SEATTLE -- A young Seattle technocrat plans to run for city council with the hopes that if he wins, every political decision he makes will be crowdsourced through an app.
"I'm going to build a web application and let you control my seat," Ryan Asbert said in a recent YouTube video. "All bills, measures, whatever action items are coming up on my docket, I will put on the web for you to vote on."
Asbert envisions an app in which every aspect of his council seat would be controlled by his constituents. The app would feature tools to build new bills, participate in discussions and bring up issues users are concerned with.
"I envision a system where our representatives don't just make the decisions on your behalf, but rather educate the public themselves on the issues, and with a smart UX approach I think we can work towards a more informed voting populace," Asbert said in a Reddit AMA.
In conjunction with running for City Council District 8, Asbert has created a political party, named The X Party. He says the X Party has no specific goals or ideals, other than to make the political process more accessible for all.
"We as a party and as an organization stand only to make our government more accessible to the people," Asbert said.
He hopes others will run for public office using the same app platform. Asbert also says he hopes to participate in Seattle's democracy voucher program.
Asbert's plan has garnered some attention, including a GeekWire article. Yet many are skeptical. Some in Asbert's Reddit AMA criticized his seemingly simplified take on the complex political system. Allowing Joe Everyman to weigh in on every single vote or minute decision could have troublesome outcomes, some argued.
"I'm sorry but the general populist does not have the education to seriously vote for many bills," one Reddit user said. "Most people would only see what exactly it does (like raise or lower taxes) without being able to connect it to all aspects of life."
And what about hacking?
"What happens when your system gets brigaded by 4Chan?" another user said.
To get a more in-depth look at Asbert and his plan, visit his Reddit AMA.