We are a few weeks away from the Presidential election, and I have decided to become even more involved in our political system. I think that the internet is having a bigger and bigger role in our democracy, and is shaping it for the better. I have decided to begin exploring the ways in which the internet can fix the problems in our system, and this blog is one of my first steps.
I began about a year and a half ago, during a long drive with my wife, where we started brainstorming ways to use the web to improve depressing correspondance I have continuously experienced with my representatives. I would write them, and weeks later a staffer would send me a form letter vaguely dealing with the subject. I can see that for my senators, but for my congressional representative, that is just not right. Tools are possible to create to make that interaction a more personal and responsive one, they are just not built yet.
Howard Dean then became a sensation, mostly due to his unprecedented use of the internet to bring people together and communicate quickly, cheaply and easily, on a massive scale. No candidate in this election cycle has surpassed Deans use of the internet, with the possibility of Kerry, who is now wielding online supporters quite effectively, but is not really expanding the paradigm much.
Candidates should have an engaging, interactive website that allows them to communicate with their representative on a personal level, become involved in thier community and democracy. My project for the next two years is to build the software for such a site and find a candidate who will use it in the next election cycle. I am specifically aiming at the congressional district level. Wish me luck.Fixing Democracy