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Friday, July 11, 2008

GOP Launches Internet Town Hall Website

In what the GOP calls their "24-hour, seven-day-a-week Internet town hall", they have launched the website which will allow people from across the country to engage in the political process.
In what TechCrunch is calling an "online forum for citizens to engage with policy makers before they make policy", the GOP has created a site that will allow people to engage with lawmakers and will allow voters to provide input on a variety of issues important to the American people.

Account holders will have the ability to use the text and video submission tools, participate in in-site polling, and monitor individual entries on a personalized index page.

Those submissions will then be cataloged and reviewed and brought before the official Platform Committee meetings, ensuring that every participants "voice" is heard.

The main page of the new website states:

The Republican Party is seeking your input as we develop the policies and principles upon which we should stand for the next four years. On this website, you can share your thoughts, participate in polls, and communicate directly with the policymakers who will be shaping the party's agenda. All comments and feedback will be reviewed and taken into full consideration as we prepare for our convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

There are welcome messages, via video, from RNC Chairman, Mike Duncan, Platform Chairman and Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Platform Co-Chairman, Senator Richard Burr.

From the email press release mailed out from PR NewsWire for Journalists, McCarthy speaks about this new innovative interactive website by saying, "We are seeking the most input through this historic opportunity to use a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Internet town hall. We know Washington is not a place for solutions, so we are reaching out across the nation to create a forward-looking platform rooted in our core values with solutions that create prosperity today and for the next generation."

Duncan's also issues a statement saying "For more than 150 years, Republicans have met every four years to adopt a platform that outlines the principles and policies upon which the Party stands. We are proud that the development of the 2008 Republican Party Platform will be more interactive, inclusive, and open than any other in political history."

Burr's statement expresses enthusiasm for the new project when he states, "We are excited that this process will facilitate greater transparency and participation in the development of the 2008 Republican Party Platform than ever before. The Platform Committee will form the foundation for our future and this innovative tool will allow people with all points of view to participate in this critical discussion."

TechCrunch is asking why Democrats are not doing this as well, saying that although they may have something similar, the only thing that turned up when searching was the "Listening to America" town hall tour of 50 states, to which they say that "If you want to listen to America, you can listen to a lot more people online than in 50 town halls."

TechCrunch suggests that the Democrats create an interactive site like the saying it should only take a couple of weeks.