The foundation has posted its Transparency in Government Act of 2008 on the Web at publicmarkup.org and has invited the public to tweak, add to or criticize any aspect of the proposed bill. The goal, said Ellen Miller, executive director of the foundation, is to change the backroom, secretive way that legislation is typically passed in Washington.
Now, some people think this is a bad idea:
The idea was not as well received by Paul Miller, past president of the American League of Lobbyists. Miller says lobbyists are unfairly portrayed as backroom-deal makers.
There is more transparency in legislation than ever before, Miller said. But he disagrees with putting bills up for all to rewrite.
"I don't think the way you advocate is to put everything online and say, 'All right American people, weigh in on that,' because then what's next?" Miller asked. "Are we going to let the American people decide our defense policy, our trade policy, our immigration policy?"
I'm just going to assume he was quoted out of context, and meant something more like "Policy decisions require a broad base of knowledge and careful, critical analysis, that members of the public simply do not perform." But still, telling the public that they shouldn't have a voice in government decisions IN A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY seems just a tad idiotic.Error Scale: 4 (assuming there was some redeeming context)