Adam Green writes, "What once was a dream of Lawrence Lessig, Aaron Swartz, Jimmy Wales, Craig Newmark, and a coalition of cutting-edge progressive and conservative activists in the Open Debate Coalition is now becoming a reality. The first Open Debate is being announced today by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. In the upcoming Massachusetts special election for Congress, all 5 Democratic candidates have agreed to a primary debate this coming Saturday in which they will answer questions submitted and voted on by the public. Anyone can participate at http://OpenDebateQuestions.com"
Anybody can submit a question, which will immediately be posted publicly. To submit a question, we ask that you provide your name, email address and zip code. That way, people will know whether the question is coming from a local voter, and we can contact you if your question is chosen for the debate. Your name and zip code will be made public alongside your question, but don't worry — your email address will never be posted publicly.
You can browse through all the submitted questions, sorted either by popularity (number of votes cast) or date (most recently submitted questions first) — and you can also view all submitted questions on a map to see where the questions are coming from.
Anybody can vote on their favorite questions. You can vote any number of times, but can only cast one vote per question. To ensure that people are not voting multiple times for the same question, we ask all voters to supply an email address and zip code. Your zip code, and the votes you have cast, may be made public, but your email address will not be posted publicly.
Although anybody can cast a vote, the moderators will select questions from among the most popular locally -- within Massachusetts. (In the coming days we'll be adding a separate vote tally so that you can see how many votes were cast for each question within Massachusetts, as well as nationally.) If you're not within Massachusetts, you can still vote (as a way of pushing your favorite questions to the top of the list for Massachusetts voters to see) and share your favorite questions on Facebook and Twitter so your friends in Massachusetts know to vote for them.