Friday, September 14, 2007

Google Owns Australian Politics

Google have updated their maps suite to include Australia.

maps.google.com.au

Much more interesting, google has overlayed federal electorate information on the map. You can make it display marginal seats, seats by party and plenty of other things. Amateur election analysis now has yet another fun tool. Go here to play.

Also check out their main website for the Australian election: google.com.au/election2007

Apparently almost every party now has its own youtube channel - see links on the main election page.

Will all this activity online change the dynamic of Australian elections? Not really. It has changed US elections primarily by making fundraising easier and mobilising the base to get out and vote. In Australia, we don't have a culture of giving to political parties. Most significant donations flow through high worth individuals and businesses. We don't have the population for something like moveon.org, which gets many small donations, to have a significant impact. And mobilisation is a non-issue with compulsory voting.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Phil said...

Yep, no critical mass as yet, though I think there will be a small effect. GetUp has been doing some good MoveOn like work, but most of the good stuff is pretty well invisible to the mass of the population.

I think though we are building a culture of participation online, it's very early days and I don't think it incompatible with compulsory voting.

In fact the Govt changes to enrolment has produced campaigns to GOTV or in this case get out the enrolment.

Time will tell.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Alexander said...

On the topic of donations, do you think ABP should give to the ALP? I would like to, but I'm scared its not really something you can advertise. I think it would be cool to give to some sort of Aboriginal awareness fund? We could advertise that we give 5% of all profits to them?

3:48 PM  
Blogger Alexander said...

Or a local bike club. Sorry for hijacking the thread.

4:09 PM  

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