There is an interesting web based citizen polling program in Berkeley, its 'aims' is to engage the voters that cannot otherwise attend meetings. Elected's use it to pose questions or resolutions, and the public is allowed to vote on them. But to pose questions to the public, elected and appointed commissioners must pay $240/yr. Though $240/yr is hefty, it is not too much for elected's to pay, but it is far too much for appointed citizen commissioners who volunteer their time..
When it was first realeased "Open Town Hall" was originally called "Kitchen Democracy" and it allowed anyone to propose a question. The questions were reviewed and approved, or rejected by that same community through a voting and commentary process.. It was a wiki decision making, democracy project, and I was very excited.
At them time the citizens who participated most were the appointed volunteer citizen commissioners and neighborhood organizers, And though it had gotten off to a biased start, released to affluent conservative residents. As it grew it gradually became reflective of the population in general.
At the point that it truly became reflective of the population in general, they closed it down, and when the reopened it, it was with the hefty poll tax. It was re-released with just Gordon Wozniac, arguably the most conservative council person in Berkeley, as the only person allowed to poll the residents of Berkeley. Since then Woziac has gotten other conservative council people to sign onto the process, there are rumors he pays their share. But still his office is the only one that uses it to pose questions. And it is certainly no longer a wikidemocracy.
Do you wondrous and knowledgeable people know of any products like this? Preferably ones with lower to zero poll taxes. I have asked "OpenTownHall" about reducing the costs for volunteer commissioners, as I would like to see their product democratized succesfulIy. But I have been rebuffed many times, they seem content to use it as a Biased Poll, to misrepresent Berkeley voters.
~~Asa Dodsworth, I'm a Berkeley ElectedRent Board Commisioner, and I wanna see a wikidemocracy tool become available soon.