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e-Democracy update - 25/10/06 - Victorian MP's videocast, GetUp in Top Ten, and Google Earth tracks US election

25 October, 2006
By Daniel Macpherson

Victorian member of parliament starts videocasting for election

A member of Victoria's parliament has launched what could be Australia's first videocast from a politician.

Nationals Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh added the videocast to his profile on Australian Politics Today.

In the videocast, Mr Walsh discusses how changes in electing the Victorian Upper House mean the balance of power rests between the Nationals and the Greens in the up-coming election on 25 November.

Watch Peter Walsh's video at his profile on Australian Politics today.

GetUp! named in Top Ten

The founders of Australian political lobby group GetUp! have been named amongst the winners in an annual top ten list of online political practitioners.

PoliticsOnline and the World e-Gov Forum announced the inclusion of GetUp! founders David Madden and Jeremy Heimans in their annual Top Ten Who are Changing the World of Internet and Politics.

GetUp! has run a number of online campaigns over the last year including petitions on controversial drug RU-486 and new cross-media laws.

However, Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org beat GetUp! for this year's top spot as receiver of the most voters.

FactCheck.org also received PoliticsOnline's International Award at the World e-Gov forum in Issy Moulineaux, France this month.

The top ten list finalists are:

Keep track of US elections with Google Earth

Google has unveiled a new guide for the 2006 congressional election to its Google Earth service.

The new service allows people to find information on any of the 435 congressional districts in US including House and Senate candidates, news and campaign finance information.

The guide will also carry real-time results on the 7 November election night.

Download Google Earth here.

US candidate starts paperless campaign

A candidate in the up-coming mid-term US election has started an all-digital campaign - no mail-outs, yard signs or billboards.

California State Assembly member Patty Berg (Democrat) will campaign for re-election in her district while asking all constituents to act as her "campaign managers".

Ms Berg's website allows users to "spread the word" about her re-election campaign to as many people possible.

"It’s like a chain letter for progressive activists. Make it grow and grow," Ms Berg says.

Ms Berg's site also allows people to take part in online polling and leave comments in a "Marketplace of Ideas" section.

Ms Berg says the way we communicate is changing and candidates need to embrace that change.

"Democrats need to stake out a major place in the online world. We're already running second on cable news and on talk radio," she says.

Visit Ms Berg’s site.

Join the Fantasy Congress

A new online educational game allows people to draft their own teams of real-life legislators and compete against others in a fantasy congress.

Participants of Fantasy Congress can also join leagues and compete with others to score points for their team's successes.

For more information, visit the Fantasy Congress here.

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