Good afternoon. Good evening for some of you.
We're now convening meeting six of the Standing Joint Committee of the Library of Parliament.
We have some distinguished guests today. Señora Soledad Ferreiro is director of the Library of Parliament of Chile in Santiago.
From the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland we have Mr. John Pullinger, librarian and director general of the Department of Information Services.
From the House of Lords of the United Kingdom we have Mr. Benet Hiscock, director of public information, the Information Office.
If members of the committee agree, we'll start with a presentation from Chile. I understand that Señora Serrano has a ten-minute opening statement.
Are you ready, Señora Ferreiro?
I will read through this. I don't want to go past my ten minutes.
Our report starts with this invitation that we had to join Parliament 2020 to research and act on citizen involvement with parliamentary issues and democracy building, but it has special meaning for us, as it was expected to become a global stage of conversation for us for the future, conversations on the past, and sharing concerns and practices among these countries.
In our country I have to say that we have had some drivers that have changed our environment, one of them related to the transparency law that has been enacted with very good results, and many of the offices had to put out all their information to be used and reused. Along with this there is the growth of the Internet. The penetration of the Internet in Chile is the highest in Latin America, and also there is the big power, as a result of this penetration. People have joined all sorts of social networks, so we do have many more people talking and addressing themselves and creating new realities than we did before.
Whatever we had to do we had to take into account these changes in Chile. Our first assignment was in South Africa and the IFLA meeting, the chapter for parliamentary libraries. I was in the Parliament and I presented how we were using social networks. Mr. Pullinger and Mr. Bill Young came to talk to me and asked about the possibility of joining Parliament 2020. At that time we already had commitments with the IDB, the Inter-American Development Bank, in Washington, on a project that was meant to strengthen the relationship of the Library of Congress with citizens and with members of Congress, so we had started our research around audiences. What we did was develop an innovation unit within the library, and that really had to understand the audiences very well so we could make services and really be partners with good consumer experience.
The head of the innovation group chose to use a methodology from the Kellogg Foundation, which is called integrated marketing, which Bobby Calder wrote. This methodology meant to analyze the conflicts of values that people had pertaining to certain issues, and see in what way we, as a library, could do services for them. For instance, for MPs we developed vigorously. We sent them and we made two questions. We asked, what do you do in Congress, and then we asked what do you do in your constituency? We said don't answer anything from the library that you don't want to.
With all of this information we made transcripts and we analyzed and we could see that most of them had a lot of problems on how to be a good MP in both places. A second classical concern was how to be a good legislator and not lose one's re-election. Considering the conflicts they had, we developed a tool, which is a portal for the MPs, where we addressed all the issues and made them prominent.
Part of it was that the library did not have a research service for the members of Parliament, so part of our research work made us create this research service at the same time.
We came into Parliament 2020, then, when we already were having all these things raised by different people and we already were analyzing the information. At the same time, we were seeing how we could fit into the logic of Parliament 2020.
When I was reading this morning the two reports, I could see how different our approach would be; we're at a different stage of research, with a different focus on how to research, using a different methodology.
This methodology has meant a lot of work: i.e., observing people, ethnographies, filming, listening, focus groups, and focal groups. Youngsters were part of our analysis, and were part of the analysis of Parliament 2020. We worked with children from 14 to 16 years old, and from 16 to 18 years old. As a result, we got from them the conflicts of values, how they were pulled by their parents who wanted them to be someone in life, who wanted them to have a career, when they wanted to be themselves and do something else totally different.
With all of the conflicts, a big concern in Parliament was that the youngsters were not voting in Chile. They were not registering to vote. We developed a game, called Delibera, which is a tournament game, competitive, available to people through social networks and ICT backgrounds. This year we are starting our third Delibera tournament.
These young students present motions, and they have to compete with other schools through the west. We arrive at a final group of five schools, and this year different schools will do this competition, live competition. That has proven to be very important, because it covers the regions. You go there, get all the schools, then the schools start competing through motions. We teach them. We work with the universities in each of these places.
So Delibera is starting to be a very powerful tool in dealing with the children.
