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Interactive Campaigning ala Wiki 172

brettlg writes to tell us LinuxInsider is reporting that Utah Democratic hopeful, Peter Ashdown, is hoping to leverage his knowledge of the internet and small business resourcefulness to take down the incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch next year. From the article: "Peter Ashdown is the founder of Xmission, Utah's oldest Internet service provider (ISP). His Web site includes a blog and a monthly live chat session. But Ashdown's site takes public participation on his campaign Web site one step further -- opening his platform to all. The site is based on the "Wiki" open-source model made famous by Wikipedia."
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Interactive Campaigning ala Wiki

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  • Political Wisdom ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is wiki such a good idea in politics where partisanship is everywhere.
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Funny)

      by vertinox ( 846076 )
      I just hit up his wiki at: ge []

      And under the main article it clearly states:


      So I think partisan politics is the least of his worries with an open wiki. Heck... Even encyclopediadramatica isn't an open wiki.
    • It is if you want your platform to be periodically replaced by a large photo of a penis.
    • It's a great idea. The site can just downright lie about the opponent and the challenger can just deny any responsibility since they didn't put those lies there to begin with (at least not in any provable way).
    • Is wiki such a good idea in politics where partisanship is everywhere.

      I don't know, but the Green Party of Canada has teir entire party platform developed online via a wiki called the Living Platform []. Politics are a little less partisan in Canada, and given that it's the platform for an entire political party rather than one individual... Of course the party itself retains some control. Only registered Green Party members can edit locked pages, and the actual platform is established by registered party mem
  • Peter Ashdown, is hoping to leverage his knowledge of the internet

    seriously, is it so hard to just 'leverage' the word 'use' instead. I run into leverage freakin' everywhere whenever something has to sound important.
    • I couldn't agree more!
    • Honestly, though, there is a difference in meaning. While it is still sort of marketing-speak, he's not just looking to "use" his knowledge of the internet, as everybody running for office "uses" the internet. He is specifically trying to "leverage" it, insofar as he is trying to "use [the internet] to gain advantage." []
      • I'm not happy with that definition either. Everybody who "uses" something does it to "gain advantage." Instead, recall that leverage in physics refers to the effect of multiplying force by use of lever arms (was it Aristotle who said he could lift the Earth given a pivot and long enough lever?) Hence, the word conveys an intention of obtaining a unusually large effect from a relatively small, but possibly clever, action.
    • Using big words like "leverage" allows one to leverage their $40,000 degree in Journalism.
    • Leverage implies 'use to his advantage'.
    • Personally, I think of leverage of having a slightly different meaning than "use" - I think of "shoehorn". I imagine a lever being used to push skill/tool X into position to solve problem Y, regardless of the applicability of it to the problem. When a company says "we're going to leverage our partner company C's product to solve our problem" I read "we're going to shoehorn their product into our project for political reasons".

      Likewise, here, the guy's knowledge of Wiki is being "leveraged".
  • And only seems to contain one paragraph mentioning that there will be a wiki. Is there info on editing and the like?
  • Poor guy. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yirimyah ( 884895 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:32AM (#14391306) Homepage
    He's gonna get flamed worse than Stormfront. Edit wars, anyone?
  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:32AM (#14391307) Homepage
    The problem with this idea is it's just a magnet for people to tamper with his page - Wiki had to block edits of Bush and Kerry during the 2004 election. There isn't the mechanisms to revert changes and viewers can get a bad impression. Just now, for instance, I noticed that somebody defaced his website by posting a picture of a really geeky-looking white guy.
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) * on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:34AM (#14391316)
    Or in Pete's office, they say 'launch' a campaign.

    Good luck Pete, nobody in their right mind wants the incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch who once advocated putting malware on people's computers in order to stop them from downloading songs.
    See: ty/cybercrime/story/0,10801,82317,00.html []
    • Well I guess that is an indication of how big a moron he is, how little he understands technology, and hopefully how little he understands how he is being fought via the internet.

