My Obama12 Feb 2007
Nico notes the community website my.barackobama.com und wonders whether such website would be imaginable for a German candidate. He doesn't think so, and I don't either, but not for the same reasons. Nico thinks that German parties are afraid of losing control of the political process. I think that parties in general are incapable of such inter-networking. In the game of politics, in this case the issue is not the players but the rules.
In the US form of representitive democracy the basic unit of politics is the individual. Political parties aren't mentioned in the constitution and evolved later (and we Americans don't believe in organized parties, at least for the Democrats). At the national level, the parties choose their candidates open and democratically, a process which is long, messy and expensive. In the German parliamentary system the party is the basic unit of politics. The parties go through great lengths to avoid choosing their leadership and candidates openly and democratically, as in the current CSU contest between Huber and Seehofer where the CSU wants to avoid an open vote at all costs.
The question is not whether one could imagine the possible chancellor candidates Merkel and Beck starting such websites, but whether one could have imagined (for example) the potential candidates Merkel and Stoiber starting such communities to win the CDU/CSU candidacy. Of course not. Since the electorate played no role in the decision, such a community would have been a total waste of time and resources.
By the way, I hope Nico is not serious about raising money for Obama. Federal rules prohibit candidates from accepting contributions from individuals who are not US citizens or residents. But if he wants to contribute money to a candidate, he can send it to me and I'll be happy to pass it along.