I don't know how many minutes I have left.
Well, we decided to participate in this project though we knew we were offside. Do you know what I mean? We were already doing a project of this sort, but with commitments with IDB, which if they were not good, we would not get our money.
Anyhow, we were very curious, you know? We wanted to be involved in a group. We are way down in the south and it was really an honour to be invited. We wanted to be involved with a selected group and have conversations, so we got into it. We did the surveys, as we were told; we did the transcripts, but we never analyzed them. We sent them to the Hansard Society, where they were going to analyze them for us. But in talking with Andy Williamson last summer, we learned that the Hansard Society has a lot of budget problems, so we have not done that work. I have to promise that we should do that work and see what the results were.
It was very good for us, in our experience with Parliament 2020, that the research we were doing also was of value, together with the one that was part of the project. We also confirmed how important it is today for parliaments to use ICT to connect with their constituencies and have a two-way communication.
We know things are changing very fast in terms of bandwidth, and prices are lowering, and we have a big challenge in how to get parliamentary services to mobiles. That would be a next step to move on to mobiles. At the same time, we have a very deep commitment on education, on civic education, to see if we can get youngsters involved with public service. As a library, we have a plan for this year. Also, we have declarations of opening of data so it can all be used, a need to be using all the Wikisource, Wikipedia, Wiki Commons into our daily lives as a start of—
The relationship between Parliament and the people has been a matter of intense political interest in the U.K. for several years. I'd like to devote my opening remarks to the consequences of two major reports.
The first report was a report in summer 2004 of the House of Commons modernization committee, entitled “Connecting Parliament With the Public”. It called for radical changes and was endorsed with an unusually clear-cut 375 to 14 votes in favour of its recommendation in January 2005. The second report, in May 2005, was of the Hansard Society Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy, which was chaired by a member of the House of Lords, Lord David Puttnam, called "Members Only? Parliament in the Public Eye", which reinforced the call to action.
Following these reports, I was asked by the clerks of both houses to work with members and officials to develop a parliamentary strategy for public engagement that would take forward the recommendations that had been made. The strategy was published in March 2006 and covered the years 2006 to 2011. The most significant element was the determination to follow a parliamentary approach. The view taken was that we have some hope of establishing the idea of Parliament in the people's minds, but to get across the distinctions between Commons and Lords is a much bigger ask, which can be incorporated as needed by either House.
The key aims of the strategy are to inform the public about the work and role of Parliament, to promote Parliament as something that should be valued, and to listen and respond to feedback. The guiding vision was that by 2011 Parliament should be recognized by citizens as distinct from government, holding government to account, welcoming to citizens, working for citizens, worthwhile, and personally relevant to the concerns of individuals. In practice, Parliament's efforts to engage with the public are only one among many factors that influence these outcomes, and now suddenly it's 2011, and I have to admit we still have some work to do to realize the vision. Nonetheless, having the vision was a crucial part in focusing action.
At the outset it was recognised that the strategy needed to reach five different, if overlapping, groups. The five groups were members of both houses and those who support them; those professionally engaged with the work of Parliament, including civil servants, NGOs, lobbyists, and journalists; democratically active citizens; democratic "outsiders"; and young people. Particular attention has been devoted to the last group. I think that idea has been echoed in Ms. Ferreiro's comments: young people are very much the key to the work in both our countries.
Implementation of the strategy in the U.K. involved the creation of what has become known as the "three-legged stool". Unless all three legs are on the ground, the work is unbalanced and ineffective. The first leg was development of the website. Members of both houses had been calling for a radical redesign. The aim was not simply to redesign the pages, but to redesign our capability so that in the future we could respond to the demands of our users in a continuous, iterative fashion, rather than through one-off "programmed" changes.
The second leg was improving the welcome for visitors. Security considerations, the challenge of not impeding parliamentary business, and concerns about the impacts on the fabric of a World Heritage site building required us to be creative and careful, and after five years the welcome has been transformed.
