From MyNorthwest.com: There’s a new political party in Seattle. It’s not Socialist. It’s not Democratic, or Republican. In fact, it’s you. It’s the X Party.
The X Party is essentially Seattle voters at large. The idea is that an application will be available to all Seattle voters who will log in and make their voice heard on any legislation. The elected official will vote as the people demand.
That elected official, in this case, will be Ryan Asbert. He announced his intention to run for Seattle’s 8th District on Reddit recently. “I am going to build a web application that anybody in Seattle can log into and use to vote on any upcoming legislation,” Asbert told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns Show. “I’ll basically be digitizing my seat, putting it up on the web and letting the citizens partake in the process.”
“Beyond that, we got a number of additional features we plan to drop on top of that,” he added. “The ability to propose legislation, discuss legislation, even post video analysis.”
The 8th District seat is currently occupied by Tim Burgess who will not be running for re-election. It is a citywide seat, representing all Seattleites. It’s why Asbert wanted to run the X Party for the seat, instead of limiting it to one region in the city.
The X Party
In current democracy, a resident could ideally contact their elected official and make their voice heard. But with the X Party, Asbert wants to take things to the next level, adding extra transparency. “The idea is that everything needs to be as transparent as possible,” Asbert said. “So everything we have access to, you have access to.”
Asbert notes that there are similar apps out there, such as Capitol Bells. But those are merely recommendations. His software system and candidacy will only work on the premise that he votes as the majority of Seattleites instruct.
Part of the digital democracy system Asbert has in mind is a board that monitors the software system. That executive board of the party will be elected, as well, by users.
And in the end, what most Seattle voters say yea or nay to, that’s the way Asbert will go. “It’s not my job to impose my beliefs on my constituency,” he said.
But there are some issues that will have to be worked out, Asbert notes. “There are some blind spots,” he said. “For instance, there has been some concern about some vote brigading. What if all of a sudden a bunch of people sign up and pass a bill to build a Death Star?”
The solution for Asbert as an elected official will, therefore, be to educate the public. Such as Youtube videos explaining the full extent of issues and legislation, and interaction via the app.
The next round of council elections will be next November.