Five innovative political sites

Don't like the government? Go out and change it. These five Web sites can help you get informed, get active, and get the jokers out of office.
  • (PC World (US online))
  • — 19 August, 2008 04:58

In case you haven't noticed, it's an election year in the US. Along with making promises, shaking hands, and kissing babies, candidates and their supporters are leaning heavily on Web 2.0 sites to deliver their message.

But they're not the only ones. There are scores of political action sites that can help you get up to speed on laws and legislation, see how elected officials are spending your money, argue with fellow citizens on issues of import--and even make and broadcast your own political ads.

It was either Alexis de Tocqueville or Hunter S. Thompson who said that, in a democracy, people generally get the kind of government they deserve. Here are five ways to get your just desserts.

1. Govit.com

Why wait until the Tuesday after the first Monday in November to cast your ballot? At Govit.com, you can "vote" on pending legislation, post comments, then compare your votes with those of other Govit users and your elected representatives. After you vote on, say, closing Guantanamo Bay or opening the continental shelf to oil drilling, you can submit your choice, along with a brief note, to your local Congressperson, U.S. Senator, or the President.

The site also features a handy map to each Congressional district and the executive branch. (Quick, who's Secretary of the Department of the Interior? Give yourself five points if you came up with Dirk Kempthorne.) You can drill down into each Congress member's voting record on every bill and follow the money trail of their biggest campaign contributors. The site is still in beta and was a bit slow to respond--much like Congress itself.

2. Change-Congress.org

Launched by Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and Internet campaign guru Joe Trippi, Change Congress has one explicit goal: to change how money influences our nation's political process.

The wiki is built around a four-point pledge: To receive a full four-star rating, candidates or office holders must vow to accept contributions only from individuals, not committees or lobbyists; to support banishing earmarks from legislation (earmarks are unnecessary provisions often added to bills to serve as paybacks to large donors); to reveal who they're meeting with and where their campaign money comes from; and to support public campaign financing.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Tynan

PC World (US online)

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?