I have been thinking more about a theoretical access based democratic process.
1.1Anyone should have access to all forms of interaction on the site. This includes; messages to and from representatives, all topic discussion boards and threaded comments, and a passive up or down system to encourage constructive input.
1.2The passive interaction could have options like; "I mostly agree", "I disagree but the argument does have some merit", "I agree", "Non-constructive input","Off topic". Arguments that have a strong positive response would be placed higher in a ranking order (towards top of page) and vice versa. Individuals however would not be "ranked" so no one would receive more visibility automatically, and plagiarism would be punished with lower ranking. If a non original idea or concept is used, options for showing cited work like an included link is acceptable.
1.3Individual voting records would however remain private, with the exception of those who are representatives. A page with your voting record, the voting records of your representatives and the results from the consensus will be displayed.
1.4.1Formatting (abstract), After logging in first I see a home screen with; issues and topics you have chosen to watch, and voting records. When an issue is selected, I see a split screen, one side is the issue and the current vote totals chart. On the other side the two top arguments under the heading "For" and "Against" or in the case of multiple options, listed in side by side. Selecting arguments would take you away from the voting screen, and side by side ranked arguments would be listed and would scroll together. Threads to comments on arguments would be linked at the bottom of a argument and ranked.
1.4.2At the top of every page, options for "Publish Argument" "Propose topic" and links to things like access to information on who your policy makers are (based on the district you live in, state, and city, etc,), timelines for voting (when the information for a particular issue will be reviewed by the policy maker, or when his or her vote is due), Issue and topic lists separated under "local" "state" "federal" links, "currently popular Issues" and search option for records and current issues.
1.5New arguments would be marked "unranked" or "New argument" if it has been recently posted and has a low percentage of rankings. Modifying an arguments visibility would only possible for the group you voted with. You would still be able to thread a comment to an opposing argument, but it would not be automatically visible to those who have not yet voted and would be subject to modification by that voting group.
1.6Voting. Once you have voted on a issue, you can still read both ranked arguments. If you are convinced to change your mind, you may change your vote, however this will be tracked and if impropriety is apparent you may lose or have limited ranking influence in the future based on a three strikes punishment system. This is to prevent people from modifying poor arguments up for an opposing side of an issue.
1.7.1Impropriety would include; changing votes directly before issue closes often (more than once or twice historically on different issues), changing votes several times on one issue, and or any combination with apparent manipulation of argumentation.
1.7.2In the event an individuals comments or arguments get a net loss of ranking past a threshold, that individuals voting record could be anonymously reviewed for impropriety. The threshold would be determined by a percentage of the number of issues or topics commented on or the number of arguments proposed. The review would be done by a review board. To protect the identity of the individual being reviewed, only the data of record will be available to reviewers and the number of times the individual has been reviewed in the past and any convictions for plagiarism.
1.7.3Plagiarism would be reviewed by an anonymous board. Flagging someone for plagiarism must include a statement (that includes links to non-cited material) to be presented as evidence. If you are flagged for plagiarism, you will be notified. The notification will include the flagging statement(s), you may augment your argument or comment to include a link to the non-cited material (this action will be noted on the defense). You may write a rebuttal as well that will be presented with the defense. If convicted, your argument or comment would lose all or most ranking clout. Generally, augmented arguments or comments that now include citations would be forgiven.
1.7.4The review board(s) would consist of anonymous randomly selected members of the voting public. The only constraints placed on who would be included would be limitations of ranking influence from convictions. Selection would be done by notification, and the review its self should be a quick and easy process. A link in the notification will bring the reviewer to a case specific page, with either the pertinent records or a split screen with the accusation and defense. After reviewing the information including threaded comments from others who have voted, they would vote one of three ways, "Acquittal with out prejudice" where it is entirely expunged from the record. "Acquittal with prejudice" where no punishment is determined but the accusation will be on the individuals record for future review boards to consider. "Conviction" where the individual would receive a punishment. These votes cannot be changed.
1.7.5Punishments will never include voting rights. They would however include comment and/or argument ranking modification for a specific period of time. First offence would be one year of limited or loss of ranking modification powers. Second offence would be two years of limited or loss of ranking modification powers and one year of loss of comment and argumentation powers. Third and further offenses would be a two year loss of ranking modification powers and a two year loss of comment and argumentation powers.
1.7.6The vote of the review board would be available to the accused as well as any comments made between them. Appeal is an option but the punishment would be in place until the appeal results come in. The appeal process would be identical to the original review process but with a different group of peers. Comments between reviewers must not include any information that might be used to identify any party involved including the reviewers and the accused.
1.7.8Plagiarism reviews will include the record of both the flagging member and the accused in respect to the number of times they have been convicted of plagiarism or flagged others for plagiarism. Excessive, or errant flagging could lead to a record review for the flagging individual. Errant meaning flagging when not warranted as determined by the review board.
1.7.9The right to a speedy trial would be preserved. A review should be completed within one week of notification. Notification is considered to take place on the day the individual logs into their account. notifications to reviewers would take place twenty four hours after the individual is notified in order to give them time to prepare a defense and/or augment a comment/argument.
2.1If you choose to propose a topic it must gain sponsorship from a representative or receive a minimum threshold of "signatures" in order to become an issue. A link to the page of "unsponsered" topics would be on the home screen. The argumentation you provide would be highest ranked at first, until it becomes a voting issue.
2.2Topic proposals must be single issue specific and would also be ranked on the un-sponsored list. The ranking system for un-sponsored topics would be limited to "I agree (denotes signature)", and "I somewhat agree (not signed but gains rank)". Topics could therefor only move up the list or die on the bottom for lack of support but never blocked.
2.3All Comments would be threaded to such topics and ranked by the standard comment/argument ranking system. The original author of a topic could add a link to a new form of the argument if it is decided revision is needed, all signatories would be notified when ever a topic is augmented. (I use augmented instead of edited, because the original argument once published is permanent as public record.) In the case of multiple authors of a single topic, they will all hold equal weight as "original signatories" and must act unanimously.
2.4Rescinding support for a topic would be possible, but your record would still show both actions, and monitored for impropriety.
2.5Thresholds for topics and issues, including signatures, are based on the percentage of the voting public that participates. They will start at fifty percent and will be adjusted by a yearly vote. Unless amended, The threshold cannot be adjusted more than ten percent in one year.
2.6Issues that are amendments to this document must carry a two thirds majority in order to take effect, including the yearly threshold adjustment.
3.1Any Representative that chooses to participate in this system must do so altruistically. This means campaigning through this system is strictly prohibited. Fundraising or seeking personal profit is also strictly prohibited. A representative's voting and sponsorship record is permanent and cannot be edited. Augmenting with argumentation is allowed but only as a link from a particular vote no text will be automatically visible.
3.2A representative who chooses to sponsor a topic or withdraw sponsorship does so publicly and it will be noted on their permanent record. In the event they choose to withdraw support for a topic that has become a voting issue, the original author and all signatories will be notified. Citizens who have voted for or against the issue will also be notified.
3.3A representative cannot lobby for rank modification of comments or argumentation. They are allowed equal comment, argumentation, and rank modification rights as any citizen. This is intended to limit influence of the voting public by any one entity.
3.4A representative is not exempt from the anonymous review process. Any judgments by a review board will be noted on the representative's public record after a grace period for the appeal process not to exceed three weeks.
(i doubt any one made it this far reading all this but hey, it is worth a shot right) comments welcome here or on twitter @marcqmindaccess.