Sunday, September 27, 2009
"I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin Roosevelt
For years, Britt Blaser (my dad) has been intent on developing internet tools to transform the way we communicate with politicians. Essentially, he wants to transform governance itself. NYC iVote4U and its Facebook app are complete and designed to be simple to use and radically effective, so that We the People can exert true influence over elected officials. The point of these apps is to take the power out of the hands of lobbyists and big corporate interests and give it to constituents. Not just another place on the web to complain, but a way to pledge our votes for and against politicians on Facebook and publicly gain up on them.
Each politician in the running has a 'page' where we can read what their platform is, see who is supporting them amongst our friends, and also register our support or lack thereof. The idea is that we can guide each other, and get guidance from our trusted FB friends, and in so doing, create a record online of what our political interests are. IF this takes off, because enough of us care, and use the app, then conceivably it will also be a place where our elected officials go to learn what we care about, collectively. Thus, we can force them to do the right thing.
iVote4U has received some attention: Huffington Post: New York's digitized Dems can take over city council Sept. 15 - "This website allows voters to use the web to bring about the audacity of hope and change instead of letting party insiders and candidate cronies re-elect an elite of tired incumbents or hand-picked buddies who are mostly out of touch with the real world that savvy New Yorkers occupy."
Doc Searls: Primary needs for political tools - "The idea, sez Britt, is to give voters a way to manage their politicians as easily as they manage their iTunes."
Right now it's being tested in the NYC primaries - now in run-off. Dad maintains that primaries can be the secret weapon of progressives and that the essential political algorithm is voter management of primary elections, as significant as Google's link-weighting algorithm. He calls primaries narrowly traded election markets, and political parties don't want much attention brought to them.
I hope we can bring it to CA after the New York test.