Transparency is irrelevant without accountability (and vice-versa). I don’t think our government is all that transparent, but we know it’s not accountable because when the emails do leak and the recordings do come out, nothing changes. Accountability needs to come from outside of the entity being held accountable. So in this case, accountability needs to come from the people. Here’s how I’m making that happen:
I’m working with others to build an open-source public platform where constituents in my district can log on, verify their residency, and, among other things, approve or disapprove of my vote on every piece of legislation. They’ll be able to see the legislation, a summary of it, some education about the contents, and why I voted the way I voted. I will then have a public scorecard of how representative I am of my district. It creates a quantified continuous public feedback loop.
And that’s just the start. Since it’s open-source, after all the bugs and kinks are worked out on me, it can be applied to every representative in the country without their consent. Other awesome features will be added like proxy voting, allowing people to choose another person to vote on their behalf on certain topics. National topics of interest can be polled at scale and combined with additional polling data performed through more traditional means. Actions of politicians other than their floor votes can go through the same approval process and be applied to their scorecards. It can be a place for candidates and elected officials to connect directly with their constituents without the filter of profit motives and echo chambers that exist on current social media. And my favorite part is how this can be used to influence existing members of Congress to vote more in-line with the desires of their constituents rather than party bosses. This could provide newer, less corrupt Congresspeople leverage to “bribe” other representatives with votes instead of money to pass legislation that holds the interests of the people at heart. For example, I could go up to another representative and show them data that allows me to say to them, “I polled 10,000 people in your district. 6,000 said they voted for you and 70% of that group said they support the Freedom Dividend. Of the 4,000 who said they voted against you, 80% said they support the Freedom Dividend. If you co-sponsor the Freedom Dividend, all of your constituents who support it will receive a notification you can customize telling them that you co-sponsored it, all at no cost to you.” It’s a 21st-century hack to get around the gridlock on Capitol Hill so we can actually begin to get some things done in the interest of the people.
If you’re interested in helping with the development of this platform, contact me directly and let me know what you’d like to bring to the project.
P.S. Yes, we would love to leverage blockchain tech for recording votes!