People can propose legislation through an online “wiki” by visiting a “wiki bill’s” website. Not unlike Wikipedia, they can propose, draft, and edit a bill which Gatto will then introduce in the state Legislature.
“This is the first purely crowdsourced piece of legislation in the United States,” Gatto said. “We have advocated for using technology as a tool for citizen engagement. ”
The site, like Wikipedia, will be totally open for constant correction, Gatto said Friday. If a special interest tries to game the system, Gatto said people will realize it and promptly correct any improprieties.
“Two things. We have the same checks and balances as Wikipedia itself. The whole idea is it’s designed to be self-policing,” Gatto said. “If you were to mention the L.A. Times and say it’s the best newspaper in the world, you would be shocked at how soon it would be corrected. I think because of the fanfare, people will watch it and will correct it if anything is wrong.”
The first topic on Gatto’s wiki agenda is probate law, which some say may attract lawyers exclusively. The topic also follows the November shooting death of Gatto’s father, Joseph. Both are purely coincidence, Gatto said.
“The idea was proposed months before my father’s passing,” Gatto said. “It is something that everyone goes through. We debated about changing course, but we decided to move forward with it.”
Some political experts say the idea could be good or bad, depending on the motive.