American Idol as a Beacon for Democracy

American Idol announced that for the first time it will start accepting online votes, expanding the voting options from toll-free phone numbers and AT&T text messages.  The glitch has been creating a secure website, presumably to prevent some sort of automated voting virus what would spew out millions of rogue votes that would undermine the legitimacy of the contest.  American Idol was pleased to point out that, in partnership with Facebook, voters will now be able to cast 50 ballots on line.

American Idol is late to on-line voting.  An Arabic version called Super Star already accepted on line voting, and Katherine Meizel, who has authored a book on American Idol, implies that such voting in talent contests contributes to “the potential symbolic significance of voting in the Middle East.”

Wow, American Idol is going to grab some of the credit for the democracy movement in the Middle East – a democracy gateway drug that has opened numbed eyes to the possibility of revolution and democracy?  However, one of the fundamental tenets of democracy is one person/one vote, so allowing 50 votes a person might send the wrong message.  And how did American Idol choose the 50 vote maximum, why not 100, or 200?

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