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Andrew Witte

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Direct democracy Vs Representative democracy. A network to connect and empower America with our US politicians and our elected leadership.

I am developing a social network that could change the way America's political agenda is set. I would like to reset the tone of America by giving all Americans a choice in our futures again. One American network for all Americans. I believe America does not get involved with US politics merely because it’s complicated and we have all lost trust in our representative democracy. America wants a choice in what’s happening to us all, so let’s give it to them by creating a Direct Democracy network where the citizen has the power to make change on all levels. In the network the user will be able to view current bills on the floor at the congressional, senate, and presidential level. The user will have the ability to vote on these bills and view the voting results of all Ameritics users as they move to the respective floors of the house or reps and on the president’s desk. Ameritics users will be able to connect with other users and with their elected leaders; via the congressional district tab (connecting with citizens in your district), Senate state tab (connecting with citizens in your state), and Presidential tab (connecting with citizens in the United States). I believe more brains are better than one which is why I’m introducing a think tank; an area within the site where users join forces to create and share ideas on how to fix problems in their district, state, and country levels. The user will also have access to daily Q&A’s as well as current and trending news, a history of their district and state representatives, and approval ratings based on Ameritics activity. A real-time debt clock can also be found on the network. Ameritics users will be able to integrate their Ameritics activity with their personal social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Together we can empower our citizens. Our futures and our children’s futures depend on it.

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    Jul 3 2012: cool.

    here is my suggestion: include a budget browser. the user first establishes the amount of total tax he pays in a year. there should be calculators, or simply let him enter as he wants. then show the central budget projected onto his contribution, that is, how much money he personally spent on government programs. the browser should be easy to search and summarize by various aspects. it also should include not yet realized, but proposed optional spendings.

    rationale: it is easy to juggle numbers like billion or trillion dollars, nobody has a clue how much is that. but if you explicitly see that you yourself spent USD10,000 on military, or 1000 on war on drugs, you might get upset a bit, and re-evaluate the necessity of such programs.
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      Jul 9 2012: Krisztián Pintér

      That is a great idea to have a budget browser. I do know that the house passed a bill that all tax dollars spent by US government will have to be loaded in to one central location on the internet for all users to see. This will be a great asset to show Americans how their hard earned tax dollars are spent. I very much will incorporate this Idea into Ameritcs. Thanks for your idea and input.

      Andrew Witte
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    Jul 17 2012: To move past wishful thinking, basic human nature has never changed. The good must continually fight against the bad. The only long lasting systemic changes have been achieved by technology (for example agriculture and medicine) or better social / political / economic systems (such as the rule of law or democracy). Technology is rapidly improving, but with better social practices it is already adequate to make the world a much better place. What the world need now is better social systems that provide a better method of democratic self government. Our present democratic process is inadequate to deal with our present problems. It is overly influenced by money, power and very shallow analysis by uninformed masses of people. It is more like a trial by mob than a public jury trial. Tribunocray is to present democracy what a jury trial is to trial by mob. Tribunocracy is what the world most needs now, see: www.tribunocracy.org
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    Jul 4 2012: Andrew, I like it. Sort of a political arm of TED with a yea or nay counter. How will you ensure one vote per person. I lived in Illinois and remember the old Cook County and Daily machine. LOL

    The people who are involved will remain involved and use this site. My question # 1 is: How will you lite the fires of those who apathy has already claimed. Question #2: Have you talked to any politicians or their chief of staff to find what would make this site a valid sampling instrument that they would use.

    I think this would do good on the national scene (Administration, Senator, and Reps) but find it a bit ambitious to do state and county. Also I review the Congressional Record for fact finding and my state politicians have a web site and I review their records often. Will you be linking any of those sites.

    My number one concern is how to re-engage those who have lost faith in the system.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 9 2012: Robert,

