jeudi, juillet 12, 2007

Virtual Politics in the Real World

I bet a lot of you don't know that Japanese rules bar politicians from using the Internet and other electronic media during an election. I heard this intriguing piece of political multiculturalism on NPR today (lest you think I only get my news from NPR, I also hear the news on kid's pop stations now and again-in case I want to keep tabs on Justin, Britney and Rhianna).

From what I gather, these laws are old, much older than the Internet. Apparently the resistance to changing them has something to do with not wanting the other guy to be able to use those media. Apparently the Japanese also have great respect for the politicans-even many students seemed to feel that the laws should stay the way they are. Thus one saw the odd situation of a politician with a virtual office for his constituents on the website Second Life (remember cybersex on Second Life? See February 2007) who could not use it to campaign.

I wish we had more respect for our politicians. Maybe then they would have some respect for us.

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