Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 20:31 | SYDNEY
Monday 16 Jul 2018 | 20:31 | SYDNEY


Fergus Hanson


19 January 2009 10:48

As the Obama juggernaut rolls on I've liked watching its cultivation of the online supporter base. His election campaign famously harnessed the net to devastating effect, but now the President-elect looks set to try and keep his online supporter community intact.

As a subscriber to some of the sites, I've been hit with some interesting emails over the last few weeks. The Citizen's Briefing Book sounded like a pretty good way of giving supporters a voice — individuals can make policy suggestions which others can then vote on, with the most popular rising to the top and after the inauguration given to the President as part of his daily briefings.

As you would expect from a new, open forum like this it is a bit unwieldy and covers the full spectrum of ideas:

Exhibit A:

Halt all international trade and military aid with countries unless they agree to abide by the same federal US industrial labor, safety and environmental regulations. Period. 

Exhibit B:

Replace the opium poppy crops in Afghanistan with hemp.  It grows anywhere and can be used for so many things that we all need.   

However, tens of thousands of suggestions have been received and some 1.4 million votes cast with some of the most popular ideas advocating keeping the briefing book forum going.

Another attempt to harness the online supporter community has been a survey completed by 550,000 people as of December. It found '86 percent of respondents feel it's important to help Barack's administration pass legislation through grassroots support'. I'm interested to see how successful Obama is in maintaining this momentum. Will interest wax and wane — as with his weekly address (one week viewed by 100,000 people, another by one million) according to the issues of the day and interests aroused — or will it just wane?