Set your legislative agenda
across the board.
When this website is fully developed, you and U.S. voters across the political spectrum will be able to use its unique agenda-setting, political organizing and consensus-building tools and services free of charge. These tools are designed to help you elect representatives of your choice without special interest campaign financing.
You will be able to create your own personal account by providing a valid email address and selecting a screen name and password. You can then obtain an internal email address and set up your profile and homepage, including your photo and whatever personal information you wish to provide.
We also ask prospective members to provide their ZIP code, and look at a map and tell us what election districts they live in so that if they ask us to do so, we can connect them to like-minded voters who live in the same election districts.
By selecting the appropriate privacy settings, you can decide whether you want to make your homepage and other information accessible to the general public, limit it to specific people, or make it inaccessible.
You can rest assured that we do not provide any information about members of this website to any third parties for any reason.
There will be several ways to set your legislative agenda, and all of them enable you to connect with voters with similar agendas.
We recommend the you set your legislative agenda using the first method of directly selecting your preferred options from the Legislative Options Database.
This method enables us to connect you with like-minded voters most easily, since we can compare the options you choose from the database with those selected by other voters.
If you compose your own options in your own words, it will make it harder for you to find people who express their priorities in the same way you do.
Another reason we recommend the first method of choosing your legislative priorities from the Legislative Options Database is that it enables you to see a whole spectrum of options open to you, and compare them to each other.
Since the database includes pairs of opposing options, it gives you the chance to weigh their pros and cons. You may discover there are many more options available to you than those discussed by politicians and the mass media.
By conducting your own appraisal of the options in the database, you may also identify unexpected opportunities to find common ground with other voters. These discoveries can help you and your allies set common agendas that reconcile the differences that are creating legislative stalemates in the U.S.
Each option contains links to online sources of information about the pros and cons of the option. These links will help you weigh your alternatives, compare and contrast their advantages and disadvantages, and discuss and debate them with other people. You can propose additional links that you think should be added to particular options.
When you have weighed all your options, all you will have to do to set your legislative agenda is to click the box below each of the options you prefer. They will be added to your agenda displayed on a separate web page. If you have more than one agenda, for example, for different elections at different levels of government, you can specify the agenda your choices should be added to, or subtracted from, in case you are updating an existing agenda.
You can update your agendas whenever your priorities change, and keep all your agendas in your own private archive for subsequent retrieval.
Once you have set an agenda, you can email it to whomever you wish, including elected officials, candidates, friends, family, co-workers, and even the press. Note that you can decide who can view specific agendas you have set by selecting the appropriate privacy and confidentiality settings.
Legislative Options Database
- The first method gives you a generic list of legislative options to choose from. They are located in the Legislative Options Database.
If you do not see options you are looking for, you can formulate your own options and submit them for addition to the database. You can also compose and add your own options to your agenda alone.
To tailor the options you select so that they reflect your own ideas, you can write down your own thoughts about the options you select or add. You can also prioritize the options you select to indicate which you most prefer.
- The second method is to enter keywords into the Legislative Options search window to describe the policies you want to see enacted into law. (This search window is in development and not yet available.)
These keywords will bring up a list of options contained in the Legislative Options Database that are related to the keywords you entered. You can then choose which of these options you wish to include in your legislative agenda.
- A third method is to enter keywords into the Legislative Options search window describing your key issues and the policies you want to see enacted, and request a list of existing voting blocs and electoral coalitions hosted on this website that have agendas containing options that are similar to yours. You can then contact and join the blocs and coalitions you find most appealing that are open to new members.
Here's how the legislative options in the database are organized:
There are 104 basic options, as well as an expanding set of additional options proposed by voters.
To help you find and recall where different options are located in the database, the 104 options are visually displayed on cards in two decks of playing cards.
The 104 options are divided into themes.
Deck 1 has the following 4 themes:
Health, Education and Welfare
Civil and Political Rights
Deck 2 has the following 4 themes:
The option listed on each card contains links to online sources of information describing its pros and cons. The sources are continuously updated.
The legislative options created by voters will be displayed in the Joker Pool below the two decks containing the 104 basic options. (See the Legislative Options Database.)
To set your legislative agenda, you can:
Connect with like-minded voters with similar agendas.
The best way to get your legislative agendas enacted into law is to join forces with voters who share your legislative priorities. You can use this website's tools and services to get in touch with voters whose legislative priorities are similar to your own.
Here's how you can use these tools.
After you have set your legislative agenda, you can enter your priorities into the Legislative Priorities Database (when it is fully developed) and then query the database to find voters with similar priorities, as well as identify the election districts in which they live.
