To view full-size versions of these images, please visit http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#0
EveryVote.org’s mission is to improve crowd wisdom and government efficacy by providing open source (AGPL) tools that 1) allow people to learn about and interact with all of their candidates and officials using one convenient web page, and 2) to make all EveryVote tools federation-compatible with as many other government monitoring tools as possible, so that a monopoly over government monitoring tools cannot form.
Some notes about the UI diagrams:
1) A tentative name for a collaboration of federation-compatible government monitoring tools could be OpenGov Federation. #opengovfed
2) EV News is basically reddit, except users can filter upvotes and downvotes based on whether those votes were cast by supporters, opposers, or undecideds on a topic. I can’t wait for the day this tool becomes available. I love reddit, but its biggest drawback is that it necessarily forms a hivemind that prevents minority viewpoints from being heard, so it is not a fair platform for civil discourse. EV News would do all the same things as reddit, except minority viewpoints could be heard.
3) The Consensus Tracker is a way for you to learn at-a-glance how everyone you ‘support’ (your trusted advisors) or ‘oppose’ (your distrusted advisors) are voting on any site entity (candidates, officials, bills, etc.). To our knowledge, no available government monitoring tools are using this technology yet. That’s a shame, because if a person understands how the Consensus Tracker works, then they basically understand how liquid democracy works, and can begin participating in it.
To illustrate, if 7 groups you support have voted on Bill A, and 5 of those groups voted to support Bill A, while 2 voted to oppose Bill A, then the corresponding box in the Consensus Tracker would display a green +43%.
Or, if 1 group you support has voted to support Bill A, while 6 groups have voted to oppose it, then the corresponding box in the Consensus Tracker would display a red -71%.
X = # of groups you support that are supporting the bill
Y = # of groups you support that are opposing the bill
Then the Consensus among groups you support on the bill = (X – Y)/(X + Y)
4) If there was ever an argument that we should consider liquid/networked/delegative democracy to support or replace the US current representative democracy, I personally think this image speaks volumes.
5) If you do not think comprehensive US candidate and official databases are one of (if not the) highest priority needs in the US today, again please take a look at this image.
Average US voters are responsible for the oversight of well over 50 elected representatives, and that does not include the judges (I had to vote on over 30 in Nov. 2012). It should not surprise us that the American government is not representing the will of the people (Congressional approval = 15%), nor that Americans seem so unwilling to do anything about it. Given our current technologies, comprehensive oversight of our elected officials by average citizens is completely impractical, so we should expect Americans to feel overwhelmed and become apathetic about their government.
Fortunately there are logical steps we can accomplish in the near future to improve our situation. Before we can expect Americans to become active, well-informed citizens, we need to provide them with sufficient government monitoring tools. The first steps to making sufficient government monitoring tools is *1* completing the free, publicly downloadable comprehensive candidate database, and *2* completing the free, publicly downloadable comprehensive official database, so independent developers can create comprehensive government monitoring tools. EveryVote hopes you will become active, outspoken advocates for goals *1* and *2*, if you are not already.
Since EveryVote is a small, student and volunteer-driven project, our first goal is to create an open source app to help university students learn about and interact with all of their student government candidates in one convenient location (EVmini). A prototype is available, and you can watch a 60 second video intro to the EveryVote Facebook app here. If you have any questions or feedback for us, or you may want to help this Summer in any capacity (coding, web design, outreach, mentoring, anything), we’d really appreciate hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org, or please follow or tweet @EveryVoteOrg.
Thanks for reading! Please let us know what you think so you can help this project evolve.