Finally, and the most challenging of all, was the third leg, to develop the idea of parliamentary outreach. The aim was to reach the parts of the population not reached by the work of individual members; to complement, rather than cut across, constituency activity. Emphasis has been given to the explanation of legislation to wider audiences, on their territory, and to more community-based work by select committees. This is not just about going out in a geographical sense, but also engaging with communities of interest physically and online.
Coupled with all this activity we put in place various methods of evaluation to help us check progress and adjust where necessary. Results have been addressed using three types of measures: outcome measures based on opinion polls of the population as a whole, and specifically an annual audit of political engagement conducted by the Hansard Society through Ipsos Mori, funded by the House of Commons and the government; impact measures, based on assessment of knowledge, opinions, or activity following an intervention from us; and reach measures--how many people have heard our messages.
In addition, committees of both houses have continued to take an interest in this area. The House of Lords information committee report, "Are the Lords Listening?" and the House of Commons reform committee report, "Rebuilding the House", have been especially influential. Research reports such as those commissioned by the House of Commons from the Hansard Society have also helped shape our work. The Parliament 2020 report is an example of this.
You're aware of the Parliament 2020 project already. The idea was to develop a vision for the Parliament of the future. The model was to work with parliamentarians, parliamentary officials, and new voters to explore different perspectives. It has been fascinating to progress this report on a multi-country level with Bill Young in Canada and Soledad Ferreiro in Chile.
In the U.K. the timing was interesting, since we were in the middle of what the Parliament 2020 team described as “turbulence” arising from MP expenses scandals and the resignation of the Commons Speaker. But the themes to emerge were encouraging: Parliament is important; Parliament needs to get proactive in its communications, and technology can help with this; and Parliament needs to go where the people are, and not expect them to come to it.
This report and everything we have learned so far are shaping our thinking for the current Parliament. Our time horizon now is to 2015. Having established the strategic approach, we're determined to build upon it as a long-term endeavour to establish in the minds of all citizens that Parliament is the heart of our democracy.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Obviously what I will contribute sits in the context of what John has just said. We collaborate on almost all the areas John has mentioned. What I'm going to explain to you today is really the House of Lords' own contribution within that effort.
We have recently revised our outreach communication efforts, and building on our efforts so far we've focused on four basic aims, which are to increase the understanding of the role, work, membership, and structure of the Lords; to increase the awareness of the opportunities and reasons for interacting with the House; to increase the number and range of opportunities to interact with the House and its members; and to ensure that the House of Lords is viewed as open and accountable to the public.
Obviously, because of the inevitable restrictions on the resources at our disposal, we recently commissioned an order of segmentation to try to focus our efforts on particular audiences to ensure that we didn't overstretch ourselves with the resources at our disposal. As a result of that exercise, we identified five priority audiences: government departments, public affairs professionals, the media--the group we describe as the Westminster Village; young people, including those with higher education and vocational training; parents and young families; the recently retired; and people who depend on public service provision.
The segmentation exercise that we commissioned also gave us an indication of a likely model for engaging those audiences with the House and with Parliament. The two dynamics in that were a desire or need to influence an issue and an awareness and understanding of how to exert that influence through the House of Lords. So that is in form the strategy we subsequently developed.
At a tactical level, we have made some innovations that are unique to the House of Lords. We'd like the House of Commons to be focused very heavily on our committee office and the work of its reports, which are obviously the major corporate messages of the House. We promote very heavily through our press and media efforts. We also use YouTube in an attempt to make the outcomes of those reports more accessible to a wider audience. We do these reviews with the chairs of both committees. We promote change of business through parallel debates online with third parties, like the BBC. We're focusing our efforts in the media on the regional and specialist media, not just the national media, to try to increase the reach of the specific issues the House is dealing with. We also are attempting to exploit the efforts of members more overtly with regard to their own outreach efforts.
Our focused outreach efforts, which sit as a subset of Parliament's wider efforts, focus on young people. We have an annual chamber event for young people, which is a debate in the House of Lords chamber once a year, which we work with a third party to arrange, and the young people debate an issue of concern to them. We have a series of lectures to focus on the expertise that resides within the House, and we also engage the media through a series of seminars on particular policy issues.
