Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Social Media Fuels New Web-Based Political Party

A new political party seeks to do to elections what Amazon.com did to local bookstores. Americans Elect is holding an online convention in which anyone can register as a delegate to nominate a new presidential candidate.As the Democrats and Republicans prepare for the 2012 presidential election, an unusual new third party is making strides. Fueled by social media and based entirely online, Americans Elect seeks to change the traditional primary system by allowing voters to nominate their own candidate through the Internet.
Americans Elect has already received more than 1.6 million signatures and has been given ballot access in several states, including Arizona, Alaska, Kansas and Nevada.
The centrist group aligns itself with no particular party, but instead seeks to bring more voices to the political floor.
“Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process,” the organization explains on its Website. “We’re using the Internet to give every single voter—Democrat, Republican or independent—the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state.”
For the online convention, anyone will be able to register to be a delegate. To register, participants must complete a questionnaire about their personal politics. The Website then unites users with similar views so that they can organize and either nominate or support a candidate.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, all candidates in the Americans Elect convention must be constitutionally acceptable and of the same prominence of other candidates. In April 2012, users will participate in three rounds of voting to reduce the nomination pool to six candidates.
“The questions, the priorities, the nominations and the rules will all come from the community, not from two entrenched parties,” Elliot Ackerman, chief operating officer, told the New York Times.
The six candidates will then choose their running mates, who must belong to a different political party. A Democratic presidential nominee, for example, must run with either a Republican or an independent.
“Each presidential candidate has to pick a running mate outside of their party and reaching across the divide of politics,” Ackerman told the New York Times.
In June, users of the site will choose which of the six candidates will appear on ballots around the country.

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