30, March, 2007 1 Comment
The relationship between politics and the Internet is not a new one. When the Internet first became big, people talked about the new wave of democratization it would bring with it, and it’s true. To a great extent, information has become borderless, giving people knowledge and power to make informed decisions. Online polls have become the rage, not just in politics but just in about everything else.
But what’s been happening lately in the US Presidential elections fight-out, is that new media in the form of MySpace and Youtube have been roped in as presidential election aids, and they have helped to make politics sexy and hip! It’s a win-win situation for both the political candidates and the Internet portals. Youtube has launched its You Choose ’08 voters outreach for the 2008 presidential election, and not to be outdone is MySpace that is introducing an Impact Channel that will contain blog links to the MySpace pages of the presidential candidates.
These new media channels would be a good way to engage the users of these portals, who may usually form the ‘apathetic youth demographic’, according to a NY Times article. I’m including links to some of the key contenders here. You will be able to see
Hilary Clinton talking about her wish to start conversations with the American public. She mentions that with the help of technology, she would be interacting with the public through live online chats. Rudy Giuliani talks about his proven record in improving the lives of Americans, while Barack Obama shares his vision for the future.
It looks like the US Presidential elections will be exciting not just because of the interesting range of candidates (perhaps a first woman president, or African-American president for the US!!), not just because of the cyberwars that will be played out between portals such as Youtube and MySpace, but the cyberwars that will take place between the candidates and their supporters as well! It will be one exciting fight to watch.
I’d bet all politicians are watching and learning as well. Who knows, Singapore politics may also go online, and I don’t just mean BG George Yeo’s shared blog. It’s likely that Singaporean youths would be more engaged that way. Who knows, maybe we will have a political arena in Second Life for the next General Elections and the avatars of candidates will be teleporting themselves to the various constituencies to canvass support! Whatever it is, it’s sure to beat watching our MPs doing hip hop during Chingay, or whenever, for that matter.
Anyway, I’ll now leave you with Bush doing stand-up comedy! Enjoy!