10.30.07: Futurecasting

Direct Democracy: A fictional scenario

In the aftermath of Washington D.C.’s destruction, federal government officials who survive the attack decide to physically decentralize the federal government. More emphasis is placed on individual localities—towns, cities, states—and their residents.

Dimensional, interactive touch-screen kiosks are an integral part of this new system. They provide a physical presence for a government that no longer assembles in real life. Residents can contribute comments, ideas, feedback, images, and even map exact locations that relate to local and national legislation, turning their daily experiences into a collective database of local knowledge and opinion that can be translated into laws and policies by local elected officials.

People access the system through the centrally located kiosks, personal mobile communication devices and computer implants, and even [now practically archaic] personal computer systems. They can comment on and rank issues they think are most important, contribute ideas, comment on their surroundings. The kiosk can be used publicly on the outside or privately from the inside.

Local concerns can be compared/contrasted with their national counterparts. Voting is tabulated, tracked and posted in real-time. Reporting of federal activities is also updated regularly through the system. People can use the system to access very detailed information about current bills, existing legislation, even profiles of elected officials and candidates.

The system provides a form of accountability for a country whose government no longer meets in face to face. It helps citizens feel more connected to a government that now only exists in virtual form, and gives them an active role in shaping their own lives and immediate surroundings.

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