A few days ago, Time Magazine announced the winner of its annual "Person of the Year" award. Many supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution will be disappointed to hear that Hugo Chavez did not make it despite the fact that he won Time's online poll by a wide margin and got 35% of the votes. This is significant, as Chavez had been the number 1 in the poll for several weeks and was clearly set to win the award. Instead, it seems we all have won the award! Indeed, the 2006 Person of the Year is "you" and much is made of the Web 2.0 and one of its foremost brainchildren, the online video service YouTube. For that matter Hands Off Venezuela is also a happy user of YouTube, but still we find it quite amazing that not a word is said about why the winner of Time's own readers poll is simply ignored and not even mentioned. The link to their online poll is simply not there any more, although after some Google searching we traced it back to www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2006/walkup/, where you can see the results for yourself. You don't have to be a believer in conspiracy theories to assume that clearly the Time Magazine editorial board was not happy with the choice of its readers! Surely the so-called "liberal" magazine did not like the result of its own poll and decided to pick its own candidate, you.
Interestingly, the present issue of Time carries another article called "Power to the People" (read it here), which starts by saying:
"Meet 15 citizens-including a French rapper, a relentless reviewer and a real life lonely girl-of the new digital democracy"
In the whole magazine there are many lauding words for this "digital democracy" but ironically Time decided to ignore its own "digital democracy" and hide the fact that 35% voted for Hugo Chavez and 21% for the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is true that an online poll is not a very scientific tool but surely it would have been worth to at least point out who won the Time poll in the first place? If not, what is the point of organising one on your own website? Maybe because they did not want the winner to be a popular President of a country where "power to the people" is not just an empty phrase but is being implemented in practice in the real world, and who has been democratically elected time and time again?