The True Power of YouTube

Sammy G's picture

I couldn't understand why Google would rush to spend $1.65B on YouTube. Sure, the site is wildly popular, but why the haste to gobble up the video technology and traffic? Then, this morning, I came across the true power of YouTube.

The MN 2006 gubernatorial debates are being held online and powered by YouTube via the "MN Gubernatorial E-Debate 2006.”

In early 2003, when I started becoming involved in politics, I joined a Yahoo! group called 'MN-POLITICS-ANNOUNCE'. Each day a MN political and legislative roundup was collected and sent in a daily email. It was produced by E-Democracy.Org, which I thought was a national nonprofit but came to learn it was a MN-based shop started in 1994. E-Democracy.Org claims to have created the world's first election-oriented web site.

The past three years have seen an improved use of technology for increasing the quality of info collection and the presentation of the E-Democracy.Org data. Then I saw the debates this morning. The candidates you see are not 5th-party jokers. They are the real deal. To this point, Governor Pawlenty is still being touted as a potential GOP Presidential 2008 runner.

It's pretty amazing to read, see and hear opening statements, answers to short questions and long rebuttals to other candidates. What makes this site even more amazing is that the Dem. And Rep. candidates shunned historically popular debate venues this year due to lack of agreement on debate rules. For anyone in the state who claims that 30-second TV ads aren't intelligent, and that the local media is either biased or curt with reporting, then here are the issues and candidates in a broad and full stage, uncensored, direct and without truncation. And the Independence endorsee, Peter Hutchinson, is giving his opening statement using a mounted vidcam while standing in front of a bison.