Marrakesh Airport Passport Control – Government 2.0?

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Controle des Passeports Marrakesh Airport Sign
At the airport of Marrakesh, Morocco, as we were leaving, I snapped this photograph (above) of the “official” sortie. The Passport Control desk has a sign above it in three languages. The French is given prime real estate. I trust the Arabic is spelt correctly. Meanwhile, the person who approved the English needs to revisit his or her spelling (yes, one ‘e’ too many). And, for that matter, one ‘s’ too many as well. I failed to find a “Suggestions & Complaints” box, so had to resort to the blog.

I do wonder how much the world could be a better place if there were open channels of communication for accepting people’s voluntary comments, etc. Aside from figuring out the logistics, one of the problems would be: how many of the suggestions would be right and/or appropriate (cf Wikipedia)? A government 2.0 site for fixing ‘errors’? It could speak volumes for a co-creative relationship between citizen and state?

Do you think life would be better if people had the opportunity to write to the government every time they had a constructive criticism?

3 Comments, RSS

  1. ron szekely

    Great Post Minter.

    I suspect the problem is not so much the ability to write the government – but rather for the government to have the resources to read and act upon what is written – the usual problem with opening the floodgates.

    If a structured network was set up using something like twitter that would limit the length of comments and facilitate the handling of information it would no doubt be more efficient than the current overly-bureaucratic ways.

    Unfortunately, actually fixing the passport sign might not be as quick as correcting a wiki entry though.

  2. Minter

    @ron: I like your idea of limiting it to tweets… Maybe we could find a way to filter intelligently, classifying the complaints and suggestions, such that any deluge remains manageable. There would still need to be some form of recognition and response system to make it a little more legitimately 2.0. It would be like having a country size customer service call center!

  3. MyPanamalawyer

    Fear of criticism is normal among Third-World burrocrats (yes, donkey in Spanish is written burro). Forms of criticism are usually discouraged which leaves no alternative but to engage in friendly ridicule of government snafus.

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