ME and Ophelia

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Historical decision by the people, for the people

If you have no interest in politics, this post may still be of interest because it gives an example of what bloggers, collectively, can achieve.

Yesterday, Jim Moore blogged historical photos of what's been happening during his visit this past week at the "Howard Dean for US President Campaign" HQ in Burlington, USA.

Volunteer helpers at the HQ are sending out ballots to all members of the campaign (nearly half a million strong - imagine the logistics) by email, telephone and telegrams to vote on whether they should decline public financing or accept government matching funds. The vote will end Friday at midnight. Here's my summary of the story:

Governor Howard Dean has raised $22m from hundreds of thousands "little" donations from people living all over America. If the Governor accepts matched funding from the US government, it will limit his fighting campaign to $45m and he will not be allowed to raise any more money. If he refuses the matched funding, he will be free to spend whatever he has raised and will be allowed to accept further donations. He is the only Democratic candidate that has raised enough money to reach this stage of seriously considering matched government funding.

President Bush has a "war-chest" of $200m which he plans to spend on large media campaigns in the summer to squash any contenders (like Dean, assuming Dean wins the Democratic nomination) as he fights to win another term in office. The President's donations came from large organisations.

Governor Dean has decided to put the decision to a vote by the half a million supporters of his campaign and will announce the results Saturday at noon.

Exciting eh? If you are American, this is your opportunity to speak directly to the Dean blog and campaign by posting a comment here. If you are not American, scroll down to the bottom of that page and see all the comments sent in by people in the "community".

What would you decide? I would vote for not accepting the matched funding. At least it would give Governor Dean and his supporters freedom and something really special to blog about - especially if he is elected. And, who knows, by some miracle they may even raise more than $200m AND have the Internet and bloggers on their side (Hah!)

I can hear John Lennon singing now...."Power to the People....."
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[Still working on my "community in the blogosphere" post which got interrupted by a visit from my brother and blogging this "real" community story]

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 11/06/2003
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