In the last post, we looked at the nuts and bolts of the first version of PeopleCount. Now comes the hard part: Will the nuts and bolts matter?
The nuts and bolts matter
What would happen if America would vote on whether presidential candidates, or even members of Congress, too, should have to show their tax returns? What would happen if we all would vote on whether corporations deserve the same God-given rights as people, or if money is speech? Do you want to eliminate the E.P.A.? Should we get rid of all the anti-pollution laws, or simply have no oversight of them? Should the President’s business dealings be investigated for conflicts of interest? One opportunity is let people vote on these issues. Another is to let the officials state their positions on them and let people grade them.
What would happen if all the voters in every district and state knew the grades of their representatives, senators and the president? Imagine 80% of America wants the President to reveal his taxes, but your representative doesn’t support it. Will that matter? Will poor grades matter? Will poor grades matter if they’re obvious and given by the actual constituents?
Currently, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, is refusing to investigate Trump’s taxes or his dealings with Russia. What would happen if his constituents graded him poorly? Imagine a challenger wrote, “I’ll be mostly like the incumbent, except on issues like this one where he’s not representing you.” What will happen then?
Who put that unrepresentative politician at the head of that committee? The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Will a challenger running against Paul Ryan point that out? Will it become an issue in the next Congressional election?
How will it affect elections?
PeopleCount will cost politicians very little money. For low cost, challengers will be able to have a relationship with their voters, with you. Think of the freedom that’ll give them. They’ll be free to represent you and to work for you. After they’re elected, they won’t need to spend time chasing donors.
What if a challenger told you: “I’ll make great decisions, always taking into consideration what you, the voters, want. If I want something else, I’ll tell you why and you’ll be able to change your vote on that issue, or not. I’ll see the result. If you still don’t want it, if it’s legal and can work, we’ll try it. If it doesn’t work out, we can always try something else. In today’s Congress, it takes months or years to wrangle a deal because the extremists control votes. That won’t happen if we’re accountable to the people. I’ll work for you. Together, we’ll be able to make good decisions quickly.“
What does it mean for politics?
Today, we have no communication structure to deliver accountability. This is the biggest reason that politicians are not accountable to voters- they can’t be. At the same time, they need money for expensive campaigns so they’re accountable to large donors. And they need to work in groups to get anything done, so they’re accountable to the parties. Parties these days frequently adopt extremist agendas and are also accountable to special interests. Today, politics is the parties fighting for control, with little input from voters.
PeopleCount provides the voter-controlled structure that will make our elected officials accountable to people. Using PeopleCount, politicians won’t be dependent on special interest money. They can do what’s right, represent you, not be beholden to large contributors. They can even be more independent from parties. With PeopleCount, politics will be us, The People, designing our future together.
And that’s just the first version. We have a lot more wonderful things planned. But we need your help. Please add your name to our announcement list. And while you’re there, make a donation as well.
PeopleCount is a California benefit corporation. Its sole purpose is to help people govern themselves well.