The title of this diary is really not the main issue, but it's meant to be a local governance exercise
This is a website for national political activism-with a good dose of social interaction that is provides support for those who hang out or are regulars here. It's part social chat room and part venue for serious political analysis. (with a goodly dose of partisan promotion) It's taken me eight years to feel somewhat comfortable, to accept that any given diary could be a bust, as in zero comments and a handful of tips. While another may hit the jackpot, such as the last one that showed that there is a way to engage that hot button forbidden topic of IP, or Israel and Palestine. What it showed by reading the comments is that individual's self disclosing stories, even in this case by one spent his childhood as a Muslim in the British Mandate of Palestine, would be welcomed by those who have only been adversaries on this website, having different perspectives.
I also know the variables of the written word, how diaries and comments are limited by not being responsive to the vibes of the moment for the reader, and the context of the discussion that is dynamically changing with every comment, and who knows what other variables. We have rules against "highjacking" diaries, but in effect every meaningful comment does shift the direction of the topic, as that's how group conversations work.
My city is about to embark on a type of Dailykos project, one that will attempt to bring 10,000 or a multiple of that into a single discussion that will help shape the laws and regulations of the city. While it is sold/designed (word used depends on degree of cynicism or support of the project-and there is no neutral word) so it is marketed as being a way to allow maximum democracy, yet to participate in this democratic advance you must agree to a 14 page legal personal contract that is referred to as Terms of Agreement (TOS)
This may seem innocuous, simply "boilerplate" which most of it is. But within the 16 sections of such "Contracts of Adhesion" are the loopholes for adverse effects of the user- in this case not about discount coupons or such, but communication system that is attempting to give substance to local representative governance.
Do not fill out the poll before reading the extended comments!
Now we are going to move on to a test, a type of experiment, of how close the Dailykos format would meet the goals of the new system that our city, Encinitas California, is about to embark on. I have much more details and references on this subject in this article I wrote for those who interested in the actual details of the proposed commercial product. But exploring these details are not even necessary, as this particular diary is to see whether this format would work. So, what follows is a non-issue that could be something the city would want feedback on.
Subject: Moving violation fines should be based on car value
Pro: Fines are the one type of legal punishment that varies by wealth. Incarceration will have cause a variable about of pain based on the individuals personality, aversion to being confined and other variable, that are not directly correlated to wealth. Fines, on the other hand have a lesser deterrent value to the more wealthy- in this proposal wealth is reflected in the value of the car used during the violation.
Con: This proposal is more for income redistribution than for any equalization the effect of punishment. A person who drives an expensive car my have sacrificed other amenities for this particular pleasure, and so should not be disproportionately punished. Penalties of fines are inherently meant to be minor, which this proposal would vitiate for the wealthy
O.K. If you want to help me in trying evaluate this aspect of E-Government, go along with making a comment about the above proposal and if possible in your comment give the number of your poll response. Then, and this is important, check a poll response.
I may be speaking to the council encouraging them to give more thought before going forward with this plan, so this dailykos diary could provide more data to present.
Thanks in advance. And if there is meaningful response I will re-post with a summary.
Postscript on effectiveness as municipal discussion:
This test of a standard format discussion has a different format from Peak Democracy's product, specifically extended comment threads. This would not be possible on PD's system of a single comment per person per topic forum. Here we learned that other countries do have this system, Finland. We also heard a strong argument against this, that value of a car does not represent net worth of an individual, as the Porsche driver may have gone into hock to buy this car. A completely different angle was presented, that a Porsche has braking and traction characteristics that make faster driving less dangerous, and therefore may deserve a type of discount for this-explained better in one of the comments.
Locking ourselves into one provider with its own biases rather than unleashing the creativity that of hundreds of venues is a serious mistake.