      Or not.
    • Actually, the folks of Utah have the "rightest" (aka Reddest) minds in America. Their last Democratic Senator was Ted Moss, defeated by Orrin Hatch in 1976, and the only reason they have one Democrat (out of 3) in the House is that Rep. Matheson proudly proclaims he's "more independent than [his party] may like".

      And party affiliation aside, ranking incumbents with important chairmanships do not lose reelection. Too much pork is at stake. Wiki is a cute gimmick to drum up some buzz, but in the end he'll go

    • Senator Orrin Hatch who once advocated putting malware on people's computers in order to stop them from downloading songs.

      I take it once he retires he'll be joining Sony?
    • At first (and subsequent so far) glance, this guy appears to be awesome. He founded Xmission, which was the host of Maddox [], an author who I feel would have been censored by other ISPs a long time ago. His policies also appear to be sane, and he seems to genuinely want input from the public (the Wiki goes a long way in my eyes). I would vote for him if I was in his district.
  • Orrin Hatch (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tomji ( 142759 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:34AM (#14391317)
    He is the guy behind a lot of the DRM bills like DMCA, TPM enforcment, extending copyrights etc.

    I hope he gets choped.
  • by IndigoZenith ( 791590 ) <indigozenith&laptopmods,net> on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:35AM (#14391324) Homepage
    "Any legitimate purchaser of media or technology should be able to use their property as they see fit without government intervention. Technology progresses rapidly and we need technologically savvy lawmakers who can lead us in sound policy making. Currently, there are legislators who repeatedly attempt to pass laws reigning in the Internet and other technologies. They do this at the beck and call of multibillion dollar industries by expanding the definition of copyright. Industry which refuses to adapt to technology should not be protected by making that technology illegal. Smaller music and film companies use the Internet to their benefit and should not be penalized by the behemoths' refusal of progress. Lawmakers tilting the playing field do not encourage small business and home innovators to take risks, and thus hold back our economy." from []

    He gets my Vote... if I lived in Utah, also one of his previous jobs was a Computer Tech, which makes him over qualified for Politics... but oh well :)
    • one of his previous jobs was a Computer Tech, which makes him over qualified for Politics

      I'd say that holding just about any job would make one overqualified to be a politician, including most forms of unskilled labor. Tells you how much I respect most politicians, hehe.

    • But you don't live in Utah. People who do live in Utah don't care about this stuff. All they know is that if they elect a democrat the homosexuals will be marrying all over the place and their family values will be eroded and the UN will control the US and their kids will not be able to pray in school.

      Those are only the issues they really care about. And let's be honest here, if Jesus ran as a democrat (or a demoncrat as they are called over there) and satan ran as a republican in Utah satan would win in a
      • But you don't live in Utah. People who do live in Utah don't care about this stuff. All they know is that if they elect a democrat the homosexuals will be marrying all over the place and their family values will be eroded and the UN will control the US and their kids will not be able to pray in school.

        Hey WAIT a minute...Just because we're the only state who still overwhelmingly supports President Bush..
        OK, darn. Well, at least I work at a newspaper that according to our readers is WAY too liberal (*rea

      • Out of curiosity, who was the last Republican you voted for? Most people on Slashdot vote for (or would vote for if they were 18) Democrats just as blindly as you claim Utah's citizens vote for Republicans.
        • Err, I voted for Ford. I haven't voted for a republican since then mainly because the republicans haven't ran anybody who had brains or morals since then. I might have voted for Dole, I probably would have voted for McCain.

          The trouble is that I vote mainly for fiscally responsible candidates and in recent history democrats have managed the economy better then republicans. Take a look for yourself and you will see. Republicans tend to run up debt like it's going out of style, I don't run my house that way a
          • Most of us only vote for members of one party (I am not talking about third parties that are just more extreme version of their mainstream counterparts). I live in Massachusetts, where it does not matter how conservative someone is, they will almost certainly vote for a liberal Democrat.

            Though I do have a hard time believing there was not one fiscally responsible Republican you had an opportunity to vote for the in the past 30 years.