You can also query the database to see how many voters have selected a specific priority that you have also selected, or similar combinations of specific priorities.
In response to your query, you will receive an internal email from our web administrator. It will contain the number of voters who have selected options from the Legislative Options Database that are similar to those you selected.
The list will also tell you the ZIP Code and election districts in which each voter resides, how many options each voter has selected that you also selected, and what these options are.
The list you receive will not provide the real names of these voters, the screen names they chose when they created their account, or their email address on this website. It will list these voters by the alphanumeric IDs all users are assigned when they initially create their accounts.
Once you receive the list, you can contact any number of these voters using your respective alphanumeric IDs to see whether they are interested in working with you to get your shared legislative priorities enacted.
You can give them any information about yourself you wish, including your screen name for this website and your internal email address attached to your screen name. Once they receive this information and decide to respond, they can contact you at your internal email address, and give you their internal email address.
Create your own networks hosted on this website.
If these contacts with like-minded voters are fruitful, you can create a network of these voters hosted on this website.
You can add them to your home page or create a new page where the members of your network can get together online. You can organize any number of networks, or join already existing networks focused on specific political issues, particular candidates, electoral races, etc.
Advocacy groups that are already organized can register to create accounts on this website, and then establish networks hosted on the site for their current and future members.
Once you create a network, you and the members of your group can use this website's social networking tools to add new members to your group, and exchange email messages with each other.
You can also use this website's voting utility tool to vote on a legislative agenda for your group as a whole. You can annotate the options you have selected, add options to your common agenda for the use of your network alone, or submit options for addition to the Legislative Options Database so that other members of this website can select your options as well.
You can create online forums and chat groups where you can discuss your common interests, legislative priorities and ideas for taking collective action to get your legislative agendas enacted. In addition, you can organize meetings by using scheduling technologies like Meetup.com.
Pressure your elected representatives.
Once you have set a legislative agenda, you can use it to influence your elected representatives.
You can email your agenda to them, and request that they enact your priorities into law and keep you abreast of their actions to do so.
You can also request your representatives to create their own account on this website, define their legislative agenda using the Legislative Options Database, and email their agenda to you.
Then you can compare their stances and legislative track records with your agenda.
If there is too large a discrepancy, you can pressure them to change course. You can inform them that if they do not take action to enact your priorities, you will not vote for their re-election.
If you create a network of like-minded voters residing in the same election district that you do, you can use consensus-building tools provided on this website, such as the voting utility, to collectively evaluate your representatives' legislative track records.
You can see how much convergence there is between their records and your network's legislative agendas. You can also compare their stated priorities and even their legislative agendas created on this website with their actual votes.
If you decide your representatives' track records fail to show that they are exerting their best efforts to enact your priorities into law, you can transform your network into a voting bloc and even an electoral coalition with other blocs, political parties, unions, and grassroots advocacy groups to run and elect candidates that your members think can do a better job.
Steps 2 and 3 explain how you can use the patented Interactive Voter Choice System to team up with other voters to run and elect your own candidates to enact your legislative agendas into law.
- Select any number of options from the database
- Add written specifications to each option you choose, so that if you decide to share with other people a legislative option you have chosen, they will know what your thoughts about it and how you think it should be implemented.
- Prioritize the options your have chosen, from most to least preferred
- Add your own options to your agenda alone
- Propose options for inclusion in the Joker Pool
- Set different agendas for different purposes and elections
- Update your agendas whenever your preferences and priorities change
- Display your options on your home page
- Email your agendas to any number of recipients
- Save all your agendas in your own personal archive on this website for subsequent retrieval
Build voting blocs
and electoral coalitions.
You can transform your socio-political networks of like-minded voters into voting blocs that run and elect candidates of your choice for local, state and federal elections.
In particular, the members of your blocs can use the voting utility to actually vote on proposals to create blocs in the first place.
You can also use it to set common legislative agendas. You can add options to your agenda for the use of your bloc alone, or you can submit options for addition to the Legislative Options Database for others to use as well.
If a consensus emerges in favor of building a bloc and setting a common agenda, the members of the bloc can authorize one of its members to create a home page on this website to host the new bloc.
You can then
(Note that while your bloc may decide to seek additional information about its users beyond that required by this website, the website itself does not authenticate the identify of users other than to ensure that users have valid external email addresses and are not robots! Moreover, while a bloc can decide which members to include or exclude from the bloc, the website does not play any role in deciding who may or may not belong to a bloc.)
