Thursday, January 22, 2009

We The People: A National Referendum Mechanism

President Obama has encouraged all of us to 'get involved', and to express our ideas, opinions and priorities directly to him and his staff; he intends to employ new internet technologies to make this feasible. However, in the most recent interactive effort at "citizensbriefingbook.change.gov" site, it was very clear to information professionals that the implementation was seriously flawed; we posted our suggestions and do hope that he can employ some skilled technologists now (computer software designers, statisticians, and human-factors/polling experts).

Such a properly re-designed website would be a great informal mechanism for government to be more aware of and responsive to 'we the people'. Regular statistical summaries of results (and responses by officials) should be quickly posted for us to see.

Beyond that, I want to propose that a more formal mechanism be instituted, somewhat along the lines of 'popular referendums' at the State level. It would be administered by a cooperative legislative-executive 'Popular Referendum Agency' setup in a manner to assure reasonable independence from political pressure and resistance to fraud. Voters would be US citizens who choose to qualify and be registered. Presentation of issues and voting could then be implemented at a secure internet site.

Of course, for some initial development period, the results would be limited in force (advisory); but after the mechanism design and implementation are tested and confirmed, there should be some levels of 'legally-binding', depending on the type of issue addressed. The process would be something like this:

1) with some input from the informal mechanism (website, pollsters, senior executive officials and legislators), a 'votable-referendum-issue' statement would be formulated. This statement would be composed of something like:
(a) definition: a brief description of the problem issue
(b) motivation: why this issue is considered important
(c) facts: a balanced, moderately-detailed analysis of the known facts of the issue
(d) acts: a list of proposed solutions, with brief expert pro & con commentary
(e) 'The Proposed Ballot' composed of:
(1) Importance Measure ('vote' of 0..10, where 0 is least important).
(2) for each item in (d) solution-list ('vote' of 'confidence in' = 0..10).
(3) Objections: free-form text whereby voter can briefly express objections/suggestions, especially if he feels the entire formulation of the issue is misleading.

(x) Legal-Binding-Level-Category: {Advisory-Only; Mandate Executive-Branch Action; Mandate Legislative-Branch Consideration; Legally-Binding-subject-to-Presidential-veto; ... }

I'd like to illustrate with some referendum-worthy examples (obviously biased to my personal priorities):

[[1]] The Iraq war. Solutions: [1] Immediate termination by unilateral withdrawal of US forces. [2] Unconditional gradual withdrawal during max 1 year [3] Conditional withdrawal measured by level of enemy attacks vs.proven ability of current government. [4] Long-term occupation with consent of current government. ...

[[2]] The Afghan war. Solutions: [1] Immediate termination by unilateral withdrawal of US forces. [2] escalate by increasing military to a max of 3x current level ...

[[3]] Banking Financial Crisis. Solutions: [1] provide 'bail-out' funding to selected large banks identifed as 'too big to fail', to a max of $X trillion [2] temporarily nationalize all banks identified as insolvent [3] create an alternate banking system dominated by a non-private (US Treasury) National Central Bank, which will assume the assets and duties of the current Federal Reserve and all identified insolvent private banks.

[[4]] Federal Funding Crisis. Solutions: [1] continue using traditional methods. [2] Employ only 'money-creation' by a National Central Bank, which will eliminate the need for federal taxes of any kind, nor interest-bearing Treasury Debt.

[[[[[ and all the other issues listed in my blogs... ]]]]]]

38 comments:

1025 said...

每一個人無論怎樣渺小,在自己的眼中,都自有其份量 ..................................................

3天3頁 said...

初次拜訪,祝你人氣一百分 ........................................

陽明山花季 said...

以簡單的行為愉悅他人的心靈,勝過千人低頭禱告........................................

陳石薇 said...

hello~~........................................

鍾FeR_Quade0426 said...

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茂鴻 said...

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李0825juanherzberg said...

我只知道,假如我去愛人生,那人生一定也會回愛我........................................

韋于倫成 said...

好問才能博學。........................................

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呈均 said...

you‘ve got a great personality!............................................................

HaroldM22 said...

your wife is very charming!............................................................

07_TeddyF_Silvey0 said...

What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.......................................................

walsha said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.............................................................

renew said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。..................................................

雅馨 said...

If the quantity is not a lot, I will hand carry..................................................

博行 said...

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林怡洋 said...

一定要保持最佳狀況呦,加油!!!期待你發表的新文章!.................................................................                           

江婷 said...

上班好累哦,看看部落格轉換心情~~~先謝謝啦!!.................................................................                           

佳蓉佳蓉 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼............................................................

雲亨雲亨雲亨 said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。.................................................................

與發 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!..................................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

一個人就像一個分數,他的實際才能是分子,他對自己的評價是分母。分母越大,則分數的價值越小。..................................................

盈廖生家秀蔡 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!............................................................

陳芳 said...

臨淵羨魚,不如退而結網。............................................................

承蘋承蘋 said...

在你一無所有的時候 是誰在陪伴你 他便是你最重要的人............................................................

張雅筑張雅筑 said...

Subtlety is better than force. ............................................................

錢靜怡錢靜怡錢靜怡 said...

thank you so much~~ SUPPORT!!............................................................

胡維倫 said...

道歉是人類一定必要的禮節..................................................

家唐銘 said...

如果,人類也像鼠輩一般,花很多時間來吃飯和睡覺,一定會改善健康。 ............................................................

姿胤綸婷 said...

鞋匠能作好鞋子,因為他只做鞋,不做別的。..................................................

麗郁順君 said...

實在是太完美了!非常感谢!给心心!(〃ω〃)............................................................

偉曹琬 said...

做些小善事,說些愛的字句,世界更快樂。..................................................

文瓊王王慧山 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

冠陳儒 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!!............................................................

瑰潼 said...

讓好心情回味發酵;壞心情留在文字裡隨時間消逝吧!............................................................

士文婷文婷松 said...

困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。......................................................................

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

唯有穿鞋的人,才知道鞋的哪一處擠腳......................................................................