The other candidates in the race for the White House. Finland now using crowdsourcing to create new laws. And Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is the latest to go « Gangnam Style »
USA: the other candidates running for president
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney dominate the headlines in the US Presidential race, but there are four other candidates competing in the November election. Three men and one woman often overlooked by the general public but who are making great use of the web to win over support.
One of them is Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party’s 2012 presidential candidate. The former mayor of Salt Lake City in Utah is campaigning amongst other things for greater social justice and is highly present on the web. Official Facebook and Twitter pages, Instagram account, and campaign website: everything has been thought of to ensure he reaches the widest audience possible. The candidate is also airing numerous, well made, videos on sharing sites, criticizing the programs of the hot favourites Obama and Romney.
The Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode also hopes to use all the online tools available to promote his ideas and those of his party. He is also highly active on social networks, and is trying to show voters he is nothing like the candidates from the democrat and republican camps. He has published a study on his website comparing the positions they hold on a variety of economic and social issues.
Another « outsider » trying to carve out a place for himself on the web: Gary Johnson from the Libertarian Party. The former governor of New Mexico is also trying to differentiate himself from his opponents through his stance on foreign policy and by defending peace … Johnson has posted several videos to the Internet, stating he is a pacifist, and contrary to the two main election contenders he will not go to war with Iran if elected.
And finally, the only woman running for President in 2012, Jill Stein, is also very present online. The Green Party candidate has been using the web to encourage voters to be brave in the upcoming election and give her their vote. She wants to implement a Green Transition Program which will revive the economy and create new jobs.
Finland’s next laws to emerge from online proposals
As of October 1st, Finnish citizens of voting age have been able to suggest new laws or amendments they want voted into parliament via this platform called “Open Ministry”. According to a new provision in the Constitution, if the proposal collects at least 50 000 signatures from registered voters in Finland then parliament will be forced to vote on it.
This direct democracy platform, which uses government approved technology, an electronic ID mechanism, to authenticate users, was developed by a group of web entrepreneurs, including Joonas Pekkanen. In this interview for American website “Etopia news” he explains that all registered users can debate and suggest amendments to legislation, if they reach the final stage of the process, lawyers will put them in the legal format with the correct legal language, before the bill is put to parliament.
There are already a number of citizen initiatives under evaluation on the platform; a wide range of issues, from same sex marriage to the legalization of euthanasia, even the abolition of tax on dog owners established in the 19th century. An initiative to ban breeding animals for fur has already gathered the 50,000 signatures required and should be submitted to parliament in the coming months.
Real-time map of cyber attacks around the world
This interactive map was developed by computer security researchers from Aachen University in Germany; it’s a real time map of cyber-attacks around the world. Currently in the test stage, it pin points, amongst other things, where the attacks have been launched, in red and the location of the hackers targets in yellow.
Now trending on social networks
In France, opponents of same sex marriage have been voicing their commitment to the traditional family unit under the hashtag "un papa et une maman", "a daddy and a mummy". Demonstrations took place across France on Tuesday to protest a bill which would allow gay marriage and adoption. But supporters of marriage equality have also taken to the streets and social networks with messages supporting the right to adopt, stating a child can also flourish and be happy with two dads or two mums.
Video of the day
Prominent Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is the latest to go “Gangnam Style” and has released his version of the global mega hit by Korean performer PSY, complete with the wacky dance routines. He has also taken the opportunity to have a dig at the Chinese authorities, a poke at censors and is even seen brandishing handcuffs, a reference to his frequent problems with the law over the past few years.