TED Conversations

ASCAP Composer/Publisher

This conversation is closed.

How can we use crowdsourcing/crowdfunding to reinvent our political process and rescue our democracy?

Most people agree the United States is a plutocracy, not a democracy. Our politicians are beholden to the moneyed interests that helped them get elected, not the American people. We are all aware of the problem but have felt powerless to change it. But we are living in a unique time in human history - a very empowering time.

What if a social contract existed that all elected officials had to sign in order to get elected and were held accountable to adhering to while in office (or we voted them out)? Couldn't we empower millions of currently disenfrachised Americans to actually vote if they had a vested interest in defining the solution....if they helped write this social contract? What would you include in this social contract? What would you like to see changed about our political system? Term limits? Campaign finance regulations? We all know that politicians will never limit their own power and that they are all stuck in a broken system. The question is how to we marshall the power of the crowd to solve this problem. How do we use technology and the power of the crowd to rewrite the rules for our political system and save our troubled democracy?

For a more detailed description please read the following - http://contractforcongress.wordpress.com. All ideas welcome.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 26 2013: I have another idea. First, let me qualify by saying that I don't believe that term limits themselves are a problem as long as our representatives still represent us. Instead, the problem is one of incentives.

    My idea is this: instead of incentivizing politicians to make promises to a select few for the money they need to be creditable candidates, why not incentivize politicians to deliver results for the many. For example, what happens if an organization could deliver on monetary pledges by a large number of citizens to help candidates who deliver on universal background checks, or some other broadly supported issue? If legislators could be guaranteed money for delivering, then they could spend time governing, instead of spending time fund-raising. Candidates could then align their actions either with a much larger, more transparent, group of fundraisers. If enough small-dollar contributions could be collected and distributed to lawmakers, then this could build coalitions on issues that don't require candidates to be beholden to parties or large amount contributors.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.