Will it be Hillary? No. Will it be John Edwards? Not any more. Will it be Bill Richardson? Possibly. Will it be Evan Bayh or Tim Kaine? Both men come from key states and are more likely.
Barack Obama’s pick for the Vice Presidential slot is one of the most hotly-discussed issues in American politics. And who will know first? Unless it leaks it will be all those Americans who sign up for email or text alerts from the Obama campaign. As The Guardian notes, this is just the latest example of Team Obama’s revolutionary use of the internet to produce the best-funded and best-supported campaign in US political history.
Last week we discussed what CCHQ should do with conservatives.com. Here’s another idea. David Cameron cannot recruit email addresses with a promise to reveal his VP pick but what if he gave voters the opportunity to decide two or three key aspects of his manifesto? For example:
- George Osborne could decide that the Tories would cut £3bn in his first budget (forget for the moment that tax cuts are probably off his agenda) and he could ask voters whether they wanted the relief to be targeted on, say, council tax, higher income tax thresholds or a cut in stamp duty. People could take part in an online debate and then vote. The vote would be binding.
It would be important that these online votes weren’t used to determine core beliefs. Conservatives.com wouldn’t be asking people to decide whether the party was a tax cutting or tax increasing party, but which tax could be cut. Such online votes would be the first serious steps by a British political party to acknowledge the internet age. Votes could also help to decide which Bills would be the first priority of an incoming Conservative government. What do you think?