            Additionally, bearing in mind that most of our current spending can be acco
            • by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @04:09PM (#14394801)
              "Though I do have a hard time believing there was not one fiscally responsible Republican you had an opportunity to vote for the in the past 30 years."

              For president, yes. Not one.

              "Additionally, bearing in mind that most of our current spending can be accounted for in a foreign war,"

              First of all that's bullshit. The war "only" costs 200 billion or so. Secondly the war itself was discretionary spending. There was no reason to invade iraq which was a secular socialist state which opposed religious fundamentalism.

              "do not forget the amount of spending Democratic Presidents Kennedy and Johnson did on Vietnam."

              Once again discretionary spending but in their case they kind of inherited the problem.

              "Also, most economic indicators would also suggest we are doing better than we were at the end of Clinton's second term."

              Yea right, and Iraq is going to join OPEC any day now. Thanks for the laugh though.

              • So Reagan was not fiscally conservative? What about municipal, county, and state elections? Only Democrats were fiscally conservative there too?

                What is bullshit? Our war-related expenditures account for a large amount of our current deficit. Iraq was not Socialist by a long shot. Although Hussein did belong to a party that called itself Socialist, social programs were virtually nonexistent in Iraq. I also have a hard time calling a government that persecutes members of certain religious sects secular. Then
                • "So Reagan was not fiscally conservative? "

                  Yes, he not only ran up huge deficits but he also grew the size of the govt significantly. I believe in smaller government. Of course I didn't know what he was going to do before he was elected I didn't vote for him because he was such an obvious chauncy gardner idiot.

                  "What about municipal, county, and state elections? "

                  I have voted for republicans in some of those election but we are not talking about that.

                  "Our war-related expenditures account for a large amount o
  • ...they never learn from history [].
  • Credits? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ceeam ( 39911 )
    I like Wikipedia but I thought Wiki were made famous by [].
    • Depends on your context. Most people outside of the geek world had never heard of wiki before the recent wikipedia scandal. And by now, I imagine, most people outside of the geek world have forgotten it again.
    • Re:Credits? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Big Nothing ( 229456 )
      "I like Wikipedia but I thought Wiki were made famous by"

      I'd have to respectfully disagree. Although existed prior to Wikipedia and is a great place for people to get started with wiki, I'd certainly say that Wikipedia made the technique famous - at least outside the geek community.

    • Re:Credits? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Eivind Eklund ( 5161 )
      Invented, yes, made famous, no, not really. Wikipedia is what's made it famous.


  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @08:48AM (#14391367)
    Remember, msft is the major player in the scox-scam. Msft is financing the entire thing. And remember that msft tried to keep that secret.

    Frankly, when considering it's msft, I wonder if it's possible to be paranoid. Think of all the bizare and brazenly illegal activities that msft can been caught doing: fake grass campaigns - including letters from dead people, faked video evidence in DOJ trial, the entire ODF fiasco in MA. . .

    That said, remember that Hatch's kid works for scox. Also remember that Hatch is on the judicial commitee, which means that Hatch has significant say-so over the careers of the federal judges in Utah.

    Anybody familiar with the scox-scam knows that these judges have been insanely pro-scox from the start. The fact that obvious farce is still going strong after nearly three years speaks volumes. The trials don't even start for another 1.5 years.
  • Interesting idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by codeTurtle ( 942468 )
    .. but this is definitely going to end up counteracting any positive coverage he gains from the site. At best, he ends up with a lot of negative posts from people who support his rivals. At worst, he ends up drowning in noise.

    Also - bandwagon, jumping on?
  • I used to think wikis were pretty neat.
    Leave it to a politician to ruin a good idea.
  • The Green Party of Canada [] has been using a Wiki to write its Living Platform.

    Have a look at the Living Platform here [].

