Vote Geek!

The UK is approaching the next General Election, the smart money is on it being May 6th, neatly falling between Oggcamp and UDS-M although it is just about possible that these two major events are not actually the driving reasons for a May 6th election. So who should you vote for? Who can you vote for? What do the candidates in your constituency think about issues important to the average geek? Good questions all of them, and to provide at least some of the answers we have set up a website where you can find out who is standing in your constituency and with a bit of crowd sourcing (which is where you come in) we can find out what they think. The site launched today and I am very pleased to say we have already had a comment direct from a candidate who will be standing in Hackney South and Shoreditch.
To talk techie for a second, the site is basically a WordPress blog, but not used in the traditional way, all the 650 posts for the constituencies were pre-created and don’t really have a chronological order, we are using WordPress to handle the comments, it is easy to theme and we know it can handle a lot of load.
The theme started out as a blue fixed width layout, I adapted it to a fluid layout (I hate fixed width sites) and changed it away from blue because I didn’t want to have a colour that is strongly associated with any of the parties. I was pondering the new colour options and ended up picking our new favourite colour – Aubergine! The swirly thing was done with the flame filter in the Gimp.
Most of the data about the candidates comes from if you spot any missing or incorrect information then click the candidate name to go to their page on the site and correct it there. All the constituencies get refreshed by a little python script that pulls data from the json API provided by yournextmp.
So the site has two main objectives, firstly to get geeks like me more interested in politics and more aware that they can and should contact their representatives about things that matter, and cast an informed vote. Secondly it is to make the candidates (including the all important winning candidate) aware that there are people in their area who care about issues in the general Free and Open Source arena.
So what do we need you to do now?
Well firstly if you are in the UK please go to and find your constituency. Take a look at your candidates and see what other people have written to them. Think about a question you would like to ask the people who might get your vote and then write them a letter. Leave a comment with your letter and the replies you get so other people in your area can see them too.
If you are of the tweeting/denting persuasion then please mention the site (and your comments on it) along with the #votegeek hashtag.