Okay, so you may never get to vote in an actual election via text message — and if you do, I’m hoping that you don’t live in my country, because the security issues involved in voting by cell phone would make a Diebold machine look like Fort Knox.
But you can take part in the democratic process — or so some candidates would have you believe. When he announced his candidacy for President of the U.S. this week, John Edwards set up an SMS short code so people can communicate with the campaign by texting. Except that “communicate” is a bit of an exaggeration: What you can do is send the word ‘hope‘ in a text message to short code 30644, and in response you get this note:
Thanks for joining our campaign to change America. Please txt us your email. Start changing America at JohnEdwards.com.
That’s it?? No interactive, SMS-based opinion polls? No menu of additional codes you can send to get info on the candidate’s positions? Imagine if you could text “foreign policy,” “taxes,” “education,” “abortion,” or “Paula Abdul” to that number, and get Edwards’ statement on each of these matters of important national importance? What if you could find out his next public appearance via SMS? I mean, come on — SMS is supposed to be interactive. I want to get more than just an advertisement here. You can do better than that, John Edwards!