This time contestants get voted into the house

The American presidential race is still some time off. Several candidates are yet to announce – the Democrats (left wing) have two candidates polling competitively – Barack Obama (who’s probably the closest thing in the race to the West Wing’s Jimmy Santos) and Hillary Clinton (Mrs Bill). The Republicans (right wing) are busy trying to overcome the special characteristics of the current administration led by Dubya and are yet to annoint a successor – NYC 9-11 Mayor Rudi Giuliani is tipped to throw his hat into the ring but with neither POTUS or Vice-POTUS standing for election they’ll be starting with a clean state. An article in this month’s aptly name “The Monthly” magazine uses the dirt free campaign exhibited in the final series of the West Wing as an opportunity to score points on the Howard government and the recent muckslinging between the incumbent (known in some circles as “the rodent”) and the challenger (a politician with a really fragile glass jaw who bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter). Art imitates life. The political process and behind the scenes machinations are shown for all to see in any reality television game show – the backroom deals, the back stabs, the back slaps – it’s all there. And now, from the creators of The Apprentice and Survivor (this is Donald “Wrestlemania” Trump and Mark Burnett) have joined forces with Myspace to bring you a new high point in reality television – the most political thing shown on prime time since big brother candidate Merlin wore his “free th(sic) refugees” protest shirt to an eviction (one feels his campaign would have had more traction if he’d either a: known how to spell “the” or b: campaigned to free th(sic) sick refugees… which reminds me – in the form of an electronic patent (and because all my good ideas keep being stolen)… I want to start a business called fooly(sic) productions – it’s here now. Documented. All mine.)…they give you this very special announcement (courtesy of Associated Press):

The online social networking site MySpace and reality TV producer Mark Burnett are teaming up to launch a search for an independent US presidential candidate.

Their political reality show “Independent” will come with a $US1 million ($1.2 million) cash prize and a catch: the winner can’t keep the money. The prize can be used to finance a run for the White House or can be given to a political action committee or political cause.
Contestants on the show, set to launch in early 2008, will meet the public and interact with supporters, protesters and others. An interactive “town hall” will give MySpace users and TV viewers a chance to rate their performance.

The full story is available here.