Thursday, July 03, 2008

Barack Obama Comments on How the Internet Will Assist His Government

These comments, taken from an article just published in Rolling Stone (available online) show that Obama is taking the role of the Internet very seriously in terms of shaping policy, getting feedback, increasing accountability.

A few times in the past few years there have been "anonymous holds" on bills going through the Senate. How slimy is that? Some senators want to keep a bill from getting voted on but they don't want to do it publicly, for shame of what they're doing. Hopefully we can stop this type of behavior.

Here are a few lines from Obama's interview with Rolling Stone:

How are you going to connect your support among young people to the governing process?
This is where the Internet is so powerful. One of the things that surprised me in this campaign is how well we were able to use technology to organize people. There's enormous promise — but we've just scratched the surface of what's possible when it comes to making government work for people. Virtual town-hall meetings, increasing transparency, accountability on legislation. You think about all the inefficiencies in government. We basically have a New Deal government in a 21st-century economy. We've got to upgrade it.

So you're consciously aware that this will have to be part of how you govern?
Yes, absolutely. The Internet gives young people a tool to be informed continuously. It gives them an opportunity to speak to each other and mobilize themselves. It gives them the opportunity to hold me accountable when I'm not following through on promises that I've made. It gives me a powerful ally if Congress is resistant to measures that need to be taken.