Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Democracy in Action

While visiting the largest state capitol in the country recently, I got a chance to see a session of the Louisiana senate. It was a powerful moment, an opportunity to see the gears that drive this great nation forward.
Democracy in Action

But as I sat there watching the senators listen half-heartedly while checking their facebook pages, I began to wonder. Will democracy continue to evolve? I think that this generation's technological advances should change how our country is run. Everything else has been transformed by our ability to communicate around the world faster than we can think, so why not the foundations of Democracy? I'm not just talking about changing the outdated rules that allow a presidential candidate who received the majority of votes to be declared the loser, like some sort of bizzaro election.
Bribery in Action?

I wonder, will there ever be a day when there are no congressmen, and each bill is voted on by every American from their living room? That would require us all to be well informed and educated, so that day may be far away. But perhaps the day when Senators are seen as interpreters isn't too far away. Imagine a world where our senators break down each bill into basic language and post them online with a list of pros and cons, or thinking points. And then his or her constituents advise their senator how to vote through an online poll. It seems to me like this would distribute the government's power even further among the people and fight corruption. It's a lot harder to bribe millions of people, asking them to listen to special interests. Who knows how technology will continue to change our world, but hopefully it will shed more light on how our government is run.

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