New online political trend puts democracy back in the hands of the people

LatinaLista — There’s a new political trend happening across the nation — average people making their voices heard Washington in unorthodox ways.

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No doubt, the trend has been influenced by the success of the Tea Party, who was very effective in installing sympathetic candidates to their causes and who have turned Washington upside down since the last election.

Now, others are applying a few lessons from the Tea Party, tweaking them and coming up with some innovative ways to get their voices heard.

Last week, Latina Lista reported on the White House’s creation of the We the People website, where average citizens create petitions, get signatures and if they reach a threshold of signatures are guaranteed a response from the White House.

Now, a new initiative follows in these footsteps. Dubbed aGREATER.US, the site is sponsoring a nine-month competition to find the best bipartisan/nonpartisan ideas to make the US “greater.”

A range of bills exist on the website covering over 50 topics. From climate change and deficit reduction to poverty alleviation and youth, people who sign up for the free site registration are given the opportunity to sponsor a bill, write op-eds to post on the site,submit bills and rate them.

The site also bills itself as a media outlet/editorial page with a specific editorial policy:

…provide a fair balance of views held by fiscal conservatives, social liberals, and independents.

Once the top three national idea/bills and the top three statewide bills have been voted on and selected, they are designated as the GREATER BILL(s) 2012. Then developers of the site will approach the political candidates and ask them to sign a pledge that if elected they will co-sponsor, vote for and oversee the passage of the GREATER BILL.

As of this writing, the current top three bills are: 1. Federal Term Limits; 2. Decriminalize Personal Drug Use; 3. All Energy Jobs Act.

A GREATER part of the national conversation needs to be about how we resolve important issues, and building consensus. And if that happens then the context and conditions for the more divisive issues might become easier to work through, too.

We can and should show leadership by taking a sliver of power back from a system that barely seems to manage — from aGREATER.US website

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