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Edemocracy updates 09/02/2007

09 February, 2007
By An Nguyen

On Line Opinion top Australian political site
Last night our sister publication On Line Opinion was named most popular Australian political site by Internet metrics company Hitwise. Chief Editor of On Line Opinion, Graham Young says that the award is a reward for consistent high quality content and a determinedly non-partisan position.

"Politics used to be about the clash of ideas, now it tends to be mere managerialism. The debate about ideas has migrated outside traditional party structures, and we're proud to be giving ordinary Australians access to that debate via the Internet."

On Line Opinion and The National Forum sites average 350,000 unique site visits each month and around 1.25 million page views - far higher than the mainstream political parties' sites.

Hosting service for Australian politicians’ podcasts
Australian Politics Today has recently been launched a specialised hosting site for political podcasts and videocasts from federal and state parliament members. The service is fee-based for subscribers who want to post their content, but is largely free for the end user. Among its latest signups were Mark Vaile, Peter Ryan, Peter Walsh and John Forrest. Mr Vaile’s debut on the website was a podcast on the government’s recent $10 billion National Water Security initiative on 7 February.   

US government helps citizens to monitor budget outcomes better
More – a sub-site within the Whitehouse’s website – recently added some interesting tools for government-watch groups to more easily and conveniently keep track of the performance and progress of almost 1,000 federal programs worth $2.5 trillion in government spending.

The new features provide data ready to be imported into database and spreadsheets for analysis. Researchers could also expect more useful search results with a new identification-tag strategy. Links to explanations for congressional budget and to the Web addresses of the Performance and Accountability Reports will be added soon. With this information analysts can tie federal programs more easily to federal appropriations.

More information can be found in this Government Computer News report

E-voting systems still awkward, unreliable
US $3.8 billion has been spent on e-voting systems under the Help America Vote Act since 2002 but due to a lack of a strategic vision, these systems seem to be far from reaching a desired level of accuracy, timeliness and security, according to a recent IDC research report. Some useful recommendations on how to purchase e-voting systems can be found here.

Doorknocking in MySpace
Matt Noffs,the youngest endorsed candidate for the NSW Climate Change Coalition has registered himself on MySpace to campaign for the New South Wales general election.

"I don't know any more efficient way to meet people, it's certainly faster than walking around the streets handing out flyers - it's more environmentally friendly too!" 

Noffs says that "[t]here are new ways of spreading the climate change message that arrive every day. From Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, to virtual online worlds such as Second Life and Runescape. There are some incredible sites (...) and other technologies like texting that are more effective and more environmentally friendly than traditional forms of campaigning. We have the opportunity to do it our way. They call us "Generation Y". I suggest, "Generation whY Not?", said Matt Noffs, the youngest (27-year-old) member of the NSW Climate Change Coalition Upper House team, in this media release.

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