William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson
nova_one

McCain et Obama sans fromage

Attention internet time-shifters (including me, because I was at work at the time):

If you want to watch an unadulterated feed of the United States of America's second Presidential debate, fire up Windows Media Player and paste this into "Open URL...":

http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/16493/canadavotes/2008/news-usa-presidential-debate-10-07-08.wmv

Apparently it's more of a town hall than an actual debate, but I'll watch it anyway...

Update: Worth watching. The candidates really bent the rules, so there was quite a bit more back-and-forth than the format was set up to allow. It would have been nice if there was more, but it's hard to see how there could have been, given the format.

This is just an off-the-cuff opinion, but on most matters I think Obama is better at Straight Talk™ than McCain. Obama is a politician, but he exhibits a greater willingness to tell the truth than most. He also does it in a palatable way, which is not easy to do - it's often much easier to lie, especially in the context of government and the political process, which many people don't understand well enough to be able to think independently about.

Even if Obama doesn't win, this election has been terrific for democracy, and its legacy will last a generation. People worldwide are tuned in to this 21st century drama played on an 18th century electoral system. (For example, some people in Canada, like me, are saying, "WTF? They have to register to vote in advance?") But this time, the stakes are so high that Americans are tuned in in spite of their system (and ours is different, but in many ways we've just traded one set of problems for another). People are talking cold turkey in these tough times. Hypocrites like Palin and Spitzer are reviled and ridiculed without mercy. All eyes are on the race. The Internet ensures dissemination of the minutiae that newspapers and television couldn't or wouldn't deliver in the past - knowledge is power, the people have knowledge, and the inescapable conclusion is that the people will have power.

The Washington Post has a terrific analysis page with a very important ingredient: fact-checking. I don't categorically trust or distrust politicians - I simply believe that their feet need to be kept to the fire. I eagerly await the future politicians of the Information Age - as the populace becomes better informed, the old tricks won't work (as effectively) anymore, and the results among the political "class" will be Darwinian.

Here's a gem right off the top, on McCain's admonition that the United States should stop sending $700 billion a year for oil to countries that don't like them:

According to the Energy Information Administration, which bills itself as offering the "official energy statistics from the U.S. government," the top producer of crude oil for import into the U.S. is Canada, not exactly a country that doesn't like us. The second largest is Saudi Arabia, another ally. And then Mexico, also a key ally.


I was going to link to a certain high-school acquaintance's "Anti-American Website" but fortunately it's lost to history. =)
Tags: debates, elections, politics, united states of america, web video
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