Imagine a Collective Arena for all issues facing The Populous. An e-forum. Think WikiPolicy, with a Collective Voting Platform.
Technologically, it’s already possible. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before the current system is rendered obsolete. The question is, can We The People create a 4th Branch that satisfies all citizens?
It’s not critical that the evolution of policy is generated from outside the establishment, though considering the proven ineffectiveness of the current political climate, we’re best suited to either solve societies problems without government, or agree en-mass that a new system of governance is ready for implementation.
No one expects the power wielders to simply relinquish high-priced, hard-fought-over control, therefore it’s up to our tech-minded brethren to make the 4th Branch an open-source reality, so we can then come together to begin the process of progress by The People, for The People.
Both a portal, and a platform.
To start, technology could (therefore should) revolutionize election and policy coverage. Media bias and political advertisements could be ignored if a Public Platform for politics is embraced. Each politician and candidate would have a profile that’s tracked, shared, and compared. If you want to run for office, your public info becomes available for scrutiny, including your stance on every pertinent issue, campaign funds raised and by whom, previous voting record, etc. It’s practically already built. Kids build more complicated websites in their basements. We just have to adopt a platform, foster it with transparency, and nurture it with engagement. #CallToAction @WikiPedia @TechGeniuses @Influencers
Evolve. Refine. Repeat.
Taking it a step further, imagine a Citizen Voting Platform for public polling, official elections, transparent referendums, and even a mirror vote for every ballot congress votes on- to measure public support. How would the collective vote differ from congressional votes?
When introducing the new eForum, We should first try to standardize the categorization. Each polar question (agree/disagree, yea/nay) could be sorted into one of 8 Categories, such as:
If 95% or more agree – Collective Consensus
85% – Common Ground
3/4 – Strong Majority
2/3 – General Majority
60% – Basic Support
55% – Narrow Support
52% – Weak Support
Less than 51.9% – Wash
If every citizen completes the same survey questionnaire, what would We agree upon? Citizens could “priority score” each issue, rating up or down to signify importance. Imagine We The People setting the agenda for the elected officials.
“We decide. They implement.” -The People (of the future)
This evolved 4th Branch of Government would also be the Foremost, or rather the Tree of Democracy, roots and all. For Us, by Us. Ask ourselves and fellow citizens for an hour (or so) of participation each week for consideration of, and survey responses to, important issues facing the public. Engagement could consist of videos, debates, surveys in simple language, etc. Citizen participation can be conducted anytime online, without ads.
Where do you stand as an individual on all issues? Find out how that compares to the rest of the populous. Why rely on corporate media and 3rd party pollsters when The People are willing to share directly in the eForum?
A Voice to the Voiceless.
Yes We Can harness the the instrumental nature of technology to transform Our Government into the most effective and efficient version imaginable. If created and nurtured properly, it’ll maintain a positive and productive direction, in perpetuity, at Federal, State, and Local levels. That’s the goal.
How long until We the People phase out politicians and lobbyists in their current form? How would the Founding Fathers have established governance with today’s technology? The Justice system certainly needs an overhaul. Could the 4th and foremost branch of government (with a strong tech system) render The House of Representatives obsolete?
“A democratic republic can be effective for collective interests, until it’s corrupted.” -Uncle Sam
“If an effective democracy guards against corruption, a true and open meritocracy prevents it.” -Uncle Sam’s Nephew
It’s clear our system is both ineffective, and corrupt. In the eighteenth century, the House of Representatives was the most democratic form of governance The Founders could establish, but today’s technology allows for the most meritocratic form of governance imaginable.
Additional Voting Sway
Imagine the more each citizen participates in the collective system, the more votes they could earn, fairly. There could be dozens of ways to earn them, and We could put a cap on how many votes any citizen is able to earn.
Call each vote a “Star” for patriotic sake, to remind us that the “Stars and Stripes” represent the good of Country, not the individual. Similar to earning stars as positive points in elementary school, many folks will aspire to improve and participate- especially when motivated by the prospect of creating a better future.
If open and transparent systems are the key to preventing corruption, to be fair, as soon as you claim a 2nd vote, you become a public policy maker, and therefore must share your public profile and voting record. Would you be willing to do that?
One (of many) Potential Scenarios
Every citizen receives a vote when they turn 18, but once someone has earned their, say, 5th Star, they’re able to cast ballots in the eHouse of Representatives. A speaker of the eHouse could set the agenda by calling votes, and if need be, appointing committees of experts to interview.
Regardless of how the first version is molded, the goals should be to diminish lobbyist influence, eliminate excess, balance both the Senate and Executive Branch, and be refined for modeling the State and Local levels after. We still want smart people focused on policy, so the Senate should probably stay intact at first, but it would certainly get distilled into a purer version with the shadow of the Tree of Democracy looming, roots and all.
Main take-away: Our system is outdated, and arguably does more harm than good. There are a plethora of fair ways Our system could be refined, but the first step is uniting to evolve. The Founding Fathers would be delighted at what the youth could create: a better way! Faster decision making, including all voices, fairly. A solution.
“Because We can come together collectively to update Government, We should.” -Internet Revolutionary
Political Collectives as opposed to Political Parties
It’s apparent that the political parties inherited from previous generations are used and abused, and no longer serve The People. They should be diminished. The Youth & Truth Collective declares two simple oath declarations:
- Truth and Honor are paramount in every decision made concerning Public Policy.
- Intentions are to bestow the youth a healthier public system than the current, therefore I commit to perpetual improvement.
A direct question to all ye elected officials and future candidates: Are you Youth & Truth compliant? If so, you can use the Y&T badge on your profile. Keep in mind that if you claim it, you must prove it. We The People (and your staff) will be scoring you with a “hypocrisy score.” It’ll be similar to a golf scorecard, but for politics. Call it the New Youth Order: No More Secrets.
The Youth & Truth support network can be called the Improvement Movement which proclaims: “We Citizens intend to evolve and refine our collective system of governance, and will strive to prevent greed, corruption, or deception from weakening our social, political, or economic systems. We reject plutocracy, and the current form of governance. We demand a fair Justice System, honorable policy making, and transparent systems that facilitate accountability.”
Sadly, We can’t rely on the system’s leaders to self-correct. Therefore, it’s Our responsibility to be the Transformation Generation who unites to checkmate and re-balance the worn-out three branch system of government. The Tree of Democracy could bear the fruit of perpetual socio-political-economic Meritocracy. Are you ready to improve?
“If you will it, it is no dream.” -Walter Sobchak
“The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, and the achievers join us.” -Improvement Movement Motto
The Transformation Generation that unites to harmonize the Internet instrument can actualize their collective cake, and eat it too. Perpetual political progress, social peace, and fair economic prosperity is what’s offered for 5~12 years of planning and creating. Is it worth it to you?
Regardless, if the 4th Branch comes online to grow into the Tree of Democracy, the 2016 Presidential election could be the last of it’s kind.
Evolve. Refine. Repeat.
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Duke Johnson is a creative and non-fiction writer who shares stories from the heart, ideas from the mind, and laughs from the gut.