by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
communications, free speech, internet, japan, politics

Imagine If Political Campaigns Couldn't Use The Web... Or Just Look At Japan

from the no-communicating-please dept

While there have been plenty of news stories about how the various political campaigns in the US have been using the internet to get out the vote, Newsweek has a fascinating story about how Japanese election law pretty much bans all use of the internet in campaigning. Once a political campaign is announced, that candidate can't update his website or blog. The only loophole is podcasts (the law doesn't cover audio), but that's hardly enough to make much of a dent. As the article notes, this has helped keep younger, more technically savvy politicians from succeeding when they run for office -- and that's part of the reason why older politicians are perfectly happy with the system the way it exists. It sounds like some are pushing for change, while others are actively defying the ban, but it's apparently quite a different online atmosphere during election season in Japan than elsewhere.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Brians Handle, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    What if....

    What if we banned all political ads? TV, Internet and otherwise...

    Suppose you had to like, say something meaningful or actually answer a question or propose a plan to resolve an issue based on something more than conjecture. That would be weird.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Re: What if....

    Truely, what kind of America would we live in then...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Overcast, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:42pm

    Could we put this to Lennon's Imagine or would Yoko sue us?

    We could add a lot to that.

    Imagine there's no TV ads.... it's easy if you try.

    Acutally, I'd be in favor of toning it down on TV and letting them do whatever on the 'net. At least on the web, I'm asking for it.

    I haven't watched one second of 'regular' TV in 3 months with the sole purpose of avoiding political ads, On-demand and DVD for the win.

    It's working beautifully.

    And with a Car Stereo that has USB for a flash drive, I don't even have to listen to it there. Just the random car with 10 political bumper stickers cutting me off from time to time and a few signs in yards, cluttering up the neighborhood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    IanK, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 6:48pm


    But I also heard that their candidates got equal TV time to speak, although TV press coverage on each candidate can vary by station.

    In a way, their system is better. There should be a maximum budget allotted to each candidate from a major party. The person who becomes Prime Minister or President should not be dependent on budget. It really should be more fair than it is now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 7:02pm

    Re: "Imagine there's no TV ads"

    Wasn't that the whole idea behind making cable a paid service? No commercials?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    cykotek, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 7:53pm

    Japanese Elections

    Sure, there may be no Internet campaigning in Japan, but there's also no noise pollution laws.

    Every time there's an election due, you invariably get cars roaming all over the place with huge PA speakers on top, blaring out a repeating loop of political spruiking at near-ear-bleeding volumes. I don't understand most of it, being a gaijin, but it's still massively annoying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re: What if....

    Personally I'm not against killing off all ads, however I would love to see a spending limit spent.

    It's unbelievable what these politicians get for their campaigns and how much of that could be used in solving issues that they're campaigning FOR!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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