I have no idea, but I’d like to. Let’s make a website that asks you bunch of questions about issues that are currently under debate in your area. Answer yea or nay, and the program begins grouping you with other people who answer similarly. The more questions you answer, the more you can see how many people feel the same as you do, where they differ, and so on.
If you want, you can choose to reveal your identity (name, age, race, occupation, neighbourhood, race, religious affiliation, political affiliation… as much or as little as you want to share). Then the program can match you up in even more detail. Politicians will find it in their interest to reveal their identities so that people can see the name of the person they align with, and maybe decide to vote for them.
This is a win for voters and for politicians
The advantage to voters – they can see what politicians are on their side, rather than just hoping that the guy for their usual party is going to do the right things this time around.
The advantage to politicians – they can see whether people actually agree with them, or if they need to change their minds.
Issues should be user submitted but strongly curated and moderated, to stay on topic and avoid flaming.
It would be super interesting to pass around a tablet with the website on it at PTA meetings, town halls, out front of voting places for last minute sanity checks, at public debates, in grade 10 social studies classes, and so on.
Show me money
Here some ways to monetize it, some better than others.
- The usual ad banner at the bottom of the page
- Make people pay to add their identities
- Make politicians pay to add their identities
- Sell it to municipalities, tailored for their location, charge for the license, then for moderation/curation.
- Just a tip jar
- Make it an app and p2p (I have no idea if this is possible but cool if it is).
For my capstone project at college, we’re working with a local municipality on a website to help voters get informed about local issues. The idea I’ve just sketched out was what I originally wanted the project to be, but our sponsors and my team had a slightly different vision, so I’ve had to compromise a bit. What we’re going to end up with is more of a reddit/wiki about local politics. It should be interesting and super useful, but I’m still sad that my original vision won’t come to fruition, at least not this year.
So the idea is available for anyone who wants to take it and run with it. I hope they do, because I actually do want to know what’s going on in my community, and I don’t really know how to find out without actually volunteering for a local party to get into the action. There is certainly value in doing that, but I’m not ready to make that time commitment – I’d rather just be able to read about the candidates, get a name, vote for them, and know when to lean on them for action.