    From the website; The Living Platform is a collection of pages that grows and evolves through membership cooperative participation - another example of the Green Party's comitment to open deliberation and community driven politics.
  • wiki controls (Score:2, Informative)

    by curteck ( 910935 )
    Public debate doesn't belong in a wiki. That's what message boards are for. The wiki is for content and conclusions made from the end result of flame wars or debates. Controls need to be implemented so the content is of good quality (like a rating system). Its the same reason Wikipedia is not considered a legitimate source of info.
    • "Its the same reason Wikipedia is not considered a legitimate source of info."

      Why is it not a legitimate source, the probelm of errors is that people absolute authority from just one source. If the internet is not for transforming politics what use is it?
    • Public debate doesn't belong in a wiki. That's what message boards are for. The wiki is for content and conclusions made from the end result of flame wars or debates. Controls need to be implemented so the content is of good quality (like a rating system). Its the same reason Wikipedia is not considered a legitimate source of info.

      Actually, public debate among technicans have worked way better in the wiki than in any public "message" I've seen. It's been a brilliant way to distill wisdom and avo

  • Did this man read All The President's Men? Does he know what CREEP "ratfucking" types will do to his precious Wiki once they find out? He'd better pray his user base is high enough to root out sustained vandalism.
  • by putko ( 753330 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:05AM (#14391420) Homepage Journal
    Hatch has advantages, one of which is his seniority. The fact that he has been in office so long means that he can bring home more bacon. The new guy, were he to win, wouldn't be able to bring home so much bacon.

    Anyone who is getting bacon from Hatch would tend to not want the new guy, figuring that he'd be losing out.

    The tech is a minor point -- the bacon hits people in the pocketbook.

    "Bacon" here is political slang for "benefits that your politician brings to his community via the political process."
  • Orrin Hatch (Score:4, Informative)

    by jacoplane ( 78110 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @09:05AM (#14391421) Homepage Journal
    Ahh Orrin Hatch, who previously brought us gems like the Induce Act []. I hope people will vote accross partisan lines in this election and get rid of clueless Senators like Hatch. Next up, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner's Digital Transition Content Security Act []. Hold your politicians accountable!
    • I decided to read a little bit about the Induce Act so that I could enlighten others who didn't know what it is

      Ok, so the Induce act basically says that creating software (and other "devices") that encourages people to break copyright laws is illegal. For example, the Grokster case. Rather than suing the people that actually downloaded the pirated music and videos, MGM decided to sue the creators of Grokster, the software that allowed people to pass around pirated music, etc.

      This is, in a sense, an intell

      • I think that's a great idea. The greatest enabler of them all for piracy is obviously Windows, and it is aided and abetted by the Internet. Let's sue Microsoft, and whoever it is which owns Teh Interwebs. Al Gore wasn't it? Or maybe the United Nations? :-)
        • I don't believe i could have said it better myself... I guess stealing software is stealing software, but this is like those pathetic cases of people sueing mcdonalds because they got fat off their food. I think i'm going to go sue mitsubishi because my eclipse has the ability to break the speed limit... It's like, obesity is the punishment for overeating, tickets are the punishment for speeding, and lawsuits toward individuals should be the punishment for stealing....
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From Wikipedia: [], licensed under GNU FDL []:

    The open politics combines traditions of the free software and open content movements with postmoderism, and promotes a decision making method claimed to be a more open, less antagonistic, and more capable of determining what is in the public interest with respect to public policy issues.

    • anyone can participate
    • all participants are equals
    • all actions are transparent
    • all contributions are recorded and preserved
    • all deliberation is structured
    • all content is re/or
  • Many people say that wikis aren't good for general discussion. This isn't what wikis are about. These wikis are about getting a general idea of the discussion and have it filtered through into one fine print page that everyone has agreed on, or at least most people have agreed on.

    It's about reaching a conclusion among his voters, which is very important in developing both support and an idea of what the people want.

    In this goal, he will be succesful.
    • I predict he will never hit a "conclusion".

      This struck me as a good idea at first, then I went to his web page, and the first thing that leaped out at me was his graphic with the $20 bill and the words "what you can do right now"... I think he wants to run a Howard Dean-style campaign (grass-roots, internet "cash machine" generating tremendous revenue in $10 or $20 increments), and for novelty he wants to have a Wiki.

