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GOP's 'America Speaking Out' Tries (Fails?) to Bring Online Voting to Public Policy

America Speaking Out
The Republican effort to allow its rank and file members to craft the party's platform has officially launched in the form of America Speaking Out, built on top of Microsoft's Town Hall platform. Users can sign up directly with America Speaking Out or use Facebook Connect to log on. Once a member, you're only a few mouse clicks away from wielding influence over what issues and policies will form the foundation of the 2010 Republican party platform -- at least, theoretically.

Users are supposed to submit, vote for or against, and critique ideas. Unfortunately, the site is so slow and buggy it is completely unusable. We're not sure whether the GOP's IT department or Microsoft itself is at fault here, but few of the features work as advertised. Voting took several clicks to register, if it did at all. Page load times ranged from 20 to 30 seconds (even though they contained only a handful of submissions, and even fewer comments). Often, the site froze for several seconds at a time.

Even in this early, buggy stage, a few comedians have entered the fray, suggesting ideas like: "There ought to be a Constitutional amendment banning cannibalism in every state except Kentucky;" and "Make a law that anyone who is not an older white male has to get randomly checked to make sure they belong here." (At least, we hope that last one's a joke.) We still think America Speaking Out has potential, but the GOP has some serious technical hurdles to overcome. Even more of a task, the party will have to attract enough participants to drown out the jokers and idiots. [From:, via: CNN]

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