Friday, October 12, 2012

Ryan Meili Update

As stated, previously, it's time to look at some of the developments on the Ryan Meili campaign front.

So, let's start with the Your Ideas page on his website. As stated before, Ryan's approach to this campaign has been mostly about reaching out to supporters and getting their ideas before he starts announcing his own policies. It's an interesting approach, and so far, it seems to be panning out for the campaign. Ryan's website includes a 'Your Ideas' section, which allows people to submit their own ideas to the campaign and be reviewed by other supporters. (LINK)

From the creation of a progressive political Wiki to changing the way we measure success, the page has generated some interesting ideas.

This is also explained by Ryan's commitment to participatory democracy. Effectively, Ryan is establishing a campaign that seeks to foster equal contribution and collaboration with groups, as opposed to top down dictation of a campaign. To make that a bit clearer, Ryan seems to be creating a campaign where an approach to address an issue like gender inequality would not come directly from him, but rather from working with a group of women to develop a strategy.

In addition to user-generated content, the website has also been adding direct content from the campaign itself. The vision page, (LINK) has expanded over the past few weeks since Ryan first entered the race. It expands on his commitment to evidence-based policy development, and includes the sort of 'scientific method' of the steps needed to achieve that. (Study, Plan, Act, Reflect; so pretty close to Question, Hypothesis, Prediction, Experiment, Analysis.)

The vision section also takes the time to address the need for a more equal society, and explains how this creates a better society in general for everyone, whether they be at the top or near the bottom.

And of course, one must expect as a physician and authour on the subject, a focus on health. As opposed to just focusing on health care, Ryan has continued to expand on the greater subject of society, and is calling for a focus on the social determinants of health (education, income, social supports, housing, etc, etc, etc.)

The website has also evolved to include more blog postings directly from Ryan himself; focusing on either issues that have come up during the campaign that range from the serious (the approach to listening leadership) to the more lighthearted (the shave the beard or keep the beard debate).

Either way, the campaign has continued to focus on the approach of listening to people and their ideas. Ryan's post about Parking Day includes the results of his day long ballots handed out to people who dropped by, and which ideas generated the best response. You can find the outcome here: (LINK

So, a bit of analysis I think is in order.

As mentioned before, Ryan's approach tends to be a little more low key, given that it involves directly connecting with supporters and non-supporters. While this may not generate a lot of media buzz, it does have the result of at least passing on most likely good word of mouth about Ryan as a candidate and his approach to the race.

After all, in a democracy, people like to feel that they are being listened to. And on that front, Ryan is doing very well. Whether or not it results in a groundswell of momentum for Ryan's campaign remains to be seen, but it certainly can't do any harm.

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