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Edemocracy updates 16/02/07

16 February, 2007
By An Nguyen

Viral NSW election campaigns
Google Morris Iemma and on the front page you find Click on it, and here’s what you get: a video with messages like “Labor loves to talk about flip-flops” and “Labor’s had long enough” or a confused and tired-looking premier, with this message: "Got a Dilemma? Don't Call Iemma”.

This is not Iemma’s official site – the real one is This is a mock website created by the premier's election opponents in a bid to make the most from viral campaigns targeted particularly at young audiences.

Election strategists in NSW are attempting to harness the power of fast-turnaround and cheap new technologies to reach specific audiences – via mock websites like the one above, blogs, emails, YouTube videos and SMS messages.

"This will be the first NSW campaign with a strong viral element. The internet is a very important source of information, especially for young people, and you'd be mad if you ignored it," according to a senior Labor strategist quoted in the Australian Financial Review.

For more details, read the Australian Financial Review's "Web campaigns get down and dirty" on 13/02/2007 (no free online version is available).

GetUp targets Howard's electorate in Bring David Hicks Home campaign                                           

GetUp is running a campaign asking Australians to write personal online messages to voters in John Howard’s Bennelong Electorate, calling on them to pressure the PM to bring David Hicks home. The message is submitted via the organisation’s website, then collected and hand-delivered to voters in Bennelong, along with a free Bring David Hicks Home postcard so that these voters can fill it in and send it straight to the PM if they want.  

“We've tried everything, but sometimes the only way to get results is to speak to politicians in the language they care about. Our Prime Minister didn't care about David Hicks' basic legal rights until the opinion polls told him he should,” said GetUp’s email call for contributions.

So today we're reaching out to the one group John Howard can't disregard - and asking you to write to them (Bennelong residents) personally.”

World’s second chair professor in E-government appointed in NZ

Victoria University of Wellington has created a new chair professorship in E-Government, co-sponsored by the State Services Commission and Datacom through the VUW Foundation. This is only the second such Chair in the world, following the establishment of the Cisco Chair in E-Democracy at Oxford University, according to this report. The appointee, Professor Miriam Lips, was formerly a Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Internet Institute, with research and teaching interests including e-governmnet, identity management, digital citizenship, personalisation, internet governance, regulation in the information society and public management. 

How John Edwards handled fire from the blogosphere

Earlier this month, John Edwards' campaign came into a bit of trouble when two of his paid political bloggers were labeled anti-Catholic by the Catholic League for writings about the church's positions on abortion and homosexuality. Conservative bloggers fiercely responded to the pairs while liberals saw Edwards’ response to the event as a key test of his commitment to them and their causes. Read this story to see how the Senator handled the situation without firing the two bloggers.  


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