Need for Open Source Government

I have a pretty radical idea that I think has the potential to do a lot of good if it can be refined well enough and could get enough backing.

The first thing I want to say is that our government and the entire way the system is set up is clearly imperfect. We can agree on that right? That things could be better? Cool.

I also want to take the time to introduce anyone who is not familiar with it to the idea of open source The tl;dr of it all is that software developers develop software, and not only release that software for free, but also release what's known as the source code, the instructions that actually make the program work. Anyone else is free to do what the source code what they want, they can modify it and re-release it as their own product, or if they think they can make a beneficial change to it they can make the changes and then the author (which is often a community of people rather than just one person) can adopt those beneficial changes. All the work is done for free, for the purpose of bettering a tool that everyone can use.

Now, what if our government worked that way as well? What if anyone was free to make a suggestion to how a law should be changed? And what if those changes were adopted or rejected based on what the entire community wanted? Essentially, let's say you think you have a better idea of how a law could be written, and you make that suggestion. Everyone in the country can look over your suggestion, decide whether or not they agree with you, and vote on it. If the majority of the country likes the change, it is adopted.

What I am proposing, and feel free to make suggestions on how to improve this proposal, is that we gather a bunch of software developers to make an open-source government system that works on direct votes. The software would be open-source, so everyone is free to look into how it works and there's a guarantee of no shady business. The people would all have an identity on this system and they could directly vote on the topics that were pertinent to them. For topics that they are not knowledgeable about, they could elect to have someone else vote on their behalf. They would be free to take back those elections as they saw fit (such as if the person they originally trusted to vote for them began to vote in ways that they would not).

Now for this to work would require the meeting of many challenges, the first and most obvious one being that all of the citizens would have to agree to start abiding by this new government, and reject the old government. Obviously, the people in positions of power in the government now would strongly oppose this shift, as all of a sudden they would only have as much power as everyone else. There would most likely also be a lot of opposition from people who simply did not trust this new system, or did not trust that enough people would abide by it to make it work.

Another large challenge would be, who do we trust to operate this system? Corruption is what led us to the problems we face today. To make this system corruption resistant, I propose a decentralized operation, meaning no one in particular runs the system any more than anyone else. It's a completely community-driven and community-controlled government, a true For The People, by The People..

Now for the technical part of this proposal. Open-source software, with a decentralized database. Obviously we would need strong encryption and some method of keeping the system from being hacked (hoping someone with more security knowledge could chime in here). We would also need some way to guarantee that each vote was made by an actual person and that each person only had the ability to vote once (possibly some combination of social security numbers and three-factor authentication?).

There's a lot of room for improvement and I think my idea may be on to something. Obviously this is still very under-developed but I want to get outside opinions on it and just let the community take it from here.

tl;dr A lot of people are unhappy with our current government. I propose we stop giving them authority over us and institute a new, honest government system.
Need for Open Source Government Need for Open Source Government Reviewed by Kanthala Raghu on April 30, 2014 Rating: 5

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