Open Source In Politics: GOP Open Sources Their Platform

Politics isn't usually about being open, but the Republican party is giving open source a try

Politics is one area not known for being free and open, but the Republican party has taken a step forward by open sourcing their platform process.

They are harnessing the power of the Internet and truly putting the power of the people in the people's hands by letting anyone submit their proposals for the GOP platform. People can then second any proposal and, depending on the amount of support it gets, it could make its way into the platform.

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This is a great example of how open source methodology and the Internet can help improve our institutions and society. While politicians campaigning for office have been quick to harness Facebook, Twitter and other technology to reach out, this new use by the Republicans is a whole different way of doing it. I think it is only a matter of time until all political parties embrace this method of "letting the people speak."

Of course, be careful for what you wish for. By opening up the platform to suggestions, there have been a few that would seem to be at odds with the positions of the party, according to this article. But ultimately one would have to assume that the majority will prevail.

To me, the ultimate use of the Internet in our politics would be to perfect a secure online voting method. Eliminating voter fraud while giving everyone the ability to vote from their Internet-connected device would open up our elections to the real will of the people. Unfortunately, I don't know if we have the political will to put the resources in place to actually perfect such a system.

In the meantime, it is fun to monitor the submissions, how many seconds they get and what proves popular or not. It really is democracy at work. I am glad to see open source being used to further openess in politics and government.

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