Local activism from abroad

This is quite random (not to mention old, as it’s dated Nov 3, 2008), but having a background in ICT4D I found this report on a technology blog intriguing. It goes without saying that the Internet allows people to keep in touch in radically new ways while on the go and Skype is so widespread that its very name has become a handy verb for millions of Internet users, but who would’ve thought you could use the Internet to volunteer in a political campaign back home while sitting on another continent?

Wendy’s Blog: Skype for Obama, from Cairo to Colorado

I’m spending this election season in Cairo, Egypt, attending an ICANN meeting. Thanks to the Internet, that hasn’t stopped me from some final get-out-the-vote efforts. The time zones mesh up so that after meetings conclude here, I’ve been able to log in to my.barackobama.com, find a list of voters and a calling script, and call via Skype to remind them of polling places and encourage them to vote.

Isn’t the Internet grand? I’m at the ICANN meeting trying to keep ICANN from interfering with the flexibility that allowed that unexpected political outreach.

Lucky McCain’s campaign didn’t get wind of this. I can hear Palin’s inevitable slogan now: “Obama campaign gets support from Al-Qaeda member.”*

Swiftboat-ese for a person residing in the Middle East.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dbrutus TM Lutas

    You might not be aware that there was at least one foreign run get out the vote campaigns for John Kerry in 2004 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/oct/13/uselections2004.usa11). This did nothing but anger the voters of Ohio and other places it was tried and ended up enhancing GW Bush’s victory margin. In other words, calls coming in internationally in favor of the Democrat ticket were a well known phenomenon before Sarah Palin was even elected governor of Alaska.
    Is there anything here other than mean spiritedness against Sarah Palin? Oh yeah, an undeserved accusation of ethnic/regional/religious persecution.
    You are usually much better than this.

  • http://akramsrazor.typepad.com svend

    Thanks for the comment, TM. I’m sorry if I offended you, but while I realize that the Left isn’t free of such ugly tendencies by any means, I think the cynicism and meanspiritedness of the McCain/Palin campaign last year and so much of the rabid anti-”Obamacare” rabble-rousing we’re seeing justify my uncharitable characterizations.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dbrutus TM Lutas

    I have had family members living in end-stage socialized medicine refused ambulance service because they were too old. Some high school graduate dispatcher just decided that grandma wasn’t getting to the hospital on the public dime because she’s old. That wasn’t an outrage that violated the rules. That was policy in Romania’s public system. Death panels can be pretty abrupt and ad hoc. Don’t tell me that they won’t exist.
    All the socialist systems compromise patient care in more or less blatant ways. If 20% of treatable colon cancer cases ended up dead because of treatment delays in the US, those responsible would need round-the-clock guards but it’s a day-to-day reality in the UK.
    For years, the German military tried to eliminate conscription but were vetoed by the health ministry because without indentured servitude, the FRG’s health system would soon collapse.
    The Supreme Court of Quebec ruled that the provincial government was violating its own constitution by substantively denying access to medical care due to underfunding.
    Underfunding to the point of medical care denial, indentured servitude, and unnecessary mortality are the real legacies of socialized medicine. The end road is a collapse of the system and privatization. Right now we’re a mixed system. We could reform in a private direction or a socialized direction. Both are reforms but the mainstream media only characterize one side as reform.
    The observation of international reality doesn’t affect pro-socialist systems in the slightest. Academic take downs and think tank studies don’t change a thing. Getting up in people’s faces and shouting them down when they lie to sell socialist reform seems to work. Get ready for more of it but don’t imagine that this is the only component to the story.
    It is the Left’s imperviousness to all the non-rabble rousing tactics that have led to this. Don’t kid yourself otherwise.


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