What are the political underpinnings of the internet and can they have an impact on the wider political discourse?
It’s the day after the presidential election in the United States and the winner is… either Bush or Gore. The interesting thing in this is that part of the reason we have reached this outcome is that polling booth in the United States are still using antiquated technology. In Florida, the state that will decide who gets the election, the voting is done on punch cards. For years to come, this election will be scrutinized and people will ask questions as to what went wrong. Whether Bush or Gore wins, there will be about half of the people looking for some sort of reform. In the new age of computing, one is left to wonder whether there will be a change in the way election booth are shaped. Using technology could solve one of the problems: if the voting booth were more computerized, we might know who the next president is by now. Using basic client server technology, this could easily be changed. If the voting booth were to hold dumb terminals with touch screens connected to a server at every location, the servers could be brought in and the votes quickly tabulated. Other net-related votes However, a number of…Read More
On Tuesday, US votes will go to the polls and select their next president. This election will mark the first time the Internet has played a significant role in politics and it seems there is no turning back. In today’s column, I’m taking a look at how the Internet changed politics and what can be learned from it in the future. Web and Email: Essential Campaigning Tools In 1992, the Clinton/Gore campaign was one of the great innovator in that field. Using a list server, the democratic ticket sent out policy papers, press releases, and announcements of gathering to thousands of subscribers. After they moved into the White House, they continued providing detailed policy information via the Internet. In those days, however, few people cared as the Internet had not yet captured the public imagination. This year, politicians fully seized the Internet as an essential campaigning tool. As the presidential campaign hits its last few hours, tons of emails are invading my mailbox. They come from all parties and it is interesting to see them pile. People are asking me to vote for Bush, Gore, or even Nader. One has to give credit to all the parties involved: they are…Read More