Here’s something for all of you, that should come as no surprise:
Congress is broken.
Congress actually has two jobs: Writing legislation, and passing legislation. It’s doing an abysmal job of both.
Writing legislation is the process of determining the problems that need to be solved, researching the issue, and coming up with good policy solutions. It involves foreseeing issues in implementation and addressing them. It involves writing the legislation in a concise, legible way. It involves writing legislation without undue influence from lobbying groups and special interests. It involves writing legislation that actually works for real Americans.
Passing legislation is the politics required to get to 218 votes (A majority) in the House and 60 votes (A filibuster-proof majority) in the Senate. It involves the ability to work through the political process in such a way as to get legislation passed, both through choosing passable legislation to fight for and through taking the right strategies to get your legislation signed into law.
Congress’ approval rating hovers around 10%. By almost any measure, Congress is doing a bad job, and nobody seems to know how to fix it.
Here’s my proposal: American Democracy Act (Link to .doc download of the full text, 8 pages).
Here’s how it works:
The US government will create a website, which will take the form of a wiki, where people can propose and collaborate on legislation. We’ve seen from Wikipedia, among other things, that with a proper set of guidelines and culture people interacting on the Internet can make some things that are truly great. There’s a vote page, where people can Support or Oppose legislation, and the legislation with the most support and least opposition is regularly sent to Congress.
Congress has to vote on the legislation, and it will pass if it gets 218 votes in the House and 51 in the Senate (No filibusters permitted!), when it will go to the President to sign. It’s simple, it doesn’t require a Constitutional amendment, and it gives the American people real say into what their government does in the process of governing them.
If this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to read the bill, or ask questions, or comment, and spread the word!