Tank General

general, Thinkingtanks.com

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How can we create a more collaborative government? Is E-Government feasible?

The impending presidential election has brought to the forefront many fundamental questions on the nature of government policy. One questions is around the essence of democracy itself and whether it can be enhanced to take advantage of collaborative technology. How can we establish a feasible framework to allow greater citizen participation in creating policy?

Beth Noveck argues that "we don’t have institutions that are good at bringing our talents to bear, at working with us in this open and collaborative way... The next great super power is going to be the one who can combine the hierarchy of institution with the diversity and the pulsating life and chaos and excitement of networks: all of us working together to build these new innovations on top of our institutions to engage in the practice of governance..”

Further Clay Shirky argues that the nature of government participation currently falls short of its potential and explains that "part of the problem is lack of information.. but, the bigger problem of course is power: The people experienced with participation don’t have legislative power and the people with legislative power are not experimenting with participation."

Have current open government initiatives come up short? Should all citizens participate more in creating policy? How can we create a truly collaborative Government?

  • Nov 18 2012: I offer a concept approach at www.YSenate.org and hope to have working product in a few months, looking for collaborators and critical feedback on three new ideas: 1) Primary Color Voting, 2) Neighborhood Delegate Clustering, and 3) Integration with Git for line item legislative voting. I would love your feedback, please check out the concept pitch.
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      Nov 18 2012: This looks awesome. Thanks for sharing! Will definitely come back with y feedback.
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    Nov 7 2012: Public online voting, attached to social networks. Once the ballot is fixed, people set up an account, and put all their votes in online publicly. Until the election, people can comment, on your vote, and you can change it. The votes can't be faked, because there are available publicly, and you can check the accuracy of your own vote. Probably cost a few million dollars to develop, but it would definately get everyone more engaged.
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      Nov 18 2012: Very interesting. I like it but privacy advocates would hate it haha. It would definitely force people to think long and hard about their vote as well as to be able to defend it. I fear some would be too mentally lazy and/or shy to participate.
  • Nov 6 2012: Term limits.

    Tax all lobbying, political action, and associations that exert any political influence at a rate that is double that of normal businesses.

    Require anyone running for public office to have completed a basic internship for the job in which they plan to hold.

    Provide congressmen accommodations and benefits roughly equivalent to what a Navy Captain might get while on TDY. Provide Senators the same roughly equivalent to a general's benefits and accommodations.

    Hold Congressmen and Senators to the same ethical, legal, and moral standards that the military is held to.

    Make the penalty of lying, distortion of the truth, or manipulation of fact loss of office.

    Make failure to sign a budget or complete legislation put before the governing body by the end of the session an offense that prevents the most senior half of the legislative body from being re-elected.

    Create a website where the will of the people in the district, state, etc. of the elected official is posted next to his voting record.

    This would be a good start.
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      Nov 18 2012: Amen. Thanks much for the comment. Some really great ideas. I believe knowingly lying is grounds for impeachment for some offices.. May i ask why the term limits? Could argue that term limits take away the incentive for politicians to pay attention to the long term implications of their policies. Thus they focus on policies that are beneficial in the shortterm but could be ultimately detrimental in the longterm.
      • Nov 18 2012: One term as learning, second and third productive, but after that, I am ready to have a new person's ideas included as part of the system. Someone still willing to compromise towards the best solution,
  • Nov 8 2012: I agree with Pat.

    Try talking to your coworkers. Find one person who will admit that he had no clue who those people were on the ballot. Then try to get that one person engaged in the next election. Repeat.
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    Nov 5 2012: This is nothing new. It is the same old story who can get the citizens engaged and communicating.