Senator Julia Polonia Foley DeWiki (affectionately known as Mop), born February 29th 1964 is an independent candidate in the election for the US presidency which will be decided by a national vote in 2008. She hails from the great state of Rhode Island where she lives with her 9 children, along with her roommate Talia Jessica Rhonda Falkus, and their 5 dogs, 3 cats, 8 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs and numerous goldfish. . . . Her roommate assists with childcare.
We all know what “roommate” is a euphemism for, right?
Senator DeWiki is, alas, only fiction, created by users of Wikicandidate. This entertaining (albeit time-sucking) site looks like the campaign site of a presidential candidate, except that the candidate’s biography, news releases, and policies on a variety of issues are all created by users, a la Wikipedia.
The site is a research project run by grad students in the Department of Communication at Cornell. They explain:
Wikicandidate is also a social experiment, because you don’t design this ideal candidate by yourself. You’re in this together will everyone else who joins in, who are also imagining their perfect candidate. . . . To reach agreement, you may need to promote and defend your opinions and positions on various issues, or compromise with other users on some points to gain broader support for the candidate. . . .
In discussion with other users, you may find those who share your political philosophy, test your opinions against those who disagree, or find some common ground with those you imagined had none to offer.
It’s a clever idea. I wonder, however, if it will devolve into a contentious, partisan, free-for-all or offer some illuminating insight into the minds of U.S. voters? Already, the candidate has shifted her position on LGBT issues—that is to say, the first user to script her stance was homophobic, but the latest is not. As of this writing, she asserts:
The GLBT community will have an unwavering champion in me should I be elected President. My White House will take a global leadership position in the fight to stamp out all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Therefore, having given this issue intense consideration following an unfortunate outburst earlier in the campaign, I pledge to pass into federal law a gender neutral marriage act which will apply across the nation. . . . I also pledge to end discrimination against same-sex couples in the adoption process. . . .
My Administration will also fund initiatives designed at tackling homophobia in schools. Bigotry and prejudice must be rooted out as early as possible. I will also appoint a Gay Rights Czar who will consult and work closely with national gay rights groups on how to address and correct instances of homophobia. My Administration will also fund and support groups campaigning against the unjust criminal laws that still exist against GLBT people in far too many countries today.
Based on that, I’d definitely consider voting for her. She could include a little more about transgender issues and anti-hate crime legislation, however. Maybe some reader with more free time than I have might update Senator DeWiki’s policies on these subjects?