The Web is a haven of messy democracy. (Want to see voter engagement and healthy debate? Read any Digg comment thread.) But the ideal of transparency and participation hasn't yet infiltrated another messy democracy — the US government. That insight led Ellen Miller to cofound the Sunlight Foundation in 2006. The goal was to tap some of the Net's best-known thinkers in order to make Washington as user-friendly as a Google API.
Miller, who previously headed the Center for Responsive Politics, has enlisted the likes of Esther Dyson, Lawrence Lessig, and [some list guy] to serve as advisers. "Washington politicians like the firewall they have erected," Miller says. "They will have to be dragged into the 21st century." The next president could do the pulling — if he adopts the Internet's values of openness. Miller shares some of her current projects along with grander ideas she hopes the next president will support.