Bad Ideas, Poorly Executed

Via AssignmentZero, I discovered this manifesto from a supposed new "open source political party" in Massachusetts that says their aim is to start by electing a member to the Boston City Council.

This is our 10-point platform:

  1. We support the democratization of local governments through the use of digg-style lawmaking.
  2. We believe social media websites represent the future of participatory governing.
  3. We believe traditional voting processes should be augmented with secure web-based voting systems.
  4. We want to see open source software, formats and philosophies replace proprietary products such as the ruling Microsoft monopoly in public agencies.
  5. We demand that all politicians keep regularly updated blogs, with open comment systems, to maintain contact with their constituents.
  6. We want to see wiki-style collaborative writing of proposed laws and bills.
  7. We demand that all governing bodies publish Youtube-style video of all public meetings and votes.
  8. We support a total reform of patent, copyright and intellectual property law to reflect free and open Creative Commons-style licensing.
  9. We are against the implementation of draconian DRM systems.
  10. We want open VOIP, email and IM lines of communication with our elected officials.

Two reactions:

  1. "Digg-style lawmaking"? Sweet Jesus, I can’t think of anything I would want less. Would we really be better off if the Congressional Record looked like this?
  2. Some of their goals are laudable (limiting DRM, more openness/transparency, copyright reform), but they have nothing to do with the actual business of the Boston City Council. These issues don’t get decided at the city council level; mostly they’re set by Congress and state legislatures. And beyond that, it’s bad politics to run a campaign on issues that have nothing to do with the office you’re running for. People want their city council members to fix potholes and buy snowplows, not reform copyright. These guys should be running someone for the Massachusetts state legislature if they’re gonna bother with this at all.


Javier Marti

March 16, 2007
10:51 pm

I liked their ambition, and seemingly democratical drive.
Regarding their “poor execution”, I have the feeling that the people who wrote that are below 30. Expect to see a lot of nonsense coming from younger generations that are very capable on certain tech related aspects, but totally ignorant and incapable to see the “big picture”…where geography, social issues, political systems and business converge. I am not so surprised by their confusion. And it is global phenomena!
Anyway, I am Javier, the founder of, the fastest growing community of amateur writers writing about The Future of everything. We would like to invite you to join us and write an article on the website, on anything else you are passionate about…
It is up to you, you choose the subject.
You would get a link back when you link to your own article, if you wish.
You can even re-use some of what you have here, in the last part of the article, “your view and comments”. That would save you time and still be interesting for readers.
And yes, I know you may not have the time. Theoretically, none of us do…;)
Failing that, if you like the project and you can help us spread the word -even if you don’t write- it would be great.
Since we are starting, any help is appreciated.
By making this valuable information available online for free, I truly believe we are helping to make the world a better place.
And you could do your bit for the world too, by sharing what you know, as we already do.
Please let us know if you link or mention us, so we can link you back too if you wish.
You can even use our valuable articles on your websites, provided that you link back. Any better offer than that?! 🙂
Look forward to hearing from you or reading your interesting article at Trendirama!
Best regards
Javier Marti