Your bloc can contact other blocs hosted on this website and external organizations that have legislative priorities similar to those of your bloc, to see if they would like to forge a coalition.
If other blocs and organizations, such as political parties, labor unions, and voter mobilization advocacy groups, express interest in joining forces with you, you can dialogue with them to see if you can negotiate a common legislative agenda that would create a coalition to increase your combined voting strength.
Set common transpartisan legislative agendas.
You can invite them and their supporters to create accounts, access the Legislative Options Database, set their individual legislative agendas, and submit their priorities to the Legislative Priorities Database for tallying under their organization's name.
Then you can collectively compare your respective agendas to see whether your respective members share a sufficient number of legislative priorities to form an electoral coalition.
(Note that you and your prospective coalition members can add your own options to the legislative agenda you are setting for your use alone, and propose options for addition to the database for others to choose from, as well.)
You can use the voting utility to let prospective coalitions members vote on legislative options they wish to include in, or exclude from, a common legislative agenda.
You can continue negotiating the options to be included in a common agenda until you reach a consensus among enough voters to approach the voting strength you estimate you will need to get a common slate of candidates elected in the districts your are targeting.
Nominate common slates of candidates on party lines
- Collectively decide what you want to name the bloc, how you want to run it and make decisions, and whether you want to set criteria for membership
- Collectively decide whether you want to publish your legislative agenda on your home page and create a directory of members
- Add documents to your bloc's home page to create a database of strategically important information, to which you can add links to web resources relating to your bloc's electoral and legislative objectives
- Create blogs to publicize yours views, wikis to edit your own documents and automatic mailing lists for publishing your own e-newsletters
- Decide whether to reveal the existence of your bloc to other voters using this website by listing the name of your bloc on the website's list of voting blocs hosted on the site
- Decide whether to allow people and groups outside the website to know about your bloc's existence and apply for membership.
of your choice.
The next step will be for your voting blocs and coalitions to decide on common slates of candidates.
If your coalition decides to run electoral candidates in specific districts to enact its legislative agendas, or endorse announced candidates, you can access this website's Election District Database to obtain strategic demographic information to help you make these decisions.
When the database is fully developed, it will comprise information about prior voting patterns and current trends in voter preferences. The website will provide you a variety of tools for combining this information into strategic portraits of what it will take to get them elected.
If your candidates are opposed by candidates backed special interests, you might be in a better position to defeat them if you reach out to voters across the political spectrum and use the Legislative Options Database to see if you can collectively negotiate and set a transpartisan legislative agenda that crosses traditional partisan and ideological lines.
Polls show that the traditional ideological differences that used to divide voters between the two major parties are breaking down (except in hotly contested presidential elections), and nearly 40% of the electorate has opted not to register in either major party.
Your coalition may have a better chance of winning if it sets a transpartisan agenda, nominates a transpartisan slate of candidates, and forges a winning transpartisan electoral base that will enable it to outflank and outnumber the electoral base of any single party.
Most importantly, since your coalition can build a winning electoral base using this website's agenda-setting, political organizing and consensus-building tools, your candidates will not need special interest campaign financing to get elected.
Candidates who run without such financing are increasingly likely to attract the support of voters angered by the undue influence that such interests are exerting over electoral and legislative processes and their outcomes.
In fact, as a condition for your coalition's endorsement, you can require your candidates to reject such financing in exchange for your support in placing them on the ballot and getting out the vote to elect them to office.
It is important to realize that broad-based transpartisan voting blocs and electoral coalitions can place their candidates on the ballot lines of any party they wish.
All your bloc or coalition has to do to get your candidates on the ballot is to collect the required number of signatures from voters registered in the party on whose ballot lines you wish to place your candidates.
Since your coalition will be comprised of a cross-section of voters registered in a variety of political parties, you can choose which of these parties' ballot lines you wish to place your candidates on.
You just have to make sure you have enough voters in your coalition registered in the party you choose so that you can gather the required number of signatures from voters registered in that party to place your candidates on the party's ballot.
It is important to realize that in addition to this strategy, you have an additional option with respect to relationships with political parties over and above that of putting your candidates on their ballot lines without the support of party officials.
A broad-based bloc or coalition can use the electoral clout of its transpartisan electoral base to build cooperative relationships with political parties. Your ability to unilaterally put your candidates of their ballot lines, and use your transpartisan electoral bases to elect them, might well motivate party officials to opt to join your coalition by allowing their supporters to join you in collectively setting legislative agendas and nominating candidates.
