Mar. 17th, 2010

helenic: (Default)

For the last few days I've been helping [personal profile] denny with a secret project. This morning it became not-so-secret.



For each vote coming up in Parliament, I will put a poll on this website. Every voter living in Hackney South and Shoreditch will have a login for the site, and will be able to vote in the polls using their computer or their mobile phone.
Whatever the majority vote is, I will vote that way.

My partner [personal profile] denny is running for Parliament as an independent candidate, on a platform of direct digital democracy. This is very exciting! If he's elected, he'll use his communications budget to develop a secure site for the polls, based on authenticated individual logins and the electoral roll for his constituency. (Non-constituents may have a separate poll, but their vote won't be counted.) Many aspects of the idea will be refined democratically through the website, and engagement is very strongly encouraged. The hope is that other candidates will eventually want to stand on a similar platform - and in fact in the last few hours he's already had an enquiry or two along these lines.

The campaign is launching quite late in the day, so he needs all the help he can get. If you believe in the need for bottom-up democratic reform and think the idea has potential, please help spread the word. If you could post about the campaign on twitter, facebook, LJ or other social media that would be brilliant - his main chance of publicity is through word-of-mouth. In addition, he is particularly looking for:

- journalists and bloggers who might be interested in covering the campaign;
- magazine, newspaper or website editors who would like to run an article;
- people to print and/or distribute leaflets or sheets of stickers (an office printer will do);
- printers who might be able to offer a discount on print runs;
- people to design promotional materials such as leaflets, postcards, business cards (I'm doing my best, but I'm already very short of time - I can send you all the assets and resources you need);
- people to write to papers, journalists, MPs, Lords or other public figures, to call their attention to the campaign and ask if they're able to help.

He also needs donations to cover the compulsory deposit and campaign costs, but publicity is just as important at this stage - if not more so.

There's already been an exciting response from the internets so far today. Stoke Newington People ran an unsolicited article by Seamus McCauley, and blogger Jonathan MacDonald surprised us with a second. Twitter seems to like the idea. Online publicity is his main hope of success, especially if the campaign is covered in local and national papers, but of course it doesn't translate to support in his constituency, so he'll be canvassing and doing all the normal things as well. Any support you can give would be very much appreciated.


Edit: Wow. Thanks so much for all the responses and criticism; it's been a fascinating discussion. I'm sorry I don't have time to reply to every comment individually, but check this thread for my general response to people's concerns.

helenic: (wall of water)

Gone are the days when if you're against the war you go and protest on the street. Protesting doesn't stop wars anymore. Going to your gay pride rally is nice -- it makes you feel good, but unfortunately we don't live in that era anymore. The only way you can create social change is to insert yourself into the machine.

That's Heather Cassils, the genderqueer body builder who kisses Lady Gaga in the Telephone video, talking about queer visibility and the mainstream. Also, if you weren't sold on Gaga yet, check this out:

The thing that was kind of interesting was that in between takes I was getting kind of annoyed because the camera guys were really kind of drooling and talking about "girl-on-girl action" and I said, "What about boy-on-girl action?" And she turned to me and said "Oh. Do you identify as male?" [Laughs] And I said, "Well, probably more than you do." And she said "I'll be sure to tell people that."

Have you seen the video for Telephone yet? Surely you have.



I am completely in love with it. The D/s interaction between Beyoncé and Gaga when she gets in the car would be enough, but they borrowed Tarantino's pussy wagon; there's an explicit riff on the rumour that Gaga has a penis - and the queer kiss with the drag king bodybuilder - and poisoning everyone in the restaurant and the candy-pink Poison TV popups, and the glitchy editing and oh god the OUTFITS. As [personal profile] starchy said, "I can't tell if I just watched a music video or the highest budget semiotics essay in history."

Be warned, though, the song is so freakily catchy it will stay in your head for a week.

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