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Posted on Fri, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:57 AM by Andrew Chadwick

Bristol City Council have launched Campaigncreator, a website and set of basic tools to get citizens started. It is quite similar to the BBC's Action Network, launched a couple of years ago. But take a look at Campaigncreator's 'Terms and Conditions':


CampaignCreator provides users with access to information and online tools intended to be used solely for the purposes of community campaigning (“Service”). You understand and agree that the Service is part of a pilot project and is provided "as is" and that CampaignCreator assumes no responsibility for failures within the system.

The Campaign Creator application and guidance can only be used to support “community campaigns”.

A “community campaign” in the context of this project is recognised to be separate from

(1) a “political campaign” (which is primarily concerned with securing stated party political objectives or has the aim of securing political office),

(2) a “marketing campaign” (whose primary objective is increasing take up of a specific product or service) and,

(3) “national” or “international” campaigns (whose initial intent is to operate over the widest geographical area).

In the context of this project, “a community campaign” is likely to concern an issue, idea, proposal, policy or action that is intended to bring benefits or improvements to

(1) a local geographical area (a street, ward, neighbourhood or small geographical area within Bristol, UK) or

(2) a community of interest such as a demographic group (older people, younger people, disabled people etc) or a group linked by a shared concern (use or non-use of a service etc).

Where there is a question as to whether CampaignCreator is being used to support a “community campaign” the Project Manager, or representative,will seek to establish agreement with the principal campaigner. Where agreement cannot be reached the judgement of the project board will be final."

I can see what they're trying to achieve, but I'm not sure if it's wise to try to circumscribe things in this way. How many 'local' campaigns do not touch on 'party political objectives'? They're going to lose quite a few potential activists if they strictly enforce the 'non-party political' condition. Also, how many local issues in a unitary political system like the United Kingdom are untouched by 'national' or 'international' policy domains? Think of environmental issues, for example. They're going to lose quite a few potential activists there too, especially among younger citizens.

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