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Seen on the Net: US Elections

SAN FRANCISCO, 30 September 2000- "Bringing Capitalism and Democracy Closer Together", reads the tagline on, where the two meet in a grisly head-on collision that subverts both thorougly. James Baumgartner, an American graduate student in art at Rensselaer Polytechnic, builds the site as a sardonic swipe at these two legs of the American ideological stool, then sells it to Austrian businessman Hans Bernhard, who moves it to Bulgaria and means to run it for a profit (and it's irony, more than modern democracy, that collapses as those two legs give way).

Corporations or individuals can bid on individual votes or blocks of votes up for sale The site lacks the polish of a properly slick campaign web site, and the business model is shaky - legal niceties aside, how can a campaign or supporter be sure that a vote, once purchased, is delivered? - but for a quick trip into the hyper-real of the early 21st century, it's worth a quick look, and possibly more of an attention-getter than all the hypocritical wind from both quarters over campaign finance reform this year.

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