“Rewilding” the political party system

What if we didn’t have two political parties?  What if we had a million parties?  What if we had one party?  What if the number and makeup of the parties changed in real-time?  What if party members could join, leave, merge, secede, delete, etc their parties as easily as they change clothes or even websites?  What if users were able to make a case for their views and support those views with evidence found online or put online?  What if other users could engage in debate/dialogue/reasoning to persuade others to join their party and vice versa?

What if we created a clean slate  or “rewilded” the political party system.  Everyone is an independent to start.  Anyone can create a party.  Anyone can join a party (but only one party at a time).  Anyone can leave a party and join another party.  A group of party members could decide to merge with another party or persuade another party to merge with their party.  A party could decide to change its name or views or not.  A party could decide to disband or delete itself.

What would be the point of this system?  Ultimately, to create a political system that the people want it to be, one that has its rules written by its constituents.  A system free of the shackles of the past (and tradition).  A system free of its corporate, union, and $$$ masters (of course anyone will be able to participate in this new system however).  It will start as a social and political experiment but could it eventually become more?  Could it influence real candidates?  Show them that the only safe harbors are not simply A or B.

This new system would be one of conversation not marketing (Cluetrain).  It would be open and nimble and owned by its users (currently reading What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis).  It would hopefully be a platform for true discourse.  A market of ideas.  A network of constantly changing niche networks (again Jarvis).  The antithesis of the talking heads in the mainstream media.  A system based in the ideals and values of the open source movement.  Currency would be information, ideas, and reputation.

The tools of this system would be the current and future social and construction tools that are being made possible by the Web and the current generation of internet companies.    News, information, and data shared thru Delicious, ad-hoc networks created on Facebook and Twitter, collaborative position papers and platforms hashed out and published in Google Docs, Audio and Video shared via Youtube and other sites, and new ways of cooperating in Google Wave.

We will need someone to launch this system.   We will need a person or group to set up the basic rules.  A group to build the basic functinality of the system and unleash it to the masses (and make sure it is open sourced and freely distributable).  From there it will need to be governed by a neutral body interested in refereeing, maintaining and even innvoating in a way that is lead by the users but that maitains fairness across the system.

I see no reason why this could not be done by a handful of political junkies, passionate human beings, AJAX coders, and some recession provided free time.  Anyone care to join me?

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An hour and a half with Barack Obama

This is a blog post from Marc Andreessen creator of the Netscape browser, co-founder of Ning.com, and financial supporter of both the Obama and Romney campaigns.  Marc has some interesting insight into Obama, the man and what he represents, having been able to spend 1.5 hours with him before the campaign kicked into high gear.  Red meat for the faithful, but I think Marc does a great job in capturing why so many of us adore this man and see him as the leader we so badly need.

http://blog.pmarca.com/2008/03/an-hour-and-a-h.html

Obama ’08!!!

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How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children?

Great article from David Pogue today!

http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/assessing-the-dangers-of-the-internet-for-children/

Nice to have evidence concerning what many of us have assumed all along (Internet dangers have been and continue to be over-hyped).  That being said, my other take away is that we really should continue to be having more discussions around cyber-bullying and empowering students with strategies to deal with this phenomenon.

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Intercepting Iran’s Take on America

Thomas Friedman’s take on what is wrong with our country!

“There are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between the U.S. and Iran — one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which — my guess — would read something like this:”

Read the full article HERE

Our Troops Must Leave Iraq

 Walter Cronkite makes the case for leaving Iraq…NOW!

“The American people no longer support the war in Iraq. The war is being carried on by a stubborn president who, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, does not want to lose. But from the beginning this has been an ill-considered and poorly prosecuted war that, like the Vietnam War, has diminished respect for America. We believe Mr. Bush would like to drag the war on long enough to hand it off to another president…..”

Read the article HERE

Huckabee and Saudi Arabia

I try not to get political on this blog, but seeing that I am a Democrat and writing to support the comments of a Repuiblican I thought it would be OK just this once.Having just read the FANTASTIC book “Three Cups of Tea” this comment from Mike Huckabee really hit home:

“Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we’re paying so that the Saudis get rich — filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas,” schools “that train the terrorists,” said Huckabee. “America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It’s absurd. It’s embarrassing.”  Huckabee said “I would make the United States energy independent within 10 years and tell the Saudis they can keep their oil just like they can keep their sand, that we won’t need either one of them.”

Go get ’em Mike!  The full CNN article can be read HERE