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Here’s how it began…
It was February, 2049. The newly elected Senator
from the state of Hawaii, Albert J. Kaleo was introduced by the President Pro-Tem of the Senate.
Kaleo, six feet, five inches tall, was nervous. He could feel the beads of sweat beginning to flow down his back. He stood and glanced
at the assembled forty nine Senators. He knew that what he was about to present to this body of lawmakers was going to be highly controversial.
The freshman Senator thanked the Vice President of the United States and then thanked his fellow Senators
for the opportunity to speak to them. He adjusted his tie and straightened his posture.
He began, “My
fellow Senators, I come before you to propose a revolutionary change in the manner in which democracy is practiced in the United States
of America. I ask you to have open minds and to consider that what I propose is an advancement and improvement in our form of democracy.”
In a rare show of interest, all the United States Senators were seated along with a large number of
members of the House of Representatives. Anticipation filled the Senate chambers.
Senator Kaleo continued,
“The radical changes in our country began in the 1990’s with the increased use of cellular telephones. The changes continued from
then into the 2010’s when the use of ‘smart phones’ became almost universal. We’ve all seen how life has changed due to the use of
‘smart phones.’ Wherever we go we see the preponderance of people walking with their eyes glued to their phones. Even with the laws
being enacted forbidding it, we can see car drivers talking on their phones. Citizens of all ages are habitually connected to their
phones. ‘Smart phones’ have become an essential part of Americans’ lives. The average teenager is involved with over one hundred text
messages a day. Adults are not far behind, with each American owning a ‘smart phone’ sending and received scores of text messages
each day. These phones are now a part of our lives, there is no questioning that.”
Senator Kaleo took
a deep breath and prepared to present the focal point of his presentation.
“Ladies and gentlemen of this august body, I propose that
our method of election, yes, our very method of operating a democracy is now outmoded and antiquated. I propose that we change the
way our democracy functions.”
“My proposal, which will be handed to each of you following today’s session
of the Senate, submits that we eliminate our system of voting and replace the polling places and the entire current voting system
with a method of having all eligible American voters use their ‘smart phones’ to vote. There would no longer be elections held on
a couple of specified dates each year. Instead we would create an electronic voting commission which would send out questions to all
voters on their ‘smart phones’ whenever needed. In effect, we would eliminate this very Senate and the House of Representatives to
be replaced by electronic voting with Americans using their phones to vote on all matters that would ordinarily come before the House
and the Senate. For example, ‘Obama-Care’ would be presented to the eligible American voters’ ‘smart phones’ and asked if they wanted
it to be approved, yes or no.”
“Voters would use their phones to decide on their local matters also.
Mayors and governors would be elected solely on the use of ‘smart phones’ by the electorate. There would no longer be lobbyists or
pressure groups. The actions of government would be determined strictly by the use of voting on ‘smart phones.’
“Small, minimal representatives and staffs would replace the mammoth numbers of government workers currently draining our resources.
Decisions would be made directly by America’s citizens. Whatever the question, whatever a proposal, the American voter with a phone
would vote on it – yes or no.
“No longer would a presidential election require millions of dollars
to conduct. The ballot would be sent to all eligible voter’s phones and in seconds a president would be elected. A question, such
as, ‘Should we take military action in Syria?’ would be sent out and in seconds the democratic process would be completed.”
“And so, my fellow Senators, my proposal is designed to bring true democracy to our people. Every matter of importance will be decided
by the vote of Americans. Immediate and accurate. No more expensive voting procedures, no lobbyists. We will have a true democracy
where American voters will decide on what American wants and does.”
“Every American with a ‘smart phone’
will be a part of the democratic process.”
And so, twelve years after the new Senator, Albert J. Kaleo
of Hawaii, made his presentation in February, 2049 the first vote using only American’s ‘smart phones’ was held. Ninety two percent
of eligible American voters participated on phones. They elected a president and decided that America should continue its program
to put a man on Mars.
Senator Kaleo was reelected to his Senate position twice. In 2061 he was elected
Governor of the State of Hawaii.
He became known as the “father of the new democracy.”