The occasional piece of comment about life, the universe and everything.
To avoid further frustration, it should be clearer that this software isn't supported on an open source platform.
I described earlier why the existing European Commission campaign is not and won't be a campaigning tool, and a way of provide an out of the box solution that costs a fraction of the existing one.
We have been running the ECI software provided by the European Commission for a few weeks now. As we are the first to have been able to get it to work, we would like to offer some advice. This document makes most sense as background document and we would welcome any correction from the European Commission (officially or not). In a few words:
- the look and usability are aweful.
- The regulation makes it difficult to collect signatures, the provided software almost impossible.
- Based on our tests, we are loosing 90% of the people trying to sign. This is significantly worse than any other campaigning software
- Because it needs to be certified, we can't improve the software, no matter how "open source" it is
- The certification and risk analysis takes months and nearly 10000 euros and require expensive infrastructure (eg. dedicated server) than most ECI can't afford
- The EC refuses to acknowledge the problems or take into account the suggested steps to fix
- We are in a point were it's more effective to consider the half a million spend on the development lost and develop a real open source software that takes into account the needs of the campaigners
The European Citizen Initiative is a great idea introduced in the Lisbon treaty: every citizen can start an initiative, collect 1 million signatures and have the European Commission respond, in the best case launching a legislative proposal (The European Commission is the only EU institution that has the power to initiate legislation at the EU level). Since the beginning, this idea has been welcomed with a mix of interest (citizens could become more active and engaged with the EU affairs, which could contribute to narrow the EU’s democratic deficit) and fear (we will get extremists using it to push crazy ideas... or simply because institutions don’t like changes). But keep in mind that the initiative is basically a super petition, and that the only legal consequence is that the commission has to reply, not make a law or actually do anything.
I'm not saying that governments (national and the European commission) have actively done all they could to sabotage this great idea, but if I had to make a great idea impractical, I would certainly use the way the Commission has dealt with this one as an inspiration.