Monday, February 21

21ST CENTURY POLITICAL REVOLUTION A FEW MOUSE CLICKS AWAY

The Guardian Unlimited featured a story over this past weekend on blogging in American politics, predicting the blogosphere will become a force in Britain and speculating that it could ignite many new forces of conservatism there. Why? Because, as the author of the piece, Lain Duncan Smith observes, the Internet's automatic level playing field gives conservatives opportunities that mainstream media have often denied them.

Smith further notes that the Internet has strengthened the American right, while the American left has primarily used the Internet to spout hatefulness, although he does cite the efficacy of Howard Dean's Internet-based fund-raising in the Democratic primaries in 2004.

In terms of the blogosphere's future impact on British politics and media he writes:

Until now voters, viewers and service users have not had easy mechanisms by which to expose officialdom's errors and ineffficiencies. But, because of the Internet, the masses beyond the metropolitan fringe will soon be on the move. They will expose the lazy journalists who reduce every important public policy issue to how it affects opinion-poll ratings.

Tired of being spoon-fed their politics, British voters will soon be calling virtual town hall meetings, and they will take a serious look at the messenger as well as the message. It's going to be very rough.

Smith concludes by pointing to President Bush's campaign chief and political guru, Karl Rove:

Karl Rove is right. The Internet could do more to change the level of political engagement than all the breast-beating of introspective politicians and commentators. A 21st century political revolution is now only a few mouse clicks away.

Makes one wonder: what would be the impact if Prince Charles' sons, William and Harry, were to take up poliblogging (using pseudonyms, of course, to protect the propriety of the Royal Family)?