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How would you add game mechanics or gamification to the Senate / Congress / Parliament?

And what would be the benefits?
tynamite's avatar In Britain, they already exist, in the form of expenses. MPs are allowed to tap into a fund of taxpayers money for virtually whatever they want. British MPs play a game called The Expense Game.

MPs bled system for wigs, paper clips and flapjacks
MPs squeezed every penny out of the taxpayer, claiming for everything from a 1p phone bill to a paper clip, it has been revealed.

As their expenses were officially published for the first time, the full extent of how they bled the allowances system was exposed.

jeremy hunt with hands out

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt claimed 1p for a 12-second mob­ile phone call he made – with the amount handwritten on a form alongside a £10,020.34 claim for office repairs and a landline.

Labour's Bob Blizzard claimed for a 39p paper clip, Tory MP Garry Streeter claimed 82p for a flapjack and Labour backbencher Gerald Kauf­man put in for a 53p bottle of bleach and 71p bottle of washing up liquid.

Political commentator Iain Dale said: 'This is indefendable. You could not get away with this in the private sector.'

The claims have been published for the first time online – although much of the critical detail was blacked out.

Had the uncensored documents not been leaked several weeks ago, many of the MPs' worst excesses would have remained secret.
Tony Blair claimed for almost £7,000 to cover roof repairs just two days before he stood down as prime minister.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/688199-mps-bled-system-for-wigs-paper-clips-and-flapjacks#ixzz1kedpAyc2

Claiming 1p for a flapjack? 39p for a paperclip? Claiming 1p phone bills? That is taking the piss! Come on, that is just a pisstake! They're taking us taxpayers for fools. If that's not extortion, I don't know what is.

Just by being a British member of parliament, you already win the game by default, which is why you can claim loads of prizes/winnings/rewards.

However the expense game does have rules, and you can lose. You see the game is to win as much swag as possible, without having a game over. You can have a game over by either going to prison for fraud (by lying about your circumstances on your claim form) or getting outed and then losing your job. If you get your claim rejected, you lose a match, but can play again.

£24 expense claim got rejected


MPs who won the match
Gordon Brown.

gordon brown expense claim

tv being delivered to number 10

Source for this: http://mps-expenses.guardian.co.uk/page/91/

If you thought Gordon Brown was bad, wait until you hear this?

  • Charlotte Atkins claimed more than £35,000 in renovations on her second home allowance including £20,000 for windows, £4,000 for the chimney, £9,000 for the bathroom and nearly £2,000 for the garden
  • Ian Austin split a claim for stamp duty (house buying tax) on buying his second home in London into two payments and tried to claim it back over two financial years. (What? You're claiming the government pay, I mean void your tax, so you don't have to pay it?)
  • John Austin claimed more than £10,000 for redecorating his London flat, which was 11 miles from his main home, before selling it for a profit
  • John Smith claimed £57,955 in second home expenses in four years without submitting a single receipt.
  • Tony Wright claims for his rent in Dolphin Square complex in London, £995 for Venetian blinds, £1,630 for a new sofa and chairs and £799 for a sideboard


MPs who lost the match (got their claim rejected)

  • Mike Weatherby 50p for milk for tea and coffee in the office.
  • Tory Defence Minister Peter Luff had a £286.50 telephone bill knocked back
  • because he did not provide adequate documentation.
  • Jesse Norman, Tory MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, had a claim for £1,504.01 for office furniture rejected because it was not allowed under the rules. (You see there are rules, but how far can you exploit them, or get past them.)
  • Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman had a £75 claim for venue hire thrown out because of insufficient evidence.
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/8301146/MPs-expenses-rejected-claims-start-at-50p.html

Hmm wait a minute! How come Peter Luff wasn't allowed to claim an expense for a telephone bill, but ex Prime Minister, Gordon Brown could (see image above), and get his accepted? Huh? It seems like the enforcements for expenses are lax - sometimes enforced, sometimes lenient.

I suppose it is thrilling to make bets about which one of your friends will get their expense claims under £1 approved. John Robertson tries it too. Damn! These MPs don't pay their bills do they?

expense claim 2

bt phone bill

MPs who got game over (got sacked due to public outcry or put in prison for fraud)






^^ I detect a conflict of interest. ^^

expense claim 9

^^^^ Awww! His claim for a duck house got rejected as well before that! I suppose someone doesn't want him to have a ducky wucky house. *cries* ^^^^

However, can you truly lose the game? The answer is that you can't, because the legal system in Britian favours the upper class. (I typed "expenses prison" into Google, and this is what came up. I didn't mean to find these cases of early release.



All information about MPs expenses, was retrieved using the Freedom of Information Act, which obliges public services and government departments to disclose information, of which would be of public interest to know about, on request.

Here's an article from Libertarian newspaper The Guardian, which explains the importance of a free press (freedom of the press), in regards to expenses and other such things up top.

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