This post is part of a series.
Module One: this page.
Module Two - Legislature: an introduction of a virtual legislative body, with parliamentary procedure, to conceive, construct, and develop public policy proposals.
Module Three - Campaigns & Causes: an introduction of planned tools to assist individuals in transitioning for active political engagement, toward seeking public office.
Module Four - Training: an introduction of a web based training platform to educate humans on the various needs of a political campaign, such as fundraising, outreach, canvassing, as well as courses on common policy matters, such as economics, healthcare, philosophy, and so on.
What makes good public policy? Good data! Good data makes good everything. We plan to develop Module One around the basis of polling and then go from there. Module One ideally should provide users and political scientist's comprehensive data on voters, their ideology, where they come from, various demographic bits, and so on. No doubt, politically minded humans understand why this helps.
All those joining are formally enlisting into the Political Commissary Army (PCA). Given this is a political force - rather than a military force - we can expect to attract only those already on a path of enlightenment – this means we will not attract those who lack an interest in politics. This is not a catchall community like Facebook, or even a platform like LinkedIn. The first part of enlistment is collecting data - such as ideology, party affiliation, location, key issues a user cares about, their faith, career, gender, race, and so on. This data will then help with all other facets of Project X.
Because the Great Leader wishes to make this a fun and engaging environment, and because all those joining are enlisting, then each human will receive a rank, and be eligible to earn various awards and decorations, along with various distinctions, such as being mentioned in dispatches by the Chairman. Module One will include numerous ways to engage others and help humans learn more about their own politics, while being thoroughly "gamified" for fun. For the most part, aside from gamification, it will likely resemble typical social networking platforms, such as posting statuses and liking things, but tailored for politically minded humans while offering various insights and promoting active political involvement.
The Chairman loathes the questions often used to discern ones politics, such as "Do you support Social Security?" Typically, the liberal position is answering "yes" while "no" means conservative. He considers this approach cheap, ineffective, and ignores the complexity of humans while reflecting the bias of whomever develops the questionnaire. He will not permit this. Therefore, when a user is defining who they are as a user, we expect them to self-define as whatever they think they are (e.g. Very Conservative). This is then cross compared to everything this user ever does within the community with all other users and what they do, and, assuming we have enough users of diverse views, will allow us to produce an organically defined metric of what a liberal or conservative, or even a radical or reactionary, looks like, along with respective levels of intensity. Often happening in the Real World, one human may see and define themselves as a conservative, but others, who likewise define themselves as such, may view that human as a leftwing pinko-commie liberal. Some of our staff writers have pointed out that the Republican Party and the Democratic Party of the United States are "big tent" parties, and these writers have engaged in some debate with human readers on this point. We have appreciated a recent news event, that of the county clerk in Kentucky refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses on the grounds of religious liberty, in part because it helps to highlight our oft-argued point - Kim Davis was, when it all started, an elected Democrat. We hope, by organically defining terms, rather than scoring a questionnaire, we may more accurately discern what economic and social liberals and conservatives are, and help you, the user, compare with others and perhaps learn where you may better fit, regarding how you define your own political philosophy.
We will allow you, based on rank, to issue awards and decorations to other users. We intend to gear many of these towards those who do not agree with you. The hope here is to promote engagement across party and ideological barriers. Additionally, each user will be free to post and share blogs, like or dislike things, and offer comments, while also "grading" the work of others (weighted based on party affiliation and ideology). Those who users determine write well will receive the privilege and distinction of being a "journalist", and having articles they produce widely distributed, as well as being open to the public, outside the community. This is, in effect, a democratic editorial component, and allows the writer to develop a larger base of fans, and possibly supportive humans who might help if choosing to run for a Real World public office. Additionally, Campaigns or Causes in Module Three can promote themselves to those within Module One. Those joining a Module Three Campaign or Cause as a supporter, and engaging in Real World political work on their behalf, will also receive awards and distinctions for their efforts. Other distinctions come from attending a Real World event, political rally, and similarly promoted activity within the community.
Each user, as a member of the Political Commissary Army, will have a "PolitiCard". Consider this a political form of a baseball card. It will be themed around the user party affiliation, and feature key bits of political data, as well as various earned awards from their activity within the community. A user may toggle this card for any other user, at any time. It serves as an attractive quick reference guide, and something users may be motivated to fill with awards and distinctions.
Polling and Data
We intend to run polls frequently; those we create as well as user created, and present that data publicly. While having few members, this will mean little. However, if we have a sufficient number of users, such polls could prove interesting. Once we achieve a comparatively large share of voters as users, we can make available to researchers all data collected, along with comprehensive cross-tabs on polling. This data dump may prove very helpful to researchers studying politics.
The BETA pool will be the first users, and will help us in perfecting the algorithms, gamification, design, and environment. We will find ways to ensure non-Americans have a role in this that is useful, while helping to prepare for conversion to their nation. In the BETA phase and the early days of the public rollout, we expect the population to be sparse, especially in less populated regions. Regardless, these are some of the key elements of our plan for Module One. What are your thoughts of this? Do you have suggestions?
Remember this module is part of a set of four modules. Next up: Module Two - Legislature: an outline of a virtual legislative body, with parliamentary procedure, to conceive, construct, and develop public policy proposals.