Virtual Democracy Emerging As We Tweet

Think Congress is dysfunctional? That’s old news.

Consider replacing traditional representative government with a revolutionary new system.

Listen: Radio talk shows had a bright idea.

Two words: “Audience participation.”  Invite listeners to call in.  You can be on live radio! —  But only a select few get through the jammed switchboard.

Next, invite listeners to send an email.  — Bingo! Everybody gets through! — The host reads four or five emails in the time it takes to chat with one caller.

English: Tweeting bird, derived from the initi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to cable TV news:

“We want to know what you think. Send us a Tweet about  [insert burning issue of the day]. We might read your Tweet on the air.”

Next step, Reality: 

Vote “Yes” or “No” by dialing a number on your cell phone.  Continue reading

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Maryland Election Ballot Questions: In-State Tuition, Redistricting, Same-Sex Civil Marriage, Gambling Expansion

See that line? That’s the first-day of early voting at Berlin in Worcester County, Maryland.

You can expect long lines at Maryland polling places for the Presidential Election on Tuesday. The reason: Ballot questions that voters know are important, so they take the time to read all the questions in the voting booth and make their decisions. The solution: Get familiar with the ballot questions before you go to vote. Do this on Sunday or Monday. Make your decisions and mark them on your sample ballot or just jot them down on a scrap of paper. Or print out this post and take it with you. Walk into the polling booth, vote, and you’re out in three minutes. But you’ll still have to stand in line, because most people won’t take a few minutes to prepare themselves in advance.

The following comments on four of the ballot questions represent the opinions of the blogger.

QUICK GUIDE TO THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ON THE MARYLAND BALLOT

QUESTION 4, REFERENDUM: HIGHER EDUCATION, TUITION RATES.

Quick recommendation: QUESTION 4: VOTE FOR THE QUESTION.

Question 4 is the in-state tuition referendum, AKA the Dream Act referendum. Authorizes in-state and in-county tuition rates for all true residents of Maryland, including undocumented immigrants. It’s been passed by both houses of the General Assembly after considerable debate, and signed into law by the governor.

Continue reading