I want to run congress.
Not run for congress.
I want to become the parliamentarian that congressional representatives have to listen to.
I have a plan to fix congress. And it means I have to be allowed to be mean to congressional reps. Well, maybe not mean, but not nice either.
Here is my list of requirements:
- Two white boards/smart boards
- Every desk is a tablet/touchscreen PC. On boot, it is locked and they must log in to use it.
- Said PC/screen has two voting buttons in the top left/right corners and then split screen.
- The right-side is my side as “admin” and the left is live-streamed to their website – any constituent can watch what they are researching during any meeting
Here’s the plan. Today we’re going to talk about Education. I bring in two giant white boards. I then call for order and say, “Today’s issue was submitted by Susan Smith of Topeka Kansas and has 3.2 million votes. Each of you has a handout of the number of people in your district who voted for this being a topic of discussion.” (right-side of tablet shows this)
Then at the top of the first white board, I would write the topic: Funding for classroom tools is not sufficient in all schools. (or whatever the topic is)
Then I would start defining the things we all agree on:
- Do kids need paper and pencils supplied? (yes/no)
- Should kids have access to a computer in every classroom (yes/no)
- (let’s assume they keep voting “no” a lot) Should schools have running water?
- Should schools have any computers at all?
Each of these things would be a vote – a public declaration of the representative’s stance on some basic concepts. They will have to publicly state what they “believe” is important (I am fully cognizant that many politicians change stance based on what their constituents tell them to do – it isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
Then we will move to the other side of this whiteboard and work to identify what everyone thinks the root cause(s) are. ALL of those go on the whiteboard. This is why “smart board” would be preferable. You can scroll to have a loooong list of possible causes.
Everyone leaves that session with homework. They must find at least 1 peer-reviewed source to sustain their causes/reasons (they are allowed to volunteer/group up on this). If they do not have any sources, they have to be able to present on their research methods. If they only searched one or two places that would support their philosophy – they have to own that shit. They can bring in up to 3 antecedent stories, but these are not replacements for research.
If they can show there isn’t research out their on those issues, they can submit a request for a grant to fund such research – which will be voted on in the next session.
The second board, after all the evidence has been presented, will then be pulled out. On this board we will open the floor to options. At this time, no debate (or really comment) is allowed. However, this is live-voting from constituents allowed. They are allowed to “tally” to their representative which ideas they like.
After everyone has exhausted the good/bad/ugly ideas we break for session 2 (realistically, with the amount of “present research” that could take place Session 2 might be days/weeks).
Session 3 is coming back to vote on options. Who supports which options. This isn’t a bill – this is just saying what the reps like/don’t like. Top three get highlighted and sent to everyone. Homework #2 now is to draft bill concepts on these three. One or more bills now need to get written.
I know this doesn’t sound efficient, but damn it – it can’t be worse than what they are doing now and I think it would give some great visibility into the process for anyone who is following a specific issue. (What session/portion are we on? What has MY rep said/done/voted on the ideas? Etc.)
I know it won’t happen – but I would love to test this out and see IF it could work… what would that look like….