Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A website about politics that a friend created.


I am trying to put together a website and start a grassroots movement called "Reform2008". (http://www.reform2008.com/)
The concept behind this is simple: no matter who gets into office,the American people want government fixed. No fancy speeches, no vague promises... really fixed.
So I am trying to figure out a way to unite voters in all camps to come together and demand real reforms. Right now I have developed a website and petition and I have spent some time trying to come up with the right words to relay the message... but I'm not sure that they do.

The goal is to get most every voter to sign the petition regardless if they are Republican, Democrat, Independent, whatever.

Chris C



I haven't forgot about your political site. I did get a chance to look at it and you did a very nice job. I will write my in-depth comments later but for now you should think of a mechanism (and I have a good one in mind) to allow people to enter their views and let majority votes determine what 'causes' bubble to the top.
All of us may not have the same philosophy, but the "majority" is being ignored with our current system of lobbyists and payola. When set up correctly, the majority CAN have a voice, and maybe someone big will latch on and wield some power.

Great concept, I think it can work, but it must be setup so that it doesn't just promote our views. If you add a forum so that people can launch ideas and people can vote on them causing the good ones to bubble up and the winners can migrate to a Wiki for each proposal. The Wiki can be fine-tuned until it is something that can be passed. Then if there are a LOT of signatures for a proposal that doesn't have objectionable side-effects then it would be embarrassing for a politician to vote against it. (Although we seem to elect some politicians that either weren't born with the embarrassment gland or they had it surgically removed)

Now the proper way to vote for ANYTHING when a large group of people are voting is to use the technique called "Approval Voting". It's awesome! It was developed by a mathematician that is always trying to solve puzzles. A while ago I was reading a paper that he wrote about the proper ways to cut a round cake so that everybody gets a fair share. It sounds strange, but it is important to use a system that works, is fair, and can be audited.

Nobody is going to audit the cake cutting procedure because it is too dang complicated to even DO the cutting, what with "floating knives" and other such things, but an ELECTION should be fair and uncompromising. The "Approval Voting" technique is simple, easy to understand, and REALLY cuts down on name calling and dirty politics. Recounts are easy.

There is a citizens group that would like our elections converted to this technique, you can see their site at http://www.approvalvoting.org/

There is a government site that is a terrific resource about this topic: Approval Voting (gov)

There is a column by a very smart fellow at M.I.T. here.

It is incredibly easy to program your website database to add things up and topics can be sorted by their current standings.

It's the way to hold an election in a democracy. A recent primary had odd results because Guiliani had converted the states that thought he was going to win to a "winner takes all" system. The democratic party has super-delegates which is just asking for trouble.

We just missed being hit by the Diebold voting machine problem. These "no paper trail and no recount is possible" machines were heading towards being required by law to be used in all fifty states. Florida is officially sending them to the scrap pile because the corrupt people that thought that they were a good idea (and obviously don't like democracy) were scrapped at the last election.

So read about "Approval Voting", plan to incorporate it into your website so that people are not just signing up for YOUR ideas. Although forcing them to vote on MY ideas would be fun.
Use a forum to give them a voice, and if you are successful, maybe WE will have a voice.
[add wimpy disclaimer and apologies here]
If any of you readers have helpful (or hurtful) comments about "Reform2008" I am sure that Chris would appreciate it. Just comment here. He reads this blog often.

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