Democracy and the Internet

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As the times change, so does the latest technology. In the mid-1900's it was the television, before that the radio, and now in the late-20th and 21st century we have the internet. With the coming of every new media outlet audiences and media moguls migrate. Along with the migrations are the politicians who try to use the new form of media to more easily reach the public. It's come to the point where the internet increasingly work with democracy directly; some elections in the United States even going so far as to hold online polling in a general election. "Online voting is increasingly making its way int our political process," writes Vote.com President Dick Morris, "the 2000 Arizona Democratic Primary tallied 39,942 online votes," (Morris 1034). However, should the internet really be used to such degrees in the case of democracy? There is an ongoing debate among scholars on the topic. One thing to consider is whether or not the many accusations stating that the internet is an aid to terrorism outweigh the positive effects of how the internet has strengthened democracy and has had a crucial part in turning oppressed nations into less oppressed, democratic states. On the subject of terrorism being aided by the internet, making it easier for terrorist factions leaders to inform their people, could it not be argued that these factions leaders could use other means of communication, maybe only a little less effectively and therefore nullifying the accusation that the internet is the culprit? After extensive research, it's clear that the internet does not harm democracy; on the contrary, the internet strengthens it in a way that no other form of media has done before.

In their book "Democracy and the Internet: Allies or Adversaries...

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...ly that forces up advertising costs," (Morris 13). Scholars believe that "just as radio advertising has fallen out of favor as the prime means of political communication... so too will television be forced from its central place on campaign budgets," and the internet will be the main source of campaign advertising (Morris 13). The internet is incredibly inexpensive because "anyone can start a website [and it is] difficult to command top dollar for internet advertising." (Morris 13). Once this advertising migration takes place, so will federal spending budgets due to the inexpensiveness of internet advertising. One can extrapolate this change in events, speculating that less campaign money and a lower federal budget could mean either keeping the tax rate as it is and then, in turn, spending the money in various other sectors that need funding, or a lowering of taxes.

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