First anniversary of the ayes & nays blog

On 15th August this year, the ayes & nays blog will be celebrating its first anniversary. On 15th August last year, I welcomed you to the blog.

I wrote in that post the following:

Here you will find my thoughts strewn. Sometimes you will encounter beam of questions lighting dark crevices of our daily dealings with parliament. You will regularly accompany me to bookshops and find out the kinds of books about parliament and legislative drafting that should find themselves to your bookshelf. You will have an interactive platform where you will be able to share your thoughts on various subjects on parliament and legislative drafting.

What happens behind the scenes

I am happy to inform you that after sharing with you 26 posts so far, I am excited about the journey. My idea for the blog was to experiment with new ideas and giving you the best. That is why nearly all the posts also have audio versions to enable you listen to the posts if you feel like but most importantly to cater for our readers with visual impairments. I am a firm believer in inclusivity.

It is interesting how I was able to do this using a software. The process requires patience. In order to get a good pace in the audio, the text has to be laid out well. The humorous part is that the software I use often gets the pronunciation of Kiswahili terms and Kenyan names hilariously wrong. To get a good laugh, just play the audio of the blogpost ‘Dress Politics in Kenyan Parliament: A Few Thoughts’.

For the blogpost on the Punguza Mizigo Bill, I knew that my software wouldn’t get the pronunciation of the words correctly. So, the text that I fed into the software was (and please don’t laugh) was Pooh Nguza Mee Zeego Bill. If I wouldn’t have done that, the pronunciation would have been PANGAZEI MAIZAIGO BILL. And you guys would have roared in laughter on such a serious constitutional moment in our country. My soundcloud account also has useful audio materials on Chapter 8 of the Constitution, Podcasts in Kiswahili language, and a few parts of the Standing Orders.

One of the posts that you might find relevant is one on parliamentary channels. Here, there are links to live proceedings of Parliaments around the world. The plan is to have all the links here. By a click, you can watch any live proceedings.

I love Kiswahili language and it was one of the objectives of the blog to have posts in both English and Kiswahili. There have been several attempts on this but the goal has not been realized. Hopefully, in the coming year, you will be able to read more on parliament and legislative drafting in Kiswahili.

Finding our True North

So, where do we go from here?

One.

Podcasts. Podcasts. I have been in talks with my web designer to tweak the blog a little bit so that podcasts will be a regular feature. The plan is to interview experts and personalities on various issues around parliament and legislative drafting. Podcasts are really picking up in Kenya and around the world. This is a space that ayes & nays wishes to capitalize on.

Two.

Creating relevant and timely contents for the consumption of county assemblies. There are a lot of grey areas that county assemblies face. Apart from a post or two on county assemblies, the blog really needs to create a platform of creating structured dialogue on parliamentary procedure and legislative processes in county assemblies.

Three.

Cases. There are a lot of cases coming out of our courts relevant to Parliament and county assemblies. Kenya Law is doing a fantastic job in law reporting. In ayes & nays, we will not just list those cases but tell it to you in a language that you will easily pick out the issues. No legalese. No mumbo jumbo. Just the way I will tell you that coffee in Nairobi is great.

Those three issues. And if we could get a reasonably priced cartoonist for our posts, the better.

Any areas for improvement?

As a reader of the ayes & nays blog, in what ways do you wish the blog could be improved? Is it user-friendly? How is the content? How is the web design? How accessible is the language? Does the audio suck? How would you want the podcasts to be? Do we need to do more on book reviews?  What are your thoughts on guest posts? And on comparative look on other jurisdictions?

Readers’ comments

Finally, the ayes & nays blog wishes to thank all our readers. Thanks a lot for those who have given their feedback. Here are a few of the comments:

We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome web log!

Agrandar Pene (commenting on the post The Day Kenyan MPs had to Speak in Kiswahili)

 

May I simply say what a relief to discover somebody who truly understands what they are discussing over the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people need to look at this and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular since you definitely have the gift.

-bank konto dla mlodych (commenting on the post The Day Kenyan MPs had to Speak in Kiswahili, strangely the most commented post)

Wonderful work! That is the kind of information that should be shared around the net. Shame on the seek engines for now not positioning this publish upper! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

– Mason (commenting on the post Dress Politics in Kenyan Parliament: A Few Thoughts)

I take pleasure in, result in I found exactly what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye.

-Brenda (commenting on the post Dress Politics in Kenyan Parliament: A Few Thoughts)

Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

– Google 911 plane videos (?) (commenting on the post Kenya’s earliest Bills in the Legislative Council)

Your internet site has superb content. I bookmarked the website

-Charli (commenting on the post 50 Common Parliamentary Terms Translated into Kiswahili- Part 1)

Your web site has excellent web content. I bookmarked the site.

-Ron (commenting on the post Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bills- “Minor Amendments”, you say?)

I really appreciate how you have transformed such a complex topic into a simple idea everyone can relate with what you best prefer to call “plain English” But my worry is that most people are not informed on what criteria the Mps or senators choose the problem to solve,where is the Public outcry?

-Werimo (commenting on the post The Law Making Process in Kenya in Plain English)

 

Asante sana. That is “thank you” in our Kiswahili language.

 

Image credit: Video Blocks

 

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