May 6, 2007
Unity08, Independent Two New Examples of Getting People Involved in Politics Online

The Web is a tremendous place to launch active political initiatives, as we have covered several times in the past few months. But a Variety article from a couple of weeks back caught my eye with news of two particularly intriguing online initiatives, both centered on the 2008 presidential election.

According to Michael Schneider's article, a group called Unity08 plans to launch an independent campaign aimed at creating a bipartisan ticket for the 2008 presidential election. The candidates will be chosen through an online convention, set to be held in June 2008, to pick candidates to run in the November general election against various party candidates.

The plan is to create a bipartisan ticket with Democrat and Republican candidates including Republican Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. According to the story, "Any registered voter can participate in the selection process as an online 'delegate.'"

The story as a whole focused on another political initiative, though--the planned Independent media property that will start through MySpace and launch into a television show, working with Mark Burnett Productions.

The plan is to have an election of sorts with candidates running through the TV show and MySpace, as a reality program, in which the winner will get $1 million to give to their favorite charity or to fund a bid for election at the state or national level. Video applications will be submitted on MySpace, and candidates will create MySpace profiles to act as their campaign platforms.

The contest is open to current politicians as well as political hopefuls, and the story says that the show is planned to "air concurrently with the early political season next year, including the primaries." Will Independent launch a new political figure into the mainstream? At least it promises to provide some entertaining television that may actually interest people in some significant issues.

In the meantime, look back to my post earlier in the weekend reagarding MoveOn's use of multiple media platforms and online video for their VideoVets project.

See this post from back in April, which highlights Norman Lear's Declare Yourself campaign.

Also, see my post from October 2006 on WWE's Smackdown Your Vote! campaign.