Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Question Time

The Obama transition web page just gets more and more intriguing.

... the Obama transition team has just rolled out an innovative new feature on its Web site, hoping to carry through on the President-elect's campaign promises of greater government transparency.

It's a page entitled "Open For Questions," in which anyone can submit questions to the transition and, subsequently, to the administration.

The rub, though, is this: The public is able to vote on how much they'd like certain queries to be a priority, and the voting tally is visible -- which means it'll be tougher for the Obama team to not answer questions that participants clearly want answered.

Here's how it works: Users get three options in voting on a question. They can vote in favor of a question being answered; they can vote against it being answered; or they can flag the question as inappropriate.

The Obama team is clearly exposing itself to a bit of a risk here. It could find itself choosing between answering an uncomfortable question and ducking one that the public is clamoring for an answer to. And if the state of the country fails to improve (or gets even worse) over the next few years, the public could also end up registering more and more negative questions.

The new page is here.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic.