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Sarkozy to make France “Great Digital Nation”

17 May, 2007
By Allison Orr

Newly elected French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, has outlined an ambitious set of objectives for France in the digital era.  The plan will integrate edemocracy aspects into the parliamentary process by allowing individuals to contribute via electronic petition. Other systems of online consultation may also be considered.  The plan will also double the number of households connected to the Internet, with France currently behind its European neighbours on domestic access.

The Internet played an important role in the recent French presidential campaign, with online video proving an important political tool.  In a country where paid political advertising on TV is banned, both sides uploaded hundreds of political ads, particularly in the final stages of the race, many of which were published on Dailymotion, a French version of YouTube.  A short video called the “Human Bomb”, which portrayed a positive view of Sarkozy, drew nearly half a million viewers, and is believed to have helped his campaign.  Never before has the Internet played such a significant role in a European election campaign.

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