they voted at all was because of the information they were able to find through that website. This unexpected outcome prompted me to turn what had been a one-off, throw-away, website into an ongoing project I called “Calgary Democracy”.
Since then, I have been working on a website database system for tracking candidate information in elections affecting Calgarians. This has been run, in various incarnations, through elections (most effectively in the 2010 Municipal Election).
This website was built using Ruby on Rails. Its open source code is found in the “
democracy” branch of the Wayground project.
Where applicable, Microformats are used to make the pages on this website readable by software. For example, the candidates lists are encoded with hCard so that the information can be turned into contact lists that can be used by things like address book software.
Copyright & Licensing
All of the text on this website is freely licensed under a Creative Commons License requiring attribution for any reuse (including derivative work).
For photos and other media, licensing terms may vary. Please see the individual attributions for those works for licensing details.
The Ubuntu Font Family and the Font Awesome icon font, are open font collections licensed for free use.