      Thanks for your response; I’m always looking for constructive criticism, question, and concerns to better my Ideas. To answer your first question I believe by giving the average American the choice to vote on the same votes as there Congressman, Senators and then projecting Yea vs. Nays results in an aesthetically pleasing simple graph form in respective Congressional districts and States for the Senate, people will then see that they have a choice instead of giving full rein to those we elect. I believe we need to do more citizens and stop giving so much power to one man or woman. On the other hand the Congressman or Senator should want to see what it is there a district or states are feeling on any given issue that cross their desk. Not everyone can go to town halls but most everyone can log in. You can ask anyone of your officials if they are willing to talk to you what it is they want the most and 99% of the time is your opinion and your vote. If anything I hope for my network to one day put out said “fires” instead of creating more for our elected leaders.
      Question 2: I have not been in contact with any of my representatives only because it’s nearly impossible for me to get a face to face with any of them due to their time restraints and being too busy. I have been flat out told no from my Senator. Now I am a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and have never bashed nor have I done anything to shame my name but that might also be why they won’t see me. I think it lays more along the lines of I didn’t donate or give support to their campaigns.... Honestly If my theory of how this is going to play out they will not have a choice but to use Ameritics as a tool, If not then they will only be hurting themselves and will not be taking their constituents seriously. Our individual opinions, concerns, and one man or woman’s vote has be pushed by the way side for far too long and should be considered on all votes. One thing that has really pushed me to make this
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      Jul 9 2012: dream a reality is in my studies of our history I found that in the very beginning of our countries history we all had a vote on issues and laws that would shape and mold our lives. Somewhere in lost time all of that went away and now we have this system that only functions purely on election cycles. I believe that America wants a change and wants to be heard on an individual bases but we have no outlets to do this. I know you possibly thinking well that’s why we have town halls. Even If one does make it within the time limits and have been given the opportunity to be heard at the town hall the elected official has individual agenda and party agenda to think about when making votes on both Congressional and Senate floors and not majority constituent vote which should be the case seems how that’s what they always say the base every decision after. How can they make said decisions if something like Ameritcs doesn’t exist? We all have gone way to long without having a say into our futures.
      I agree with you that Ameritics would do well on a national base which is my near goal. On the other hand I think in the long scope of things Ameritics would be a great asset to city, and county government. I am a fan of all information that can and will be linked to Ameritcs such as:
      http://www.fec.gov/
      http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/floor_activity/09_09_2011_Senate_Floor.htm
      http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php
      http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/cong.aspx
      http://oversight.house.gov/
      http://www.house.gov/
      http://www.osc.gov
      Again Robert Thank you for taking time to comment and know that I am taking you questions away to apply them in my plan to help empower our fellow America citizens once again.
      Thanks,
      Andrew Witte
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    Jul 3 2012: Uh oh! Please tell me you have already bought the url "Ameritics".
    You go, Mr. Witte! You have found a need and are making all the sounds of someone who intends to fill that need.
    As you solicit public response to your plan NEVER forget that every remark about why it won't work is valuable information which contributes directly to making it work!
    Your most formidable challenge is to avoid being labeled (Conservative; Liberal; Religious; etc.).
    Do not be afraid to swiftly censor contributors who engage in rude, profane, and/or disrespectful conduct. Failure to do this is the surest way to send critical-thinking, decent, respectful contributors running. All the best!
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      Jul 9 2012: Edward,

      In fact I created Ameritics Inc. bought the Ameritics Urls and Trademarked the name Ameritics. I also hold all the right to the intellectual property. I do believe in where I’m going with this and hopefully I can make a difference within America and give change to our historical data. I hope America sees that their opinions do mean something and change starts with us not Government. I am a fan of contributors that are rude, or disrespectful they give me a good laugh. I am a veteran having served as an Infantryman in Iraq in 05-06 and a combat advisor in Afghanistan in 08-09 I have rather thick skin. If anything it helps me focus on why I am doing what I’m doing. Thank you again for you enthusiasm and words of encouragement.

      Andrew Witte
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        Jul 9 2012: Thank you for risking your life for the people of the free world.
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    Jul 3 2012: Is this a forerunner towards direct-democracy in the US? Or is this voting feature to be seen more like a trend-o-meter of public approval?
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      Jul 9 2012: Jan-Bernd Pauli,
      Categorically speaking this would be a notional version of direct-democracy, but the notional could absolutely drop off If America rallies and uses Ameritcs as the point of excess to be involved in government. If my theory on how Ameritcs will work we will see Congress and the Senate, change their tone and use Ameritics as a tool and be that true representative that represents on behalf of their constituents. I believe this is the change that most of America is looking for. America cannot afford to stand by and watch our leaders steal from peter to pay Paul and throw money at issues. We as citizens must be more proactive and less reactive with government. My biggest goal is to walk up to any American and ask what they think of the elected leader. And no longer hear well I think there all crooks or I don’t like them... I to be able to trust my leader and know that he or she is taking my individual votes, collective district vote, State collective vote, and vote on thier respective floors purely on a common core of ideals and statistics given by the citizens they lead.
      Thank you for your question.

      Andrew Witte
  • Jul 3 2012: Andrew,

    Do not be discouraged. Posting an idea on a site frequented by critical thinkers will inevitably lead to the total deconstruction of your idea, down to the run on sentence. The fact of the matter is that people don't know what they don't know. You as well: you do not know what it would look like if this site existed, because there is no current frame of reference. If Orville & Wilber would have listened to every one that spoke like Philip here, they most likely would not have taken the risk, and our emergence to the sky would have been delayed.

    The future of our democracy is through transparency. A site where elected officials can log-in (if your will) to their constituency, review public opinion on current legislation and act accordingly. Where citizens can have access to reviewing bills, laws, measures, & amendments, that effect them and the world in which they live.

    I encourage you to start your ideas with "Why" why it is that you are doing what you do. Then the what and the how come later. Inspiration comes when you move or touch someone, after that the how disappears as it becomes far less important then the why. Look up this TED talk. "Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action", then reframe your idea and see if you achieve a different result.

