2,533 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Society is radically different today than it was 225 years ago, when the United States’ founding fathers enacted the country’s Constitution. Sure, U.S. leaders added to the document over time — see the 27 amendments — but the process is unacceptably slow and arduous. Exhibit A: the 27th amendment, which prohibits any law that alters the salary of members of the Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms. Representative James Madison of Virginia — yes, the white-haired fellow on the right there — proposed the amendment to the U.S. House of Representatives on September 25, 1789, but it took 203 years to ratify. That’s just shameful.
Kevin Bleyer, a writer for The Daily Show, thinks he — and the crowd — can do better. To coincide with the launch of his new book, Me the People, Bleyer teamed up with Slate to crowdsource Constitutional improvements. Users can suggest new amendments, amendments to the old amendments, and changes to the existing Articles (I – VII).
Many of the ideas submitted so far are givens — eliminate the Electoral College, make Election Day a federal holiday, end corporate personhood, etc. — but some are unique and thought-provoking. One striking concept is Approval Voting, which would allow citizens to vote for multiple candidates on the ballot. If this was around in 2000, for example, Green Party supporters could have voted for both Al Gore and Ralph Nader.
When voting closes on June 19, Bleyer will incorporate the most popular ideas into his crowdsourced Constitution. He aims to complete the project by Independence Day. Until then, visit Slate to propose ideas and vote on others.