Presidential Primary 2.0?

If Web 2.0 isn’t really about any particular suite of technologies, but rather about understanding how to harness the internet more effectively, whatever your field of endeavor, have we really searched out how to apply it to politics. Peter Meyers had a great take on this question on an internal O’Reilly mailing list. He wrote:

So far the Web’s been used as a political tool mainly in a partisan way —
for candidates’ sites, single-issue organizations, activists, and so on. But
what if somebody created a Web-based tool that served a much broader group
of people?

Here’s my LazyWeb idea: On November 4, 2007 (1 year before the actual
presidential election), some neutral organization should stage an Internet
primary for both Republican and Democratic candidates. It obviously couldn’t
be totally secure and/or accurate, but you could implement a few small
requirements (e.g. one vote per email address) to prevent massive abuse.
It’d be different from the zillion different polls currently being done —
assuming sufficient publicity could be generated — since you could stage it
as a tide-turning one-time-only event.

With all the jockeying among states vying to upstage Iowa and New
Hampshire’s disproportionate early primary influence, wouldn’t it be kind of
neat if someone harnessed the Web’s “collective intelligence” to gauge the
early preferences of voters across the country?

Sounds like a job for Carl Malamud!