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e-Democracy update - 22/11/06 - Audience with Royal, more Vic Blogging, Keep Blair there and Iggytheclown

22 November, 2006
By Graham Young

Royal throws enchanted web over French Republic

The French Socialist Party has overwhelmingly nominated Segolene Royal as their candidate for President. In a chauvinistic country where women only received the vote in 1945, Royal has been at the centre of a personality focused campaign, helped to some extent by bikini-clad photos from her summer holiday.

Her Internet site "Desires d'avenir" (Hopes for the future) could be another of her winning strategies. Segolene brings a new level of openness to political web design. While the typical politician's website makes it clear that you are privileged to be there, Segolene's tells you that she is privileged to listen to you. The most striking feature of the site is a collection of blogs which she is using to discuss and develop policy, and in the process writing and publishing a book like a political manifesto.

Blogs closer to home

Two weeks ago we drew attention to some blogs on the Victorian election. To the list we can add the blog of Darren Lewin-Hill,  independent candidate for Northcote. Lewin-Hill is a professional writer and editor, and it shows. Resources are obviously short, so a free Blogspot blog is an effective way of getting online.

As Lewin-Hill's latest post demonstrates, it is also an opportunity for those press releases that don't get a run in the mainstream media.

Petition Tony Blair online

Under Tony Blair the British Government has been one of the most innovative in using the Internet. The latest innovation is a petition system which allows citizens to petition Blair directly. Still in beta, at the time of writing the most recent petition calls on Blair to stay in office, one that appears destined to be refused. The most popular calls for a repeal of the Hunting Act and has attracted 9,297 signatures.

To put this into context, the LGAQ petition system in Queensland has only one active petition, one on daylight saving, but it has attracted more than 10,000 signatures from a population less than one-fifteenth the size of England.

YouTube enlivens Canadian Liberals

Fresh from its use by Republicans and Democrats to damage the other side, YouTube is now a weapon in the internal ballot for leader of the Canadian Liberal Party. This article from CTV.ca gives a good run-down on the tactics being used. A search on "Canada Liberal Leader" yielded Iggytheclown which had been watched by 71 at the time of viewing on the 22nd November. It was uploaded on the 15th November.

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