Open Source in Politics?

Lora Bentley

No, this time we're not talking about open source software and voting machines. Instead, it's open source as "vote getter." Monday, ZDNet blogger Dana Blankenhorn pointed out that politicians in the UK are arguing over open source:

Tory leader David Cameron has a blog...where a recent entry includes praise for open source:
We'll champion open source software, not big clunking mainframe solutions. No more NHS computers, much more open platform projects that can be broken down into their component parts.

But Cameron doesn't stop there, Blankenhorn says. He went on to associate open source values such as transparency and "bottom-up change" with the party platform.

 

Similar parallels have been drawn in the U.S., according to Blankenhorn. Look at Sen. Obama's (D-Ill.) call for increased openness.

 

The lesson to be learned here, in Blankenhorn's words:

The question of open source is not a partisan one. But it does represent a rising tide, something which rhetorically sounds right to those in opposition... Whether a move to open source by government will make any real difference in policy remains to be seen. I suspect that it's in how tools are used, rather than how they're built, where the political rubber meets the political road.


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