Law in Contemporary Society
Hello class of '14 students -

I took this class three years ago, and I've actually followed through on a brain-wave partially started here (see BottomUpIdea).

Like many of you, I've been upset with our government for being unable to come together in a reasonable way to solve problems, and disturbed by the extent to which money and special interests determine public policy outcomes.

During the height of the Occupy protests in October, I thought what they needed was a web platform for policy debate and engagement with / assessment of political candidates. This is what I've created with The 99 Percent Votes ( or, as a shortened url, It allows you to submit public policy ideas, discuss, vote, and identify like-minded candidates. See How It Works. I think this system can change "politics as usual" and update government for the 21st century. It's designed to work at local, state, national, and international levels across a full range of policy categories and subcategories.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at I've also set up a Site Development section for people to report bugs and suggest ideas for further development. And I will check in on this thread and participate in any discussion.

I hope you find it fun and useful. Let's make government work bottom-up rather than top-down!

Thanks, Greg

-- GregOrr - 04 May 2012

No interest? I'm a bit surprised. I think crowdsourcing policy can make a big difference. Any feedback at least?

-- GregOrr

Greg I think this is a phenomenal idea. I would like a discussion section for laws that are going to appear on local ballots. When I look at a ballot it is often the first time I am learning about current issues and the first time I am considering the potential effects of those issues. I would love an internet platform that lists all laws/$$ allocation decisions that I am going to have the opportunity to vote on in an upcoming election, so that I can see get the opinions of fellow voters. I would also feel more comfortable if the site was not linked to facebook. All in all I really like the idea!

-- SkylarPolansky - 07 May 2012

Cool, Skylar. One of the major benefits I have in mind is that in the weeks before the election, the mass of people who don't spend that much time thinking about politics will be able to come to the site, vote on 5-10 ideas, and get a personalized assessment of which candidates they ought to vote for based on like-mindedness. This would be an upgrade over newspaper endorsements or blind party loyalty. As you point out, it would be good to have similar functionality for all the ballot initiatives. I hope to provide this if I have enough time and support.

Regarding Facebook, I too dislike Facebook's monitoring and data collection. I am not using Facebook login or automatic posting options, though I do have 'like' for the site and 'share' for the ideas. I need to get it out there through social networks, and I hope to do so with a minimum of invasiveness.

For right now, the key thing is to get people started using it. So join! Tell your friends!

-- GregOrr

Now that finals are over, maybe you have more time to consider this idea? Propose, discuss, and vote on public policy ideas. If it catches on, I believe the most popular ideas stand a good chance of becoming law.

-- GregOrr - 28 May 2012


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r7 - 22 Jan 2013 - 20:05:14 - IanSullivan
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