With regard to school-age young people, we have a program of visits to schools by individual peers as an opportunity to explain their work and the role of the House to young people in school, and we also use our Lord Speaker, in her role as an ambassador for the House, to visit a variety of audiences around the nation.
Online we've done a number of developments, particularly with members. We have what I believe is a unique blog, in which members from all parties blog together about the work they do in the House. We are continuing to build on our online presence as the most powerful way of increasing public understanding of the House.
Other than that, we are beginning to develop a campaign approach focused on our priority audiences, focused particularly on parents of young families and the recently retired, which we intend to initiate over the next five years of this Parliament.
Finally, evaluation is the final and the most important part of our work. We are determined to find a way of measuring the impact of what we've achieved so far. As John said, we too have a number of measures that are quantitative and we're now trying to get some qualitative measures of the impact of these efforts over the past Parliament and during the course of this Parliament.
I hope that's a useful contribution.
Mr. Pullinger, it's great to see you again, even across a couple of continents and an ocean.
Just in terms of what Mr. Hiscock said in terms of evaluation, I quite like the six things Mr. Pullinger said in terms of being recognized, and in terms of the guiding vision that by 2011 that Parliament would be recognized by citizens as: distinct from government; holding government to account; welcoming to citizens; working for citizens; worthwhile; and personal--relevant to the concerns of individuals.
Here in Canada, I think, if you walked out onto the street, most Canadians wouldn't know the difference between Parliament and government. Quite often I'm still referred to as a member of the government, even though out of my 13 years, that has been for two of the years. It's a challenge. I was just wondering what you use in terms of metrics and how you will determine that you're doing better on this journey on these areas that you've taken as your indicators.
Also, I just was wondering, Soledad, if you would tell the committee about your interesting exercise in hiring actors for radio spots on upcoming legislation.
Mr. Pullinger, could you explain what you do for youth as they approach the voting age?
Good afternoon, Carolyn. It's nice to see you again.
You know that in our Constitution it says that the law has to be understood by everybody--
A voice: And known.
Ms. Soledad Ferreiro: --and known by everybody. So we take that as the driver for our actions.
So as we have all sorts of people with all sorts of different educations and all sorts of ages, we have a program that runs on a very wide perspective. We decided that some laws were very hard to understand, so we turned those laws into summaries. Then we turned them into brochures that have a sort of interactive questions and answers feature that can be personalized by the MPs. They can use them and distribute them.
Then, because many people were using the Internet, we decided that this was not enough, so we made them into podcasts or audios, and for these podcasts we hired actors for them. They really changed the way they talked for different levels--if it was for children or country people--so the sound was different, and we handed all of these podcasts or audios to the MPs. They sent them to the community radio and they passed them on.
That has been very, very successful. Also, we are working with different languages, including the Easter Island language and then also Mapudungun and Aymara. That's three languages we are dealing with. They are not common languages. They're regional languages.
The whole program is getting into what are the rights of the citizens. We are opening the span of the contents to empower people so that they can deal well in democracy and have their own appreciation, their own issues. That's the way we do it.
I think so, Mr. Chairman.
I will speak for both of us here.
There were two questions from Dr. Bennett. The first one was how well we are getting on with our aspirations, the six metrics we talked about. We described in our presentation our use of opinion polls. We have assessed those six items using opinion polls.
In the U.K., 49% disagreed with the statement that government and Parliament are the same thing, which suggests we have a similar problem in our two countries. Half the population doesn't distinguish Parliament from government.
People think Parliament is for debating and passing new laws, 42%; holding ministers responsible for their actions, 42%; and taking up the concerns of individual people, 38%. Only 19% agreed that Parliament is working for them; 52% actively disagreed. On the other hand, nearly half agreed that Parliament undertakes important functions no other body can undertake. Half disagreed with the statement that Parliament is not relevant to the lives of ordinary people, and only 27% agreed.
There's a mixed bag, thanks to our metrics.
The one thing we've taken most heart from is the number of people considering they have a knowledge of politics. Over the lifetime of this Parliament it went from 45% to 50%. There are margins of error here, but consistently year by year there has been a step up. The researchers tell us that the first step to engaging is to have knowledge. So the first part of our strategy we think is beginning to have some traction, but we're not over-excited about how far we've got, and there's a way to go.
On the second question from Dr. Bennett, about how we engage with youth approaching voting age, I'll mention a few things that we're doing. The first one, which Ms. Ferreiro also mentioned, was games. Online games in particular work very well with teenagers. We have a game called “MP For a Week”, which has been winning awards in educational shows up and down the country. It's had 125,000 visits in the last year since it was launched. It works very well. It gets students to come into the world of an MP. Do try it. It's on www.parliament.uk.
There's a whole bunch of other things. We have the U.K. Youth Parliament debating in our chambers. We have a six-forum conference that both Speakers addressed recently, where upwards of 1,500 students came in and directly engaged with us. We have the Speaker's School Council Awards, where students are encouraged to see the link between democracy within their schools and democracy at a national level. We have implemented a teachers' institute, which we very directly stole from you. It's been very popular. As well, we have a teacher training program up and down the country. Finally, but not least, is we encourage MPs and peers to visit schools as often as they possibly can. We give them resources to help them be as effective as possible when they do that.
I hope I haven't overstayed my three minutes, and I hope that answers Dr. Bennett's questions.
The opinion polling we've done has not used a large enough sample, really, to distinguish different ethnic groups' positions. But certainly all of our programs have been designed to be inclusive of the different communities across the U.K.
I'll use one example that was especially effective in doing that and in generating huge interest and also a range of opportunities for different communities to engage with each other. That was the use of events related to particular historical anniversaries.
In 2007 we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade. We had a whole range of exhibitions and events here in Parliament and around the country. Here in Parliament we had an extraordinarily energetic discussion, for example, on the resonance of slavery in the past and today. And we had a lot of discussion about the impact on different communities of the legacy of slavery and about modern-day slavery. It was not necessarily in relation to ethnic communities. It was on things like prostitution and people coming in from different countries and being subjected to slave-like treatment as immigrants to the U.K. The debate there, with a cross-section of children from different schools at different ages, and particularly with older teenagers coming in, gave us a chance to encourage a debate, with parliamentarians involved, that explored issues of ethnic tension and other tensions in different communities around the country.
So we take many opportunities to bring communities together to discuss how we create harmonious communities in the U.K. through the events we have here. And we get school children to confront the issues that MPs themselves have to confront in deciding how to judge the balance between the rights of individual communities and the need to have harmony across the community as a whole.
I don't know whether I've answered your question properly, but that's the best I can do for now.
During the presentation, Ms. Ferreiro, you apologized, and I don't think you have anything to apologize for. This is a very big undertaking, and I think that along the way, when we have projects such as this one, sometimes our ideas kind of shift or change, and sometimes so do our staff. So I fully understand.
You talked about the online aspects you guys have undertaken on this one--YouTube, the iPod podcasts you've been doing--and I just wondered if you have been monitoring the number of hits. Have they increased since you first started?
Mr. Malhi talked about diversity. I'm just wondering if there's been an assessment as to gender parity of the groups.
The other aspect is with respect to education and whether the teachers are now putting this into part of their curriculum.
Regarding your question on what happens with YouTube, for instance, we monitor very closely everything we put up on the Internet. We build our website to be searched by Google. The whole way we do our website is under Google directions. We search all the time to see how Google changes its algorithm, and then we can put things so we can be in the first hit or second. So that means that our website has increased 1,100% in seven years of use.
We have very high use now. This year it was 10 million. We are a very small country, with a population of 17 million, so 10 million for a website that is pure content is very high.
On YouTube we have up 900 little videos worked on with the MPs. We have a program so that when someone from the district has a question for an MP, we put that question to the MP, and then she answers back by video, and we put that video up on YouTube. So they can have their name there—we cannot film them because most of the time they are away out in the country—and then there's this answer to them, so now they can also go back and say here is the answer you gave. So YouTube has worked very well for us.
We use everything--Facebook and Twitter. With Twitter, what we do is like broadcasting. We don't go into talks among the people, we just use it to broadcast what we do and what's new.
That's it, I think, for what you asked me.
I don't know that, but I'll find out.
The way it works is we have this competition. We have a jury that decides and the jury is part of the universities and also the teachers' associations. Each group has a teacher who's in charge who can train in some way so they will understand the social phenomena of parliaments.
But we never found out if anything happens as an evaluation, and I think it's a very good point to put in. We have these full-day programs here to put value to the concerns of the head mistress.
The energy that comes out of this tournament is incredible. This year we had a jury. On the final jury we had an ex-parliamentarian, a very bright man. He said he would propose passing into the law everything they were proposing, because the young people today have so much common sense because they see the world they live in, and they propose very good things. So it's a very attractive relationship between congress and young people.
Did I answer your question?
I would, just briefly, Mr. Chairman, if I may.
The situation is quite similar to the one in Chile, as Ms. Ferreiro described, but I would emphasize the point about using the social media channels.
We, like Chile, have been using as wide a range of channels as we can, and some of them, for particular purposes, have been very successful. Twitter, for example, works really well for things like Prime Minister's Question Time or the election of our Speaker, in which there's something happening in real time, but you need to use it “fit for purpose”. We have about 30,000 followers of our parliamentary Twitter feed at the moment, which among official Twitter feeds is pretty good. We have about 600,000 views of our parliamentary YouTube channel; 600,000 on our Flickr account; and rather fewer on Facebook--4,000--but we're trying these things. You have to try. Some of them work and some of them don't. Experimentation is the key.
On gender parity, I think the biggest issue is getting gender parity among the members of both our houses. We still have a way to go, but we are moving in the right direction. I think most parliaments have this problem.
As far as education and the curriculum go, [Inaudible—Editor] in our curriculum at the moment, and we are working hard to fill the gap with materials for teachers.
: Merci beaucoup, monsieur le président.
Thank you very much to our friends in the U.K. and Chile for sharing their thoughts on the role of Parliament and the relevance of Parliament to our citizens. It's certainly a matter we're interested in here in Canada.
I am interested in your concept of parliamentary outreach and the use of social media. I found it particularly interesting about using digital games like “MP For a Week”. That's an intriguing concept.
To our friends in the U.K., I want to ask about your strategy that you defined as a three-legged stool. One of the legs of that stool was redefining your welcome to Parliament. I understand, if I heard you correctly, Mr. Pullinger, that your welcome has been restored--or was it transformed? I thought I heard the word “restored”. I wonder if you can describe to us what that looks like.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
On the question around games, I think the point running through everything we're saying today is that we need to take Parliament to where people are already active. We don't think that the youth of today in particular are less politically interested than at any other time, but they're less politically interested in Parliament. That says more about us than it says about them. So we've been trying to think, where is the youth active?
I have children, and many in your committee will have children. They are active and like playing games, so we have tapped into that. We've tried a whole series of different ways of doing that. The “MP for a week” game has been particularly successful. We developed that with groups of young people, seeing what would interest them. It has the sorts of things you'd find in any game, with different levels of difficulty, and different little traps they can get into. But also peppered around the games are little YouTube-type videos of parliamentarians talking about some issues they have faced. It really does draw them in. As I said, the gaming industry has been very keen to help us with this. They say this is something that is good for them.
We have very simple applications. We have an iPhone quiz app with facts about Parliament. As I said, some of these things work and some of them don't, but you have to just keep trying it. The key point is to go where they are, so that's our strategy on social media with young people in particular.
On the three-legged stool and the question of welcome, five years ago the main impression you would have got if you approached the Palace of Westminster was of very large policemen with extremely menacing guns. Now, of course, we need to have very large policemen with menacing guns, given the security situation, but the first person you now see is a greeter, who is there smiling and drawing you in. I think you have this on the Hill in Canada. We've partly borrowed from you in doing that. We're also opening up Parliament more of the time. I think in this area you began ahead of us, and I think you get more people onto the Hill and around and into Parliament than we do.
On a very simple recent example, I came in one very cold Saturday in December--maybe not as cold as Ottawa, but cold by London standards. The greeters on the streets had got 800 people to walk up and pay 15 pounds for a special tour of Parliament that day--and that was a bad day in December--simply by being friendly and welcoming them in. So that's how we've transformed it from being a place that said pretty much “keep out” on the door to a place that says “come on in”.
Perhaps I can add that the way we deal with what we do is that we're creating consumer experiences, not products. When we start on that side, on being able to be in touch with the audience, as Mr. Pullinger was saying, and on being able to do research on that, it brings out very good results.
We also know that it's like a pilot project: if you do it and it works, fine, and if not, you throw it away. It's the same way with this. This is a social, biological movement, and no one controls it. We have to sort of dance--this is a dancing thing--with the young people. Probably no one would do anything on the catalogue today, that was so important in Chile; now there are modern courses. So we have to sort of follow that.
I think it's very good to hire very young people to work in the library. I've been saying that we need people who really know how to deal with social networks, because it helps a lot in terms of having a good response. Our website used to be only for legislative issues. We ran a legal database--not the official one--and that was 70% of all our use. Now it's the other way around. We have 70% citizen use and 30% legislative use. The change is very big.
So it's important to look for more intensive relationships with citizens and not just think that Parliament is a matter of legislation; we see it as a matter of how we can create a place where our customers can go to and then act afterward. Something of value comes out of that relationship. That has been proven, in our statistics, to be a good way of doing our work.
We don't have a specific implementation budget for the Parliament 2020 report, but the findings are consistent with a whole series of other reports. Probably the most significant one is going to require a significant change of focus rather than additional budget. The point I would emphasize, which I found in the key themes from first-time voters in the Parliament 2020 report, was that Parliament had to listen to the public and incorporate their feelings into how it was run as well as explain to citizens what they were doing on a regular basis.
The period up to 2015 we think is going to be the major focus of our work. We're going to be looking at how Parliament is run; it's not just communicating how it currently operates.
I mentioned in my opening remarks the report of the House of Commons reform committee called “Rebuilding the House”. Most of the emphasis there is that if Parliament is going to gain, or regain, respect from the public, it has to change the way it does its core business. There isn't a specific budget for that; it's thinking hard about how select committees operate, how legislation is done, and how the timing of business in the House is organized. There are a variety of different initiatives being done at the moment that are going to become fundamentals of how the parliamentary system in the U.K. works.
A significant part of that is how Parliament can have a consistent set of messages going out to the public. Many of our procedures are seen as arcane or difficult to understand, or they are organized in a way that doesn't let the public in.
There isn't really an easy answer to your question, and I can't say I have three people working on Parliament 2020. It's a cultural shift in thinking about Parliament from the perspective of the citizen, rather than simply from the way in which things have been done internally.
I hope that's helpful.
Our leader was a man of 40 years, and he was very keen on these integrated marketing strategies. The people he hired were very young people, with or without titles, but they were very much involved.
Inventing Delibera, this debate, was not an issue.... It was a whole year of research of young people. We classified all the types of young people at that time. There were the ones they called the “tribes”--all sorts of tribes. We characterized all of that, and then we wrote down the issues that bothered them and how we could deal with what they thought would happen to them.
They were very much out of the system; many young people were not involved in the system. All the people who interacted with them were very young people. We chose them very specially. They could bring different ways. There were people who were very keen on the use of language, speech acts and those types of things. Everything we would do would have to have a commitment to language--what came out of our mouths. That was very important to develop Delibera.
Then trials were made and we changed the relationship of the teacher with the student. We could see in the first Delibera how some teachers wanted to say you have to do this, this, and that, while other wouldn't do anything to see how the kids would debate among themselves. Before they weren't competing with other schools, so we have to correct that by creating a code for teachers, for juries. This is a learning process.
All the time we are involved with young people, they assess the game also. That's the way it goes with a lot of young people.