Posted by: Jim | March 20, 2007

Hillary Pilloried

YouTube is now taking center stage in the 2008 election, with a recent ad blasting Clinton, which was created by “ParkRidge47.” It ends with a reference to Obama’s website. I won’t link to the ad itself, as my work’s web filtering justifiably blocks But I’m sure you can find it, as 900,000 other people have. Obama’s people say they did not create the ad, and this is very interesting indeed.

The inmates are taking over the asylum election.

The optimist in me wants to believe that this can only be a good thing. The pragmatist in me says that people will still gravitate toward the slickest, simplest (read: lies) ads that the people proffer. But one thing is sure, lies put forth by the R and D election machines won’t go without retribution from anyone with a vendetta and a video toaster. And no one can predict which YouTube video will become tomorrow’s viral outbreak of truth.

Perhaps some Campaign officials are rethinking their strategies. 



  1. I don’t think Campaign officials can help but notice and deploy their sleazy tactics through all possible avenues, even ‘unofficial’ ones. The good new is they’re not the only ones with a voice. And there are many of us. The bad news is, you will still only be able to decide what “the truth” might be if you have the time and inclination to dig deep.

  2. I much prefer the UK, where there are no TV election ads, outside of some staid to-camera addresses from the leaders of the main parties.

    On a related note, Jim, are you in favor of the bringing forward of the California primary? That’s surely money in the bank for the media there, having all those dollars flow in, but it might also be polarising on those people who don’t want the whole hard-sell spectacle of contemporary political campaigns.

  3. I prefer the UK method as well. I believe US elections should be paid for only by a general election fund. No party or individual should be allowed to spend additional money. Will this ever happen in the US. I highly doubt it.

    As far as the California primary, I would prefer it if all states had their primaries on the same day. It would be less exhausting, frankly, and it would also make every state “count” more. In the past, California fell toward the end of the primaries, and often the winners were already determined. What is the point to vote then? For that reason, coupled with the fact that we are on the west coast and the Presidency is often determined before our workday is done, I think us Californians are perceived as particularly apathetic toward elections.

    For this reason, I also think that polls should all open and close at the same time during general elections.

  4. Jim

    Thanks for that explanation. I see the sense in attempting to bring some harmony to the process. However, I am not in favour of public funding of elections. It is being mooted in the UK, but really, it’s transparently because the main parties are drowning in debt.

    Now, I can accept the argument that donations, given mysteriously, by wealthy individuals, along with large dollops of cash supplied by corporations and unions, is not ideal, it creates a quid pro quo, but I do feel it is important that the parties have some tenous link to the economic marketplace, as well as the marketplace of ideas. To entrench funding for the Big Three parties here, come what may, I don’t think is democratic. Why should taxes go towards the welfare of political parties? And aren’t they always going to be jacking up the amount they receive? As happens when MPs vote on their pay – (This is an annual ritual, usually the only time the House agrees, when everybody votes for the big fat pay rise recommended by an ‘independent’ review).

    The Bushites certainly identified the weakness of each State organising their own elections, as the point of leverage for dirty tricks. In the UK, the Electoral Commission organises elections and is independent, staffed by little old women, and the voting procedure is identical, regardless of where you are in the country, and there is no atmosphere of intimidation, rather, one of tea and biscuits. But that reflects a different issue, equally, namely that of the amount of political appointments at state level, and how that tradition has both pluses and minuses, the grave minus being that officials place party loyalties over justice and the high ideals of public service. In the UK, we don’t really have politically motivated prosecutions and ‘probes’ during election time, as the police and prosecutors are not political appointees expected to do their bit to deliver a win for their candidate.

    Sorry, rambled on a bit, but there’s so many interesting points of divergence. In summary, though, I do think that the UK electoral system is apolitical, transparent, and fair. I know the history of State’s rights, and I don’t think a Federal law should be passed saying HOW elections are to be conducted, but, there should be a tighter act that specifies the Criteria for elections, a paper record, the equivalent opening hours of polls, ways to determine distribution of polling stations (so that you don’t get just one sited in poor areas and a myriad in good neigborhoods), means to tackle voter suppression, with an appeals process that will result in the vote being counted, even AFTER the election has been declared over, and so forth.

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