      The Wiki will be the realization of that oft-quoted maxim: "Given an infinite number of mon
  • They really throw the word "famous" around nowadays.

    I mean, the Wikipedia concept isn't even completely saturated among the geek community, much less the other 90% of the world (Grandma Cornfarmer, of Podunk Kansas comes to mind). That's like saying Fark/Slashdot/4Chan are "famous," even when they're all taking a slice from the same pie and have no measurable "more famousness" than each other.

    This whole wikipedia craze in the geek news sites reminds me so much of the collective pants-wetting conventio
  • I've met and talked to Orrin Hatch many times, and his daughter-in-law is a good friend, but he needs to go down. He has this strange knack for making the wrong first decision every time. Sometimes someone points it out to him, and he back-pedals (stem-cell research); but by and large, he has consistently made this country a worse place to live in.

    That said, Pete Ashdown isn't the man to do it. See, I've met him on several occasions, and while he is a techie and may get those questions right, he is not a
    • Interesting. I've met a couple of other sentaors, as well as several sentorial candidates. With one exception (Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell of Colorado, who is now retired), regardless of party affiliation or political bent, they *ALL* struck me as the type that "put themselves first on their priority list", i.e. they were all about themselves and really didnt seem to care all that much about people -- except where it could get them elected or re-elected; there they "fake" concern for "the people" fairly we
      • Its a shame Mr Ashdown, although a techie-type, seemingly fits the same mold.

        What, specifically, makes you think that?

    • Much like Orrin, he himself is first on the priority list.

      Sounds like all politicians and a very large proportion of human beings to me.
    • Your logic is flawed, if you truly believe in 'may the best man win' then Pete should be your man. Don't think that just because he is a techie, he can't run things!
  • by anaesthetica ( 596507 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @10:49AM (#14391933) Homepage Journal
    Newcomer Bets 'Wiki' Open-Source Movement Can Help Win Senate Election

    Yes, just like the open source movement has taken down Microsoft on the desktop.

  • In Hatch's defense (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @10:54AM (#14391967) Homepage
    (I'm sure to get modded a troll or something, but...) I have my share of dislike for Hatch too -- he led the charge to get Clinton impeached, while angrily dismissing all complaints about the ludicrious amounts of money being spent by the independent counsel (over $50 million by the end). He's the archtypical right-wing nutjob, BUT - read And the Band Played On []. Hatch was personally responsible for getting the Senate to approve most of the AIDS funding during the early years of AIDS, when the Reagan administration was adamantly refusing to spend anything on AIDS (the administration claimed it was spending "$100 million for AIDS related research." But since even the common flu can kill you when you have AIDS, they were counting basically everything they were spending on any disease. In reality, the only agency doing any research on AIDS was the CDC - something they were not set up for.) Anyway, as the book says, Hatch was one of the few right-wingers who wasn't willing to play politics with health-related issues. So he (an extreme-right winger) was at the forefront of getting money for AIDS research at a time when it was primarily a "gay disease".
    • Sure, and that's not the only really cool thing he's done, but he's done a lot of really bad things -- not little mistakes, like voting down an okay idea, but really big mistakes, like draft or co-sponsor legislation that has had a tremendously negative impact on the economy, and the availability of creative works -- arguably, some of societies greatest assets. Bottom line: He's screwed us many times in many awkward ways, and we need to get him out of office before it gets worse.

      He is an eloquent, level-h
  • XMission is so in-touch with its customers it's unbelievable. This is what you get for free with a normal DSL account ($19/mo):
    • Static IP address
    • SSH access to server space
    • 3 email accounts
    • 100GB/mo bandwidth limit
    • No port lock-downs (i.e. SMTP is open but they run a bot to check for open relays)
    • Commitment to open-source (openssh, horde, exim, etc.)
    • Downloads from XMission's mirror site [] don't count against bandwidth limit

    I typically vote Republican and have voted for Hatch in the past but I feel that

  • Idiotic Issues (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Wednesday January 04, 2006 @11:17AM (#14392157) Journal
    At Pete Ashdown's site [] page on economic issues, he claims "The United States of America has historically been an economic superpower and an innovator of technology. We harnessed electricity, invented the light-bulb and the television, but what have we produced lately?"

