New Times,
New Thinking.

6 March 2007

Will the Net balance out US politics?

By Mike Butcher

An interesting story in the Guardian about the role of money in the US election shows that the Internet could actually start to help fund candidates who are less tied to big business interests.

Back in 2003 it took Howard Dean six months to compile an email list of 139,000. But that was before networking sites such as MySpace. In less than two months Barack Obama has gathered more than 310,000 supporters on Facebook.com. What is certain is that the internet will play a vital, possibly decisive, role; and in all likelihood that role will come into conflict with the established kingmakers. Neither trend is new. But the power of money and the modem are both driven by different and, arguably, contradictory forces. At some stage something will have to give.

Could the same moves play out on the UK politico/Internet scene? Quite probably. Expect more petitions on Number 10’s Web site for a start.

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