Moore on an Open Version Control System for Legislation

David Moore of Participatory Politics Foundation (PPF) has posted Yes, let’s stride towards an open VCS for legislation (or, GitHub for laws on OC), at the OpenCongress Blog.

David’s post is a response to Abe Voelker’s recent post entitled GitLaw: GitHub for Laws and Legal Documents – a Tourniquet for American Liberty.

Here is David’s description of his new post:

I finally got around to posting a rambling blog post response on OC [OpenCongress]: yes, let’s move towards an open VCS [version-control system] for legislation. My major points :

  1. GitLaw is inherently desirable, both for accountability & data-driven lawmaking & mitigating corruption;
  2. Powerful hurdles / objections exist, viz. that leg[islative] process is too idiosyncratic for Git to account for; putting aside institutional foot-dragging & lack of transparency culture;
  3. But using GitHub or new VCS features in open-source code on OC to draft bills w[ith] public & expert commentary before they’re submitted to legacy Congressional processes is perfectly feasible today; with a focus on specific topics or issue areas where fewest changes would potentially be made to draft legislation once in official channels;
  4. PPF seeks non-profit funding support to build GitLaw features in open standards & open-source Rails code on OpenCongress.

… input welcome. Drafting leg[islation] in public before submitting would be a fine & significant step forward for #opengov, it seems to me, towards a two-way continual reciprocal platform for constituent communication & participatory democracy.

David adds:

one main claim [of his post is that] better #UIs [user interfaces] are possible for #GitLaw.

For more information, please see David’s complete post.

Many thanks to David for granting permission to post his summary.

For my earlier response to Voelker, click here.

This entry was posted in Applications, Others' scholarly or sophisticated blogposts, Technology developments and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Moore on an Open Version Control System for Legislation

  1. legalinformatics says:

    New: @ontolawgy — using the moniker “A Federalist” — comments on @ppolitics ‘ post on GitLaw

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