Britain’s Conservative Party has announced that it plans to offer a tax-payer-funded prize of £1 million to the winner of a competition to create an online platform to ‘harness the collective wisdom of the British people’ to solve ‘common problems’.
The winner of what the Tories believe will be the biggest prize offered by the British government ‘in the modern era’ must create a website which will enable the general public to share their ideas in order to create a genuinely beneficial outcome.
The party believes that no current platform exists that can enable the scale of online collaboration required, although its ideas for ‘getting the ball rolling’ include picking the England squad for the 2010 World Cup. Surely that’s a problem that is already getting enough millions thrown at it, without help from any crowds other than those planning to attend the matches.
The Guardian suggests that Labour and Liberal Democrats view the competition as a gimmick which is likely to be quietly dropped in the new year.
It could be argued that a distributed, collaborative crowdsourcing platform for selecting the UK’s government has already been created… one which enables citizens to tick a box to indicate who they fancy for the job. That said, maybe the ‘first-past-the-post’ system could be rebranded ‘Electer’.
Whether Electer‘s use in 2010 will demonstrate whether the Crowd truly has any Wisdom, remains to be seen.
photo : Victoria Peckham (cc)