--Reform, A Big Task. How Shall We Go About Reforming the Federal Government?
There are Four important parts to this effort. Included is a promotion concept which should give it the required adoption and expansion.
The First Part is the collection and selection of the most important governmental issues on a Wiki. Issue sites exist and Google has one of the better ones. An improved, more focused issue site Wiki is however essential. It must allow and encourage citizen to see our national governmental problems laid out with the various points of view and proposed answers evaluated from a neutral, or better yet fair, point of view (take a look at an example start of a draft issue). Selection of governmental issues must be the higher priority for these are the longer range issues that go directly to the correction of systemic problems and correction will better allow us to address the hundreds of other issues that face our nation..
The Second Part is the convocation of Citizens Assemblies that address a select number of major issues and allow them to explore and vote on the best solution among those presented. Deliberative Polling and National Issues Conventions play a part in the potential U.S. Citizen Assemblies. Crucial to the success is a longer range, unproved selection of governmental issues in future assemblies or conventions which a Wiki will serve as a base. The Cusdi.org site, which is an argument for national initiatives, has an excellent layout on how a citizens assembly might best be conducted.
The Third and very important part is the further development of this Web site into a base for a 501 (c) 3. site ( a tax exempt charitable organization) that can both promote the Wiki and use it to provide information to the citizens assembly for decisions. Additionally the NSC Site will be used as the primary fund raising site for the coordination and establishment of the citizen's assemblies.
The fourth and important final element of this concept is the use of social networking sites and weblogs to promote the entire effort. Each member is asked to join at least join one social networking site and use that membership to explain what we are working to accomplish here and on the Wiki. Social networking sites have achieved a unique niche in expanding the attraction of other efforts on the net. More importantly each individual can have a significant impact on moving traffic to a site and with the combined efforts of each participant in this NSC site the attraction of the effort can be enhanced by individual effort. For an indication of the "importance of social networking sites" Google that phrase or check out the study on User Behavior Study of social networking
Citizen assemblies proposed herein are an emulation of prior citizen assemblies (site example) using a random selection of a cross section of citizens who are briefed on the various solutions already proposed and viewing the responses.
Press involvement Previous uses of citizen assemblies, like that of British Columbia, have attracted the attention of the press and will serve to further magnify the attention and effect of the effort. The resulting promotion of the effort will be designed to pressure the Congress out of deadlock and into appropriate decisions on national issues.
Wikipedia As a Model
The evolving collaboration concepts of Wikinomics is fundamental to this effort. The initial structured Web page of NSC will be used in the initial layout but the major effort will transition into a traditional Wiki at Issuewiki.us as the editors and technologists come into play. Wikinomics and the integral open source collaboration effort of that model will shake our world. A radical reform of the U.S. political process is assured. We can ride the wave or be swept aside along with defunct policies of today's major political parties. While Wikipedia has its detractors there are several strengths that make Wikipedia a worthy model. Some of these are, continuous improvement, a neutral point of view, an aspirational source and style guide and reliance on the better angels of our nature. "Verifiability" and "no original research", which are two of the core aspects of Wikipedia, will require special citations as we deal with the myths and distortions of contentious political issues lest the NSC effort become a reason for argument itself. While "neutral point of view" may be impossible it is a worthy goal, perhaps we must settle for "fair".
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