If markets are a conversation… and news… so should politics be

If markets are a conversation… and news… so should politics be

: After I blogged that the political conventions should be distributed across the country, Cameron Barrett, former chief blogger for Wesley Clark, emailed me to report that he had proposed just that to the DNC. Sadly, they didn’t take him up on the smart plan. Now Cam tells us about it.

He told the DNC that it “needs to start moving away from the ‘broadcast politics’ of the past 40 years and more towards something called ‘participatory politics’ ” and proposed building a network of thousands of Democrats’ blogs for the convention. He told the DNC in May:

By opening up the communication between those attending the Convention and the general public, it enhances the idea of inclusion, participatory democracy and openness — best represented by the Democratic Party.

All politics is ultimately local. Delegates are at the Convention representing their constituencies, their interest groups, their politicians and the American people of the Democratic Party. Providing a categorized online communication architecture that outlines this for the American public so they can participate in the conversations they care about the most with the delegates, their politicians and other concerned Americans is a crucial step. The Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC is all about command and control, with their army of trained underlings. The Democratic Party (and, ultimately the Kerry campaign) should be about channeling the diversity of their supporters in ways that benefit the Party. The core concept here is bi-directional communication — communication that goes in both directions, from the top down but also from the bottom up.

Alas, they weren’t ready for the future.

Cam told the Democrats that a thousand Democrats’ blogs beat one Democratic Party blog. Amen.

He also wishes that the bloggers who had attended had involved the citizenry more, soliciting their questions and trolling the hall to get answers.