Contest Entry: Accountable Democracy with PeopleCount

There’s a National Geographic “Chasing Genius” contest. I just finished my entry. They wanted a 60-second video, so I rushed through this one (link to it on YouTube)

Here’s my entry. Note that every part had very small character-count limits…

ENTRY TITLE: Add Accountability to the US Political System
to pass environmental, health care legislation, + more


The US political system has no real accountability built-in. It happens in a relationship, with communication. I designed a rewarding system to deliver excellent political communication among voters and between voters and politicians.

Politicians will compete to do what The People want.
Expensive campaigns won’t help.
Great legislation addressing climate change and health care will pass quickly.


US politics sucks. Congress is dysfunctional. Conflicts of interest abound. Extremist groups halt legislation. Voters turn to apathy and ignorance since caring and learning lead to frustration. All are side effects of a political system that was never designed. The founders even warned about parties. A system evolved where the parties fight and the wealthy buy influence. Instead, ALL COUNTRIES could have a system for designing our future together. (The UN has even expressed interest, but no support.)


Today, NO politician CAN BE accountable to voters. Accountability is a relationship. How it SHOULD work: Voters guide and know what we ALL want, and expect results. Politicians report to each of us monthly on the issues we’re concerned about most. We grade them and share the grades. In their reports (written, audio and video), they’ll compete to satisfy us and we’ll see their grades. We’ll be well-informed in elections. They’ll have no need to chase money.


Born in 1957, graduated Stanford in computer science. I saw I was resigned about politics and so was an unwilling/unwitting accomplice in dysfunction. I gave it up and tried to get involved. Frustrating! I’m a problem solver so got under the cultural myths and found a solution. Live in Silicon Valley.


I don’t expect much from the contest. But I got a video and a blog post out of it. I’ve added the script I read from, below.

If you want to make PeopleCount happen donate $27 today, and add your email address on the announcement list. And most importantly, share with your friends!

The script:

American government was crudely designed, but our political system in the larger sense- how we communicate with our politicians and each other- was NEVER DESIGNED.

It’s inefficient- we have lousy communication and high costs, Congress is corrupt and dysfunctional.

So I designed a political communication system. We’ll vote on issues, so we’ll all know what we want and we’ll expect results. Instead of politicians PUSHING stupid sound-bites to us at HIGH COST, for LOW COST we will PULL short reports on desired issues MONTHLY and grade them. We’ll all know what we think of our elected officials AND of challengers.

We’ll get to know our politicians as they compete with each other for better grades on being accountable and effective. Money will no longer be an important factor in elections. And voters will find it rewarding to care and learn about issues.

Soon after launch, Congress will pass both environmental and health care legislation, and much more.

My name is Rand Strauss and I live in Mountain View, California

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