I was asked at a Departmental seminar today whether the eleciton of a Coalition Government would set back Government 2.0. I said I didn’t know, but that even if it did not have as much support from an incoming government as it has had in this term, the main tasks ahead of us were cultural, that the heavy policy lifting had taken place and that I couldn’t see that work being undone by a change of government, though the atmospherics can be important this early in a transition to greater use of Web 2.0 in government.
Anyway, the facts as I see them are as follows:
The two strongest and most vociferous supporters of Government 2.0 in the Ministry of the now ended Rudd/Gillard term of Government were Tanner and Falkner. Of them Tanner’s support was more tech savvy and Falkner’s was more classically based around freedom of information and integrity in Government. As I said on Radio National a week or so ago, I’m very dissappointed that they’re going. They’ll leave a big hole, but the agenda is bigger than both of them and will go on.
Of the ALP politicians that will remain in Parliament, Joe Ludwig is supportive within the ministry. Rudd himself was also keen – he revved his own Department up on it and had agreed to launch the Taskforce – but his office pulled the plug to focus on doing battle with Turnbull over Ute-gate. But of all the politicians in Australia the backbencher Kate Lundy is the pre-eminent Govermnent 2.0 aficionado in the Australian Parliament bar none. Indeed, she’s recognised as one of the world’s leading promoters of government 2.0 in politics. I’ve privately done what I could to promote Kate’s fortunes within this government and am happy to say so publicly. Somehow she got dropped from the ministry on the transition to government. I hope she’ll fare better under the new leadership and if she does it will be a great thing for Government 2.0.
In the Coalition I can’t say I know anyone who is strongly supportive of Government 2.0. Certainly I don’t recall anyone coming forward while the Government 2.0 Taskforce was sitting, in the way that Kate Lundy did. But Opposition members are busy people. So I’m hoping readers and those close to Coalition and Green parliamentarians, or those parliamentarians themselves might point out who amongst them are the champions of Government 2.0, and what might be expected of them.