Monday, July 23, 2007

YouTube debates setting new trend

Presidential debates is a long tried ritual in the United States of America, the world's trend setting democracy.

It is no longer a guy in a suit who mostly asks predictable questions of other suits in a carefully choreographed studio. The voter is a fixture in the audience, motionless until he or she gets to address the candidate, briefly and respectfully. It a is well designed PR stunt.

Now technology has come forward and is helping to change this old tradition. The debates still continue but the old world methods and the new world tactics have begun to overlap each other. In the new world, a kid in jeans and a T-shirt is asking questions, less reverentially, more pointedly and using powerful visual images to underscore the point.

The current presidential debates are about to enter the world of YouTube, the anything-goes home-video-sharing Web site that puts the power in the hands of the camera holder.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, and CNN are co-sponsoring a debate among the eight Democratic presidential candidates on July 23 in South Carolina, an event that could define the next phase of what has already been called the YouTube election, a visual realm beyond Web sites and blogs.

This proves that it is good for democracy when the people are empowered. Politicians often find that the people whose vote they need to come into office are much smarter than the political consultants and the men in grey suits( also known as spin doctors)- whether it is about Iraq war or global warming.

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