    As far as online security goes, if we as a nation deem that it is important, then by all means it is secure. we trade $40B a day on the NYSE through an online database, 70% of the US population banks online, more shop online, we file taxes online, and if iVote-usa.org is successful, we will vote online during our national elections (You two should get together). Public Key Cryptography, Digital Signatures, and PIN's reduce online database vulnerability to almost NIL. Better then any other systems in existence.

    I look forward to your progress. I say "Why not!" - pay no heed to those that say "Why it won't", they are known formally as "Late adopters" and only jump on when the band wagon is nearly full.
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      Jul 3 2012: Orrville & Wilbur only succeeded because they were better critical thinkers than their starry eyed contemporaries. I empathize with the dream of a more responsive and transparent government but like gravity, there's a hard reality that must be considered. The Internet is global. Not everyone is friendly.

      We need a way of connecting with government that stabilizes the system, that promotes compromise among competing factions, and that places truth above partisan myths.
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      Jul 9 2012: Brent,

      Thank you for your guidance and words of encouragement. Simon Sinek TED talk was amazing, that talk and you have really opened my mind to other paths and ways of thinking for my project. It is forward thinkers such as you that give me motivation to continue on development for my project. Thanks again!

      Andrew Witte
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    Jul 3 2012: This concept has a few serious problems with it. First, how are you going to provide assurance to politicians that they're only seeing what their constituents are saying? Closely related to this, how are you going to verify the identity and location of these individuals? Will your system recognize computers that have been co-opted by botnets? How often will you scan for botnets? How will you prevent hostile states and nonstate actors from interfering with this system?

    How will you distinguish factual and false information? Will you determine source reliability? How will you prevent or stop erroneous memes that can or that have gone viral? Will you attempt to make a distinction of different political factions and special interest groups? How will you manage a balance in public discourse between different special interests? What if a small minority trolls or shouts down a larger group? What about a hostile faction among the politician's constituents that troll his/her supporters?
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      Jul 4 2012: Phillip thank you for your feed back as this project is a challenge due to the ever changing technical advances and the cost for development. I remain very fluid and continue to asses, manipulate such issues and conflicts you mention. I cannot answer all of your questions but the one that sticks out the most for me is, "how are you going to provide assurance to politicians that they're only seeing what their constituents are saying?"
      I am in the works of completing a United States citizen smart card that will take your identity and place it on one smart card. Ones licenses number, SSN, passport number, health care benefits and records due to the passing of Obama care, voter registration number, Concealed carry permits, ext. Your life’s choices on health care coverage, qualifying tax breaks, Identifying your Spouses and dependents and family lineage, all state and federal government everything will live upon one smart card and can only be accessed by you with a pin number given by yourself. This smart card will be the catalyst between you and a fraud. I believe this to be a very secure way of doing things and cut out all of the other ID cards and permits we all carry. I believe we must consolidate all of our American Licenses, registry numbers, and policies into one carry able smart card. On Ameritics if you are voting on a bill that is about to hit the floor for his or hers congressman you will have to digitally sign your yea or nay thus marking your vote on your smart card verifying that it is in fact you that is voting and this is the way you voted. There is more to come as I don’t want to give away all of my secrets and ideas to the future America. Have a great 4th of July, enjoy the Independences day and remember Americas fallen that have sacrificed their lives.

      Andrew Witte
  • Aug 2 2012: Andrew, you have clearly given this idea a lot of serious thought. Good for you! One question I have when thinking about a more direct representation by the citizenry in the development and passage of laws is in the area of the expertise of the citizens. By this I mean that the creation of good, useful laws requires a good understanding of the issues those laws are intended to apply to. In many cases, the underlying issues and factors that should be taken into consideration in the framing of a law are complicated and not necessarily known to the average citizen.

    It is very important to NOT mistake having MORE people weigh in on a particular law as being better than having MORE people make their feelings known who have a FIRM GRASP on the important details and critical factors involved in the law in question.

    While we often complain about having lobbyist have undue influence in the crafting our our laws, the fact of the matter is that those are often the very people who have a much better, in depth understanding of the situation the law is intended to apply to. Sure, the lobbyist tend to have a bias but they also serve a very useful purpose of providing information about the situation certain legislation is created for. Maybe you could use this fact and make provisions in your project for lobbyist and other "experts" to provide helpful and educational information to the average citizen who is interested in voicing their opinions on the particular subject.

    An informed citizenry will provide a much more effective legal structure than one which has large numbers of poorly educated, albeit concerned members.

    Another problem with educating citizens is what we see in electoral campaigns. There is so much fluff and irrelevant information put out and so many people don't know how to filter the garbage from the useful, valid information that poor decisions are invariably made. We need to do something to make sure people who vote are able to make good decisions.
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    Jul 18 2012: Your ideas for social networking related to government management would fit well with and benefit Tribunocarcy (please see: www.tribunocracy.org). Specifically, in addition to helping inform the population, social networks could propose referendum and candidates who might become eligible for consideration by Tribunes. Once a Tribunal Convention was convened participation in social networks might help provide questions and comments that received enough public support to be read before the full tribunal convention.