The Process is Continuous,Pro-active and Responsive
There will be seven areas that are considered permanent issues of focus for the American Congress.
These are as follows and not in any form of priority:
- Taxation and spending
- Economic stability and development
- Healthcare system and programs
- Education system and infrastructure
- Environmental concerns
- Human Rights
- Delivering services
These issue areas are always on the agenda. All Members of the Congress can and will be involved.
Candidates for the House of Representatives, compile a list of issues that they choose to "champion" if they are elected. They run on this platform and if elected, are expected to bring forth the issues that they have high-lighted. This way citizens know which issues are to be addressed in the next sitting of Congress.
Under Engaged Democracy, candidates do not run as a member of a party rather as an independent candidate.
Further, candidates do not to run on proposed solutions to any issue. The policy development stage of Engaged Democracy will develop the solution utilizing methodology to bring about legislation.
Through regular questioning utilizing real time on-line tools, issues that are important to citizens will be identified. Polling permits the emergence of regional issues as well as national ones. Social issues will be able to be identified as well as a trend becomes more pervasive in society. Once a critical mass is hit, then the process can begin naturally.
Real World Example: Marijuana legalization
Quite often, issues will emerge quickly that have been unforeseen. These will be tabled immediately and a plebiscite can be held immediately with the American citizens to determine if further action might be necessary.
The result of the plebiscite is not a binding commitment, rather a method to gauge the overall direction Americans would like to pursue.
Real World Example: American Forces to Middle East
Monitoring of the internet community will assist to bring to governments attention, those issues in society that have potential to become regulatory areas. Many issues start within a small space and then surface as full-blown topics when the media gets a hold of it. The goal is to identify the issue and address it, long before any area of concern gets out of control.
Real World Example: Animal abuse in agriculture
In all direct democracy systems, citizens of course have direct ability to propose issues for discussion. Individuals can always give direct feedback on any issue they might consider important for further review. Under Engaged Democracy, any issue to which 250,000 Americans have signed a petition, which is not considered frivolous, will be tabled for further discussion.
Real World Example: Ending trophy hunting