- Politics and Social Issues
Online Government: A More Open Democracy
Hey, person reading this. I have a question for you. Are you satisfied with how our government works? Good, neither am I. I think that's why congress is rated lower than cockroaches in terms of popularity.
What if there could be a better way? A way that allows for a lively debate and for ordinary citizens to play an enhanced part. How would this be possible?
One thing makes this possible: The internet!
A more inclusive process
Imagine if every citizen could vote for bills or resolutions. No longer would a relatively small number of Americans make decisions for the rest. It would finally be a government ruled by the people!
Situations like this wouldn't happen anymore: Most Republicans in congress are against universal background checks for arms purchases. The polls show that Americans support it with a percentage of 91%.
No longer would that be possible. There are some inherent issues with this plan, of course. Let's look at that.
Could we turn into Greece?
The inherent problem with allowing the populace decide every decision is that there's the possibility that they'd choose only the things that benefit themselves and would not care if they could not pay for them. This has been the age-old discussion when it comes to democracy. Sometimes, it can go too far and politicians will create a proletariat of sorts. They will start to make decisions for the lower class and it becomes a viscous cycle and only creates more poverty because people are consistently relegated to ignorance, and oddly, the politicians are, as well, because of the disconnect they have created between them and the populace.
So, how would we avoid this?
It's possible that we would still elect congressmen. They would be the ones to propose the bills and the dynamic would shift where they would have to figure out how the populace would vote on each particular bill. Also, it might be set up where congressmen still hold a certain amount of a vote. So, the populace vote would count for 50% of the total vote count, and the congressmen would hold the other 50% of the power. The details could be worked out, but it would really go toward fixing the dysfunction in congress.
How would it be secure?
Obviously, the main problem with this approach is fraud. This is why we haven't set up online voting for elections yet. I assume we will in the future because it would increase participation and be much cheaper.
But, how would we verify citizens?
A certain program would be set up where citizens would have to take pictures of their social security card or drivers license or both. Perhaps a broad, single government account would be set up and would be used for all government sites. This would allow for notifications to be sent to each voter, as to when certain bills would be voted on, among other things.
Where this could lead...
This could lead to many things. For instance, the government could live stream a lot more of their events. Instead of them being the ones talking and negotiating, we can could citizens participate, as well. Perhaps we could had experts invited too.
Currently, there's almost and iron curtain between us and our government. We elect them and then they go do what they want for their term. That just doesn't seem right to me.
There are numerous roadblocks to this happening
The one body who would have to change congress...is congress. So, you can see why I'm not terribly optimistic about this ever happening. I do hope, that as our country gets younger and more technologically advanced, we will continue to embrace new ways of communicating. Not only with our friends and co-workers, but with our government officials, as well.
This is just a thought.
This is just a thought I had recently. Wouldn't it be nice for us to be able to participate in government in a more direct fashion? Let me know what you think in the comments.