“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station in which
the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence
These words ring just as true today as they did nearly 250 years ago.
Sadly, today our beloved country and the democratic-republic system of government that has made it so great is under siege. It was once thought, that the internet would save democracy, but if anything, it has only made things worse.
An internet that delivers to us a unified government and people, ushering in a new golden age of peace and prosperity, seems like only a nice dream when considering our current state of affairs.
We’re overwhelmed with inflamed tensions, deepening ideological rifts and new problems, such as Fake News, Alternative Facts, Russian Hackers, etc. — its no wonder why nearly half of eligible voters in America don’t bother participating.
Today’s public narrative often describes these as the cause of many of our problems – but they are symptoms of a much deeper problem. Author Micah Sifry has called this problem, the Big Disconnect. Yale and Northwestern Universities did a study on our government as a system of representation of the people and found that we are actually not even technically a democracy anymore, but rather an oligarchy. The truth is, we are more disconnected than ever before. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our culture is constantly evolving, faster than ever before. Today we stand on a precipice in deciding how our nation can secure a political and cultural system that truly represents her values.
To promote a culture of abundance, peace, and understanding we must dive into the architecture of what our political, social and cultural systems look like. How they operate at present and how they manage to handle the difference of opinion in its participants. From there we have designed our version of how we believe a highly functioning system of government and political-cultural can and should work — keeping one foot in the present system, and reaching further than ever before to build a digital system of government that is truly of, by and for the people.
With that in mind, we humbly present WeVote’s Bill of Voter rights to you. It is our mission to build a more harmonious community and the world. We believe the foundation of which belongs to how a society comes together to build consensus on handling our greatest challenges. We hope you join us in this endeavor.
Andy Curran, Founder of WeVote
THE WE VOTE BILL OF RIGHTS
1. Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition.
In every respect, WeVote® will supply voters with tools to freely exercise their freedom of speech and press, the right to assemble with like minded citizens, and to petition the Government.
2. Right of Equal Access to Information
A well-educated electorate requires equal access to data related to ongoing legislative matters as well as current events, which includes discussion and voting tools to deepen the engagement, maximizing voter education and impact.
3. Right of Equal Access to Lawmakers
A verified user on the WeVote® network will have access to their representative’s page, be able to submit private or public questions, petitions and statements. Representatives will see the activity on their end, which prioritizes constituent input over non-constituent. Common stakeholders, such as users affected by a lawmaker’s vote outside of their district, may also post publicly, vote and petition on the page of a representative. However, a non-resident or non-constituent may not contribute to the public page of a representative.
4. Right to Privacy of Identity
The right of users to be secure in their opinions and votes shall not be violated. Users may toggle their security preferences to protect their voting record on the network. However, if a user wishes to make a statement on the public record of the network, they must attribute themselves.
5. Right to Raise Awareness of Citizen Sentiment
The mission of WeVote® is to remove or significantly reduce the barriers on voters to participate in the public policy process. In that regard, WeVote® is approaching this challenge by providing lawmakers with access to reliable data of constituent and stakeholder sentiment in order to better represent their respective districts. We are dedicated to constant improvement and innovation in this endeavor.
6. Right to a Spam/Troll Free Engagement Ecosystem
In order to preserve accurate sentiment analysis and to be as influential in matters of public policy and elections as possible, WeVote® reserves the right to refuse access to publishing tools on the platform to users who have not been verified. Only users who have been verified as registered voters will have the rights to publish and contribute to the ever growing body of shared knowledge and sentiment on the network.
7. Right to Reform Electioneering Tactics
With respect to the way elections are conducted: Politicians entering a political contest will have free access to contact constituents directly via the WeVote® network. This will ensure ideas are the main currency of the election and not how much a politician can raise funds.
8. Right to Unfiltered News
With respect to how users receive and consume news and information via the WeVote® Newsfeed: Users’ newsfeeds will be based on a standard, open-sourced ranking model of content that will be consistent for all users based on geography and voter registration records. Personalization based on personal preference will not be a factor in determining what content you will see in your newsfeed. Rather, post rankings will weigh metrics such as date posted, votes, other network activity.
9. Right to a Portion of the Network’s Value
Part of the mission at WeVote® is to build strong communities of people who are able to take an active role in improving their communities and government. By participating in WeVote® forums and community we hope to be able to provide our users with opportunities to earn digital currency by adding value to the ongoing discussions and potentially by volunteering in their communities. This currency will be used to purchase goods and services by local as well as national vendors. We are dedicated to finding solutions to inequality in economic opportunity. By sharing the value of the network data with the users who create it, we hope to encourage more connected and symbiotic relationship with our users.
10. Right of the Users Under the WeVote® Constitution
The WeVote® network is designed to run parallel to actual civic institutional procedures, such as legislative season and elections, as well as an alternative source to gather information and assemble civically minded citizens. WeVote® however, is not a binding force for direct democracy. Meaning, no matter how overwhelmingly lopsided an argument on the network might be, it does not necessarily translate into a correlated result for the public institution in question.”