As I’m rebuilding this blog with the posts from the past, I came across this post I wrote over three years ago that somehow, given the political climate, raises a question that’s still relevant today. So, rather than put it back into the archives with the old posting date (originally, September 14th, 2009) , I’m deciding to post it as a “new” post today. Let me know what you think.
The other night, after reading through some of the media’s junky coverage on Obama’s healthcare speech (as well as the completely unnecessary hoopla over Obama telling school children they should work hard and stay in school), the following idea popped into my head that I promptly tweeted:
“What would happen if Congressional bills were forced to be written and presented as 15-20 slide PPTs? Better, more understandable laws?”
It’s a little reminiscent of my ramblings previously on politics, but think about it. How great would it be if laws weren’t written like the Magna Carta, and rather presented in PowerPoint presentations?
15-20 slides (at most) using definitive bullets on what the law covers. Give the sponsors of the bill 5 minutes to present the bill (kind of like #IgniteSaltLake). Follow with a 15 minute Q+A session, then make the slides publicly available for a given period of time.
Get rid of the 1000+ page omnibus bills. Simplify it so people know who their representatives are voting for. Heck, simplify it so there can’t be spin about what the bills mean in the respective camps.
Different philosophies aside from the respective parties, the majority of the issues that come up with bills of a supposedly controversial nature arise from a sheer lack of understanding of the bills. And perhaps that’s because you have to be a lawyer to even remotely understand what bills really cover.
Robin Green (@rdgreen) took this concept one step further: What if Congressional Bills had to be done through tweeting?
Wow, that’s be crazy. Probably have to do it by hashtags (For example, #healthreform09) rather than by a single tweet. 140 characters isn’t enough to cover all the caveats of a bill.
All in all, the point is that no one outside of the Capitol Building knows what is really in these bills. And the further point is that people don’t have the patience and/or the time to really dive into the bills themselves. So why continue in this shroud of confusion? There’s no reason for it.
So what do you think? Would PowerPoint make government run better? Would Twitter?