Would you like to ask a politician or a political candidate a question? OK, maybe only if you're a political junkie, but now you don't have to track them down and get their attention in a personal setting. In fact, you can ask a politician a question using the same machine that allows you to read this post.

Back in the day (early last year) this option was not readily used, but now you can ask politicos like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President George Bush, and Senator Hillary Clinton questions via your computer and Internet connection.

Last year, German business student Caveh Valipour Zonooz and some cohorts developed a site where normal folk could post text, audio, and video questions for the chancellor on a website named Direkt zur Kanzlerin (Straight to the Chancellor), and after thousands of submitted questions Merkel noticed and she — her PR advisers, that is — started answering. Perhaps she'll answer some questions on her weekly podcast (not radio message) sometime.

Merkel is not the only lady responding to on-line questions. Shortly after Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for US President in the 2008 election she held a video conference where she used Internet video to field questions from normal folk. Even Senator John McCain who is also running for President is accepting video questions via YouTube.

Now that politicians are cozying up to answering questions posted on-line some Americans want President Bush and political candidates to do the same. In a project related to Direkt zur Kanzlerin, Straight2thePresident.com and Straight2theCandidates.com aim to empower Americans to ask questions like Germans.   These sites will launch in April of this year.

While no one can compel politicians to answer questions on-line, everyone can see the questions. Jeff Jarvis recently told Faith Salie on PRI's Fair Game that it is important to see what questions politicians don't answer.

Thus, the Internet has not only enabled people to more effectively dig up dirt on politicians, it allows them to see questions that they will not answer. Politicians should also worry about what they are not doing on-line — not just macaca moments.