Google Australia launches Election2007 website19 September, 2007
|By Allison Orr|
Google Australia has launched the Google Australia Election Website, which is designed as a central location for election-related material and will cover information located at all Google services such as Search, Maps, News, Earth, Trends and iGoogle.
On this website you can download Australian election content to Google Maps and find your electorate, you can follow the latest election news from any seat and watch the latest YouTube videos from Australian political parties. "On the Record" allows you to enter the name of any MP or senator along with an issue, and it will search through parliamentary records and politicians' homepages to find what they have said on that issue.
It is currently the most comprehensive election information site Google has ever hosted, and they hope by facilitating access to this information that people will become more engaged in the election and the political process. Says Andrew McLaughlin, Director of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google, "The Internet is starting to live up to its potential to deepen political debate and engagement; these tools are a useful example of convergence, as the mechanisms of electoral democracy and political debate move online. Our hope is that they enable Australian voters to learn more about the issues and candidates, to compare and contrast, and to share their own views."
Prime Minister Howard, who is yet to set a date for the election, agrees the Internet has become an important tool in the political process and in a YouTube video at the site’s launch, said "I recognise this medium is not some sort of gimmick, but can provide an uninterrupted, open and direct channel between decision-makers and voters. I commend Google Australia and others who are forging exciting pathways through this medium."
Google Australia has also produced a very informative YouTube video that introduces the features on the site. It is a good place to start when using the site: How to use Google's Election Products.
You can also view footage of the official launch of the website, with MPs Joe Hockey and Peter Garrett: Google Australia Votes Initiative Launch