Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Interview with Presidential Jackie Strike

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Sept 20, 2000

From Jackie Strike's Press Release:

Jackie Strike is one candidate who doesn't dodge debate. For the first time, a politician responds directly to each
citizen's questions and concerns 24 hours a day. State of the art technology enables the virtual presidential hopeful to engage citizens in digital debate at By combining information, politics and technology, the website demonstrates that political sites don't have to be bland, and candidates can involve voters in interactive dialogue.

The one-on-one chat with the talking 3-D candidate sets not only a political precedent, but is a technological first. The quick-loading, browser-friendly interactive 3-D candidate is brought online by noDNA: "Jackie is the first presidential candidate to use the dynamic progression streaming of our 'VuppetChannel' browser extension" explains noDNA CEO, Olaf Schirm. "This channel transmits Jackie in 3D right onto your desktop, ensures that Jackie's appearance and actions
cannot be tampered with by third parties and provides body movements, facial expressions and lip-sync speech in real time."

JS: What can I do to win your vote this fall, Stephen?

SD: Let Canadians Vote

JS: Is there a particular issue you're especially concerned about?


JS: If you type something before you hit Enter, I'll have a better chance of being able to reply intelligently.

SD: I can't hear you

JS: It's probably a good idea to tell me what you want to hear before you start listening.


JS: It's nice to have your support.

SD: I don't support you

JS: That's all I needed to hear! Will you be looking for a federal job, or will a little kickback be enough?

SD: Ha ha

JS: Ha!

SD: Tell me, who is the Prime Minister of Canada?

JS: Canada's a close ally and a strong supporter of American values, and my administration would continue to treat them as our favorite second-rate nation.

SD: Mexico?

JS: My foreign policy on third-rate countries will be the same as my foreign policy for second-rate countries: I'll treat them every bit as even-handedly, only less so.

SD: What about the economy?

JS: I don't want to hog the conversation, Stephen. I'm hear to listen to you, too.

SD: I don't care. Answer my question.

JS: Was that the door?

SD: What I find fascinating is that I feel a lot freer to be rude to you because you are a computer program.

JS: I apoligize sincerely. The last think I want to do is offend you.

SD: Too late.

JS: I'm not sure what you mean by that. But listen, we haven't talked about abortion or the death penalty yet. Which would you like to discuss?

SD: Abortion

JS: Abortion... a very serious and divisive moral issue. I'm not sure I understood your position on this delicate issue; try rephrasing it.

SD: Do you support abortion?

JS: Then we're agreed! I, too, support a woman's right to control her own body. In fact, I also support a woman's right to control those bodies in her immediate vicinity. My Administration would stack the Supreme Court to guarantee a woman's right not only to abortion, but to terminate the life of any child up to twelve years of age.

SD: I guess you are in favor of capital punishment then.

JS: It wouldn't make much sense for you to vote for me if you didn't like my ideas!

SD: It wouldn't make much sense for me to vote for you at all.

JS: Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery,' President Lincoln observed, 'I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.'

SD: Cute

JS: It helps if you give me more than a word to go on.

SD: Ah, you are all flash and no substance.

JS: My work is never done.

SD: What do you think about China?

JS: What do you want my opinion on?

SD: Should trade relations with China be normalized?

JS: Are there any particular issues you'd like to discuss?

SD: OK, I guess you are not programmed for China. Just like Bush.

JS: Would you like to discuss one of our former presidents?

SD: Yes. Tell me about George Bush and China.

JS: All right. Just name a president to get us started.

SD: George Bush

JS: Can I answer any of your questions about the various states of our great nation?

SD: No

JS: All right, have it your way.

SD: Do you support the United Nations?

JS: I'm not sure what you mean by that. But listen, we haven't talked about abortion or the death penalty yet. Which would you like to discuss?

SD: Death penalty

JS: The state's justification in killing those of her citizens who violate the social contract is a thorny question. I'm not sure I understood your position on this issue.

SD: I oppose the death penalty

JS: The death penalty is an abomination, and I've always found it ironic that not one of its supporters has ever actually experienced it: they talk the talk, but they never walk the walk. I oppose not only the death penalty, but corporeal punishment, incarceration, fines, and accusatory looks. When I decriminalize crime, victims will at last be empowered to avenge themselves with more than a lawsuit.

SD: Are you a Libertarian?

JS: We haven't talked about gays in the military yet. Would you like to?

SD: Yes

JS: What's your take on the issue?

SD: Gays should be allowed in the military.

JS: The question of homosexuality in our armed forces has been bubbling in the national discourse since the 1992 election. What's your take on this sensitive issue?

SD: It's OK

JS: It's vital to our national security that we allow our homosexual citizens to serve side-by-side with heterosexuals. We don't bar felons or perverts from serving in our armed forces, so there's no reason to exclude gays from the military. As president, I'd appoint a gay Defense Secretary, and I'd have the dreary old gray Pentagon rebuilt as a Pink Triangle.

SD: How much would that cost?

JS: What exactly do you want to know?

SD: How much would it cost to convert the Pentagon?

JS: I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for.

SD: How about a budget?

JS: I don't want to hog the conversation. I'm hear to listen to you, too.

SD: I think the United States should pay its dues to the United Nations.

JS: The United Stations is just another global institution where the countries with money and nuclear weapons can tell the countries without them what they need to do in order to get money and avoid getting the business end of a nuclear weapon.

SD: The United States should abolish nuclear weapons.

JS: I've always been a strong supporter of gun control, and I don't see any contradiction in the second amendment. The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. I'm not advocating that we remove anyone's arms; I'm only advocating the removal of their guns. And not just their guns, but their missiles, explosives, knives, and baseball bats. My administration would demand registration and licensing of everything from M-16s to long fingernails.

SD: Why should I vote for you?

JS: Can you be a little more specific?

SD: No

JS: All right already.

SD: Thank you

JS: Don't mention it.

Jackie Strike's campaign website is at

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2024 08:05 a.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.