h a l f b a k e r y
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A wiki where we the people can write our own federal and local legislation in lay language, to be submitted to our own representatives and potentially be enacted into law.
Ideally, you come to the page and the drafts of "our" legislation will be in various categories, ranked by:
who benefits (where and when, with maps),
who loses (where and when, with maps),
comment sections and voting everywhere for, regulatory feedback,
category (cancer, healthcare, waterways etc),
completeness of bill
Hopefully, each bill can be boiled down to
an argument of:
What will this legislation cost me (zip code, gender etc)?
What are it's perceived benefits?
All of the comments and components of the bill can be debated and voted on by participants. The best comments on it's cost and effects can be upvoted for easy visibility.
Hopefully, a site where you can in minutes:
1. complain ( aka. start to write legislation and what are you willing to pay to change it? Both of these could be done with radio buttons and checkboxes.)
2. View other bills (easily readable group synthesized cost benefit analysis)
Importantly, because it will be user generated it will not be in proper parliamentary form and legalese. This is so the ideas and effects behind the proposed changes can be clear to lay people in their own language (save time and prevent purposeful misinformation). When a majority conclusion is made that the ideas behind the legislation are complete, parliamentarians and lawyers, can help with the language submitted in the final draft. This legislation is then voted on by our reps.
This is one attempt to curb corruption in Washington. Due to representative and staff's time constraints, lobbyists now write many of "our" bills. It is my hope,that our reps will then be selected for their wisdom of judgement and executive skills rather than their "creativity" in drafting legislation.
I have read about an internet party representative in Australia, that votes how it's members vote on legislation, but in my estimation the largest barrier to a lay persons active participation in collective resource management is time.
Not a wiki - there's a wiki in it, but it's more long-term - but they do collect backlinks and allow comments. [jutta, May 17 2009]
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||(-) You lost me at "in minutes". I don't want lobbyists to write my laws, you're right, that sucks - but even with the best of online support, this still won't be anywhere near this easy.
||I meant to participate (start a potential bill) and evaluate (look at other users potential bills) within minutes, not craft the ultimate legislation. If others are interested, further crafting is done by the people over time and by multiple users. The goal being active participation in the vain of a lobbyist, instead of voting every 2-6 years or sending a pissy letter to your congressman, which is quite impotent relative to people who craft the legislation.
I imagine a turbotax like wizard could help start the legislation including , geography, personal info, and category of interest (for example, guns, healthcare) and a proposed payment method. Subsequently, it could be evaluated by others and if ultimately supported by many people, written up properly and given to your representative. It is still subject to review and feedback from the representative, who acts as the executor. And then it is subsequently voted on by the reps themselves.
||Open Congress is a good start no doubt and voting on existing legislation is great, but I think the real say is crafting the legislation itself, that's where the people get to say exactly what they want and what we'll pay for it. Not what the politicians think we want (if they care, or if they do care, how do they get their info about what we want, lobbyists or tv media, mostly).
||Side Note: Did you ever notice how on Meet the Press is when all the oil companies greenwash? Never see any other oil company commercials except Sunday Morning. I wonder if theres statistically more pols watching then. I'd bet on it.
||21- Best legislation gets submitted (highest ranked). Tyranny of the majority, I'm afraid.