14 June 2013

Democracy 2.0 - - or, what's wrong with Congress

In the 40 years that Gallup has been tracking confidence in institutions (e.g. the military, the presidency, small business, big business ...), they've never captured a number as low as this: only 10% of Americans have confidence in Congress.

Americans keep voting for Congressional representatives who they love and getting a Congress they hate. It's like changing the actors for Othello and despairing that it's still a tragedy.

I find it fascinating that - from what I can tell - no one is talking about how they'd change the design of Congress, representation, the process of creating legislation, or how to involve citizens. There have been a few new technologies introduced since 1789, and I don't just mean hardware like smart phones that would allow daily polling of constituents. People like Michael Kaufman at Innovation Labs have developed processes that allow large group collaboration and innovation - something Congress or any body claiming to represent the interests of Americans could use.

It's time to realize that we've outgrown the very design of Congress in the same way that we have the Model T, 8-Track tapes, and powdered wigs. And it's time to begin a re-design process.

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