According to Wikipedia, the majority of Americans have Internet access. Hell, 7 out of 10 Chileans have access to the Web. For many of us, it’s not a matter of whether we can get online or not, but where we choose to do so from. Free wifi, our cell phones, the family computer, the one at our office, we’ve got computers all around us.
So why are we still electing officials to make our decisions for us? I receive this email on a weekly basis from Congress.org which is nice enough to tell me which of my elected officials are voting for what. It doesn’t explain what they’re voting for very well, and to read through a bill you’ve got to have as much time on your hands as it would take to write War & Peace, not to mention a degree in Political Bullshit, for everything you have to wade through to figure out what they’re saying.
But if all of America had a chance every morning or one morning a week or whatever the appropriate schedule might be to sit down at their computer, read through the latest list of issues, both in a condensed, “Here’s the gist of it” format as well as the full version, we could all get democracy back to being about the people. I think our Constitution mentions something about the people, right?
So yes, this isn’t exactly fair until every single person has access to the Internet, but I’d wager that if we have ubiquitous access to election polls, we could set up an adequately equal number of computers around the country for people to use. There might still be a need for elected officials, at first anyway, to actually come up with the laws that we’d be voting on, but eventually even they could be replaced by “Voterpedia.org” or something, where the more “Diggs” an issue got, the more worthy it was of being on the ballot that week.
Imagine a world without politicians, where it wasn’t so easy for tobacco companies and Big Oil or Ma Bell to buy a handful of people in Washington. If they wanted to spread their corruption, they’d have to do so by enticing at least 51% of the American population. Eutopia would surely follow.
Up Next: Analyzing Internal Controversy