Here's how you can accomplish this feat:
There will be thousands of voter-controlled voting blocs and coalitions in all 50 states created by voters using this website's agenda-setting, political organizing and consensus-building tools. They will be able to use these tools to communicate with each other, pool their resources and jointly plan and carry out winning campaigns by setting common agendas and nominating and electing common slates of candidates.
In just a few election cycles, voters who have used these tools to build broad-based transpartisan voting blocs and electoral coalitions will spontaneously spawn a nationwide network of interconnected grassroots blocs and coalitions.
This network and the blocs and coalitions of which it is comprised will have the electoral clout to supercede political parties as the driving forces of U.S. electoral and legislative processes.
More often than not, these blocs and coalitions will have crossed partisan lines to forge winning transpartisan electoral bases to defeat candidates backed by special interests.
They will have done this by involving broad cross-sections of the electorate in collectively setting transpartisan agendas and nominating, running and electing common slates of candidates on primary and general election ballot lines of their choice.
The success of these blocs and coalitions in electing their own candidates without party support may well convince political parties that it is to their advantage to ride on the winning electoral coattails of these blocs and coalitions, and that they can easily do this by joining coalitions willing to align with them.
The condition of membership will be that they must allow their supporters to individually set their legislative agendas using the Legislative Options Database, and collectively participate in forming and managing electoral coalitions.
These political parties will become ideal partners to include in electoral coalitions. Such partnerships will help coalitions place their candidates on party ballot lines, and build large transpartisan electoral bases to put the coalitions' common slates of candidates in office.
In the process, voters at the grassroots will succeed in reforming, restructuring and democratizing U.S. electoral and legislative processes. This will be able to wrest control of these processes from special interests and from special interest-dominated political parties and candidates without enacting new laws or changing existing laws.
The U.S. electorate will be able to end the hyper-partisan political conflicts and legislative stalemates that political parties have injected into U.S. political processes to divide and inflame the electorate in an effort to beat each other at the ballot box.
Voters will be able to collectively set workable, pragmatic legislative agendas, using this website's agenda-setting, political organizing and consensus-building tools, and demonstrate their capacity to reconcile at the grassroots whatever conflicts have been contrived to divide them.
Voters will be able to counteract the efforts of special interests to polarize the U.S. electorate by demonstrating that web-based, consensus-building voting blocs and electoral coalitions, created and controlled by voters, can resolve the crises and conflicts that normally emerge within diverse societies like the U.S. far more effectively and efficiently than political parties and candidates corrupted by special interests.
Forge winning transpartisan electoral bases.
Voting blocs and electoral coalitions with transpartisan legislative agendas and slates of candidates are ideally positioned to win elections. For they can easily forge winning transpartisan electoral bases that can outflank and outnumber the electoral bases of any single party and any single candidate.
Their prospects for winning elections are particularly favorable in U.S. Congressional district races. According to numerous polls, most voters would like to replace most members of Congress because they think these lawmakers -- most of whom accept special interest campaign funding -- favor special interests over their constituents.
So if you live in a typical Congressional district, you are likely to succeed in mobilizing enough voters from both major parties, and Independent and unaffiliated voters, to elect your candidate -- provided they run without special interest funding and you use the agenda-setting and consensus-building tools provided on this website to overcome most voters' tendency to initially disagree about their legislative priorities, and the terms they use to express them.
Elect your candidates|
without special interest
Your voting blocs and coalitions can elect your candidates without special interest funding even though special interests support opposing candidates in most election districts.
This assertion may be hard to believe until you think about the power that your blocs and coalitions wield.
First of all, you will not need special interest campaign funds to get in touch with voters because your already have an electoral bases of supporters, the members of your blocs and coalitions. You will not need special interest money to "get your message out" because these voters already know the message because they created it in the first place.
Second, you will not need special interest campaign contributions to tell these voters about your candidates because they will have played active roles in getting them on the ballot in the first place.
And you will not need special interest campaign contributions to pay for expensive brochures and television advertisements to increase the size of your electoral base and voting strength. For your members can use the Internet and this website to reach out directly to unlimited numbers of friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to get them on your bandwagon.
Once they are on your bandwagon, each of them can then reach out to their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers and rapidly increase your electoral base and voting strength to include hundreds, thousands and even millions of supporters.
The most amazing thing about your blocs and coalitions is that they can perform all the functions of a political party without actually having to become a party, or create the typical party hierarchies that end up making all the decisions from the top down. The members of your blocs and coalitions can manage them as they see fit, from the bottom up, without the organizational hierarchies that end up disenfranchising everyone except those at the top.
