Electronic Democracy

Ross Perot made “electronic town halls” a centerpiece of this 1992 presidential campaign.  The idea eighteen years later may become a reality demanded by Americans.

Today Rasmussen released a report that Americans want a chance to vote on deficit Commission’s recommendations.  Electronic democracy could be phase two of the Tea Party grassroots movement.  The midterm elections certainly confirmed Americans want a larger voice in decision making

Perot’s idea was not going to result in the spirited gatherings of New England townspeople or people voting as Rasmussen found is wanted today.  Perot explained it this way:

            “I would create an electronic town hall, where, say, every week or so we would take a single major issue to the people.  We would explain it in great detail and then we would get a response from the owners of the country – the people – that could be analyzed by congressional district so that the Congress – no if’s, and’s and but’s – would know what the people want.  Then the boy’s running around with briefcases representing special interests would be de-horned – to use a Texas term.”

New media, emails, social networking, blogs, town hall meetings by telephone and other technology innovations have opened up the way Congress hears from its constituents. 

Maybe electronic voting by “the people” on public policy ideas such as the recommendations of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission is in our future.

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