TED Conversations

Rodrigo Lozano

Nacel Open Door

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Making candidates answer democratically elected questions in a website.

We had elections time here in Argentina a few days ago and I though: "Well, there are a lot of questions I have that these candidates have not answered at any given time. What do they want to do about the security issue? I heard none of them talking about education either..."

And so this idea came up: what if we set up a webpage in which all the candidates are registered a month before the elections, then the rest of us voters ask questions and we vote them up or down, and the most voted ones must be answered by the politician?

So what do you think? is this a solution to make candidates more compromised with the issues their society cares more about? Would you support it in your country?

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  • Nov 9 2013: Great idea! I'm running something similar called Debating Europe - www.debatingeurope.eu

    In short, Europe's citizens send us their questions and policy suggestions, and we take them to a real policymaker to answer. Our aim is to bridge the gap between people and politicians, especially in the run-up to the European Parliament elections in 2014.

    Check it out.
    • Nov 10 2013: Wow, this is great!! But I've got a question for you, would you like this idea to be enforced by the law? that is, that the politicians running for elections are obliged to answer, that they have no other choice?

      So far I believe that the politicians your website contacts answer willingly (and that's great!), but in Argentina I doubt many of them would do it that way hahaha, they tend to find difficult questions "offensive".

      I love what you do! I'll certainly make sure to check the debates every now and then.
  • Nov 6 2013: How are we going to get direct answers with specificity? Think we will get the normal sound bites and lies - they are politicians. 8>))
    • Nov 9 2013: You are right. Well, perhaps a word limit could be set, so that they have to be clear and specific. A rating system for the answers with commentaries from the voters could also be implemented to keep the pressure up, which would require a valid National ID to log in. I believe the key is transparency: the more power is given to the people, the more cornered they will be.
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    Nov 9 2013: Absolutely a great idea to have those being governed deciding what the most important questions and issues are. This is where real grassroots, bottom up decision making will occur.

    Eventually such a system could easily evolve into one where the people continue to use the internet to decide what is important to them and then also decide amongst themselves what the solution needs to be as well. Then all the politician becomes is an employee charged with fulfilling the mandate of the people and if s/he is unwilling, or unable or incompetent to follow that mandate they get fired and replaced.
  • Nov 5 2013: Love it
    • Nov 9 2013: I'm glad you liked it! If you want, please help to spread the idea, let's see how far it can go! :)