    Let's see: The iPod, the SonicCare toothbrush, the Tivo, the E-Z pass, and there are these little things called CPUs produced by Intel and AMD.

    U.S. resident inventors received 85,238 out of 165,485 U.S. patents in fiscal year 2005, which isn't too bad for a country that has only 6% of global population.

    He then goes on to add: "Meanwhile the international community is closing in on energy production through fusion, and guess where the first operating plant is being built -- not in the U.S.A." Despite the fact that the plant in question, ITER, is a multinational project with partial American funding and scientific support! Moreover, ITER is not going to be an "operating plant," it will be a "fusion experiment" and is in no way a real prototype of a fusion plant.

    Furthermore, he states "The Chinese are gearing up to clean our clock economically with no oil dependence at all." Based on empirical evidence, Chinese economic growth is compatible with US economic growth. Moreover, while the Chinese are beginning to investigate nuclear fission, and they have plans to build huge numbers of coal-burning electic power plants, they have no plans to eradicate their oil usage.

    Mr. Ashdown appears to be AN ECONOMIC IDIOT.

    Where is that Wiki...
    • Hmm. This is an example of why a Wiki won't work for such things.

      Since you've got some sort of partisan chip on your shoulder, you wish to distort what this guy is saying and call him names. That's the problem with Wiki's for political purposes. You're going to spend more time policing the trolls like this Idiotarian and not much time actually getting your message out.
      • Since you've got some sort of partisan chip on your shoulder

        Partisan chip? How so? Reading those quotes, it's apparent that he really is an economic idiot.
        • Reading those quotes, it's apparent that he really is an economic idiot.

          I found no compelling argument offered by the poster to support that opinion. Rather the statements appeared to be somewhat open to interpretation.

    • > Mr. Ashdown appears to be AN ECONOMIC IDIOT.

      Duh! The blurb says he is a) a Democrat and b) trying to unseat Senator Hatch. The odds of a Democrat taking an OPEN senate seat in Utah is so poor as to be only useful for gaining experience in a statewide campaign or using the run as a pulpit to force an issue into the spotlight. Running against Hatch isn't even good for that since NOBODY is going to take the candidacy serious enough to even listen to the pitch.

      The Republicans would have better odds taki
    • Yeah, Ouch. Although I wouldn't put too much confidence in the PTO as a measure of economic progress, his "position" is fairly naive and inept. I'm hoping this is just some rough draft that is going to be replaced and elaborated. "floating trains" *sigh*
  • Everyone on slashdot likes to hate on Orrin Hatch because of his draconian record on copyright enforcement.

    However, as a biologist, I'd say that the worst legislation he has pushed, by *far*, was the legislation that exempted natural remedies from the effectiveness and SAFETY requirements applied to modern medicine. People DIED.

    Unfortunately, his challenger hasn't a snowball's chance in hell. This is a Democrat, running in *Utah*. The beloved leader carried that state by something like 70-3
  • All Very Fun... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ml10422 ( 448562 )
    But if he wants a real shot at getting elected, he had better have a plan to get his face seen on TV, get endorsements, get on the radio, put up yard signs, flood the voters with mailers, get volunteers working the precincts door to door, and all the other old-fashioned tactics.
  • If any of you think that your Wiki submissions will actually be taken seriously should dream on. His staff is checking the entries for Vandalism [], which will definitely ensure an unbiased view on the issues. Furthermore, he's already made up his mind on the issues otherwise he'd not be running against Hatch.

    Apparently, he already has gotten support of Boing Boing. Oh, and he supports the EFF. So line up Slashdotters...cuz he's got your pet issue covered.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun