And the latest cyber boondoggle in his sights is Citizalia. And boy oh boy it does seem worthy of his contempt. (See virtual MEP - Green perhaps - on the right) For the paltry sum of about 1 million Euros (out of a budget of about 4 million - see below for update) the firm, European Service Network has been commissioned to create a virtual Parliament. (page 21. and I note that Mostra behind the infamous and useless MyParl website is involved in the largesse)
It is an exercise in Sim-democracy (simocracy?) He reckons it looks alright (I think it looks about 10 years out of date). According to its PR puff,
Citzalia is democracy in action. It is role playing game and social networkingI can see the huge crowds of 'der kidz' getting excited about it now. Clamoring to be part of the project
forum wrapped in a virtual 3D world that captures the essence of the European
Parliament. You may even recognise parts of the building.
Citzalia is a world you inhabit and help create. Using your avatar you can walk around, interact, network, debate the issues of today, propose legislation, vote and learn about how the European Parliament works for citizens. You can be aAny role I want to create - Guy Fawkes perhaps? Can I set fire to it? Or maybe be a belligerent member of a French trade union and throw week old virtual offal at the walls? Or a Euro Banksy?
Member of the European Parliament (MEP), a journalist, a student or any role you
want to create.
Others will be able to vote on the quality of your proposals and you will be able to vote on theirs. By earning experience points you will be able move up to new expert levels in Citzalia.The question remains. Do points win prizes? Once I have mastered the trialogue and comitology, do I get a virtual audience with a virtual Buzek? Can I slide a digital stiletto between the ribs of a saturnine pixilated Kalus Welle?
Current Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and European officials will be on hand to guide you through the procedures and provide background information.
Not that they have any real work to do. maybe this is a good idea after all, it would keep them out of trouble and stop them legislating and regulating for a short while... who knows. There again if EP officials are to be spending time on this, who is paying them to give one to one tutorials to bored students in Vilnius, how many staff will be online 24/7? And how much will that cost?
Via JonA certain Paolo at ESN has told us that the website's, "total funding for the project is about 275,000 euros". Which is odd as the Parliament's tender document says that the maximum allowed is 250,000. So he must be including the co funding from ESN itself.