Thursday, December 14, 2006

Letting Citizens Make Legislation | NewAssignment.Net

"Citizens using the Internet to monitor their representatives and the legislation that they draft is nothing novel. But a new Sunlight Foundation project aimed at allowing citizen legislatures to collaboratively script their own legislation, challenging what representative democracy means, certainly is.
Past elections have proven that a candidate's willingness and ability to engage online communities can mean the difference between winning and losing an election. But with this project, The Sunlight Foundation, a funder of NewAssignment.Net, suggests that governance, not just election outcomes, can be changed as well.
Using the model of, organizers have set up a wiki and divided the research project into four categories: identifying relevant, already-proposed legislation, gathering information and vetting news article about the legislation, suggesting legislative language or rules and suggesting amendments to existing bills.

"If this is a success, and we draft proposable legislation in this area, we can use this experiment to show lawmakers how they might do the same in the future share principles with their constituents, and work with them, instead of in secret, to turn those principals into laws" writes Zephyr Teachout, the Sunlight Foundation's national director."

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