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e-Democracy update - 6/9/06 - Vic Lib blogging, AP Mobile Election Results, and Irish politics online

06 September, 2006
By Daniel Macpherson

Victorian Liberal starts blog

A Liberal candidate in Victoria's up-coming state election will track his campaign progress with a weblog.

Liberal Candidate for Prahran Clem Newton-Brown has started an online diary to report on his election policies and campaign appearances.

"As a candidate trying to win a seat, you have limited resources and using the internet is a great opportunity to provide a personal connection between you and voters," Mr newton-Brown says.

Mr Newton-Brown says the demographic is fairly young in Praham and blogging acts as one method of his campaign to attract younger voters.

"This is my method of experimenting with more modern technology," he says.

His latest entry, dated September 4, 2006, discusses free kindergarten for four-year-olds.

"[Victorian Liberals leader] Ted Baillieu recently announced a policy which would see most Victorian four year olds finally having the opportunity to attend kindergarten for free," he wrote.

"It is now widely accepted that early learning is crucial to childhood development.

"From my own experience, having had three kids using both childcare and kinders at various times, I know there is a huge benefit to the educational component of a structured kindergarten programme."

The site also contains a photo gallery and Mr Newton-Brown's curriculum vitae.

Prior to become a state candidate, Mr Newton-Brown served as Deputy Mayor of Melbourne. He currently works as a barrister specialising in planning law and volunteers at the Stonnington Legal Service.

View his weblog here.

AP brings US election results to phones

The Associated Press' mobile division has announced a new service to bring US election results to phones.

AP's Mobile Election Results will use Crisp Wireless' mLogic content management and delivery service, which other major companies, such as USA Today and American Idol, use to deliver news.

The system will present state-by-state results for all elections in 2006 using Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) sites on mobile phones instead of a typical SMS delivery system.

Crisp Wireless Chief Executive Officer Boris Fridman says mobile phones are rapidly becoming the tool for mobilising social and political audiences.

"The delivery of on-demand election information has tremendous political, social, and commercial value to a wide variety of customers," he says.

Visit Crisp Wireless' website.

Online politics to curb voter apathy in Ireland

An internet lobbyist hopes to politically invigorate Ireland's apathetic youth with his new website.

PoliticsinIreland.com co-founder Damien Mulley has launched a new aggregator to keep track of news relating to political parties and assembly delegates.

"Basically it allows you to see what discussions are happening online about politicians. It also allows you to join in debates that politicians are partaking in online such as on forums or through a particular politician's blog," he says.

Mr Mulley says he aims the website to encourage more interest in politics among younger voters.

"There is a certain demographic of Irish people that use the internet and by discussing hot issues online you may encourage them to take a greater interest in politics. These are people of a certain demographic whose lives are directly affected by their politicians’ decisions," he says.

Mr Mulley officially launched the site in August with Dublin-based web developer Rob Synnott.

Visit the site here.

Visit Damien Mulley's blog here.

US politician luring voters in virtual world

A contender for the 2008 US presidential election has become the first politician to appear in online video game Second Life.

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner says reaching people online in various ways is important to politics of the future.

"A lot of these folks may not have been involved in politics in the past... If you can reach a new group of people, get them engaged, show that politics is relevant to their lives - that can make a difference, he says.

"To sit there with this thing we just did in Second Life and be this kind of disembodied virtual figure was a little weird, but also kind of cool."

Pew Internet & American Life Project director Lee Rainie says most internet users now expect candidates to have an online presence.

"There isn’t any consultant that I'm aware of now that doesn't walk in with a playbook that has a big thick tab in it on how to do web politics," he says.

Second Life boasts a membership of over 628,000 people.

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