Most importantly, your blocs and coalitions can put their candidates on the lines of any political party they wish without having to organize as a party and obtain your own ballot lines in all 50 states in order to do so. This is where you can simultaneously outfox special interests, and political parties and candidates that are beholden to the special interests that finance their campaigns.
In terms of the nuts and bolts of getting your candidates on the ballot, it is important to remember that U.S. election laws give voters at the grassroots the sole power to determine who runs for office.
Even though the recent Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. FEC decision allows special interests to spend unlimited amounts of corporate funds to influence elections, corporations cannot sign petitions to put candidates on the ballot. Nor can corporations vote in elections.
Only registered voters' signatures on nominating petitions can put candidates on the ballot of the party in which the voters are registered, and only registered voters can cast a vote to elect candidates in primary and general elections.
So all your voting blocs and electoral coalitions have to do to run your candidates on any party's existing ballot lines is to have bloc and coalition members who are already registered in the party collect the number of signatures from registered party members that is required by state election laws.
For example, the number of signatures required by state election laws to put candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives on the ballot in one of the major parties in party primaries is quite small, and often requires less than 10,000 signatures on party nominating petitions. Certain states require only 1,000 signatures. (Note, however, that several states impose harsh and even unfair regulations, such as payment of fees, which you will have to work around.)
So if your bloc wishes to run a candidate in a typical Congressional election district in which a large segment of the electorate is disgusted with major party incumbents, you will be able to mobilize more than enough voters to elect your candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in a primary election on the ballot line of one of the two major parties.
To attain this objective, your bloc or coalition will want to:
With respect to #1 above, the active participation of these voters in your bloc or coalition might require significant debate and discussion of specific legislative options to be included in a common legislative agenda, as well as which candidate to run.
You might have to conduct repeated votes about what options to include or exclude from the agenda, and which candidates to run, before you can reach a consensus among enough voters to acquire the numerical voting strength you need to elect your candidates in the primary.
While this may be difficult, it is the essence of democracy for voters at the grassroots to collectively determine a nation's legislative priorities through discussion, debate, explicit conflict resolution and consensus building.
Thanks to the Internet and the Interactive Voter Choice System, U.S. voters of all persuasions can join together to conduct a far more effective process for resolving differences and setting legislative priorities than the incessant bickering and legislative stalemates that currently take place between the two major parties, their candidates and their elected representatives.
Voting blocs and coalitions that succeed in negotiating and setting transpartisan legislative agendas, adopting common slates of candidates, and forging winning transpartisan electoral bases to elect their candidates, will re-establish the bedrock of democratic electoral and legislative decision-making at all levels of government.
This process is also more likely to result in the election of candidates who will enact legislation that meets the specific needs of U.S. voters where they live and work than the special interest-inspired legislation passed by lawmakers who have been corrupted by special interest campaign contributions.
Hold your elected representatives accountable
- Mobilize a broad cross-section of the majority of voters who polls show are dissatisfied with the two major parties, by inviting them to join with you in collectively setting the legislative agendas of your bloc or coalition, and nominating your electoral candidates;
- Inform prospective members that your blocs and coalitions intend to use the agenda to negotiate with prospective candidates specific terms and conditions for their support, including the collection of signatures to put them on the ballot, building an electoral base large enough to elect them, and getting voters to the polls on primary and general election day.
- Make sure it has enough members of the bloc or coalition enrolled in the party whose ballot line you want to use, so that these members can collect the number of valid signatures from registered party members required by the state board of elections to place your candidate's name on the party's primary ballot;
- Systematically plan and execute get-out-the-vote campaigns to drive the number of registered party voters to the polls needed to elect your candidate in the primary election.
at the ballot box.
Once you have elected your candidates, your voting bloc and coalition partners can use your written legislative agendas as mandates to:
If your representatives seek re-election but cannot provide you adequate proof that they have exerted their best efforts to implement the legislative priorities contained in your written agendas, your voting bloc and coalition partners can decide to oppose their re-election and run alternative candidates to defeat them.
- Oversee and direct the work of your elected representatives to ensure that they work diligently to advance legislative proposals that reflect your legislative priorities;
- Conduct on-going dialogues with your elected representatives regarding other lawmakers' stances at variance with their stances and yours, and collectively decide what can be done to build consensus in support of your representatives' legislative initiatives to enact your agendas;
- Work with your representatives to collectively decide what compromises, if any, to make to move your legislative proposals through Congressional decision-making channels;
- Evaluate your representatives' track record and hold them accountable at the ballot box for their effectiveness in enacting your legislative agendas.