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Australia prepares for the 'Google election'

04 October, 2007
By Allison Orr

According to a recent article in The Australian, the Labor Party has plans to accelerate and increase its Internet-based campaign once the Federal election has been called.

Alex Crumb, the communications director for the ALP’s federal campaign, said in the article that they will upload vision and information from the campaign trail to give people a "fly-on-the-wall" view of events.  They will also have blogs written by those on the campaign, which will give people "a sense of excitement and action from the campaign trail."

Labor's online presence is already quite substantial, with the ALP’s website redesigned earlier this year, the launch of Kevin07 in August, as well as Kevin Rudd maintaining profiles on MySpace and Facebook, where he has 18,467 and 4,900 friends respectively.

It looks as though the Internet may play a far greater role in this election than any other previous election.  A fortnight ago when Google Australia launched the AustraliaVotes2007 website, Peter Garrett announced that "this will be probably a Google election".  The launch of this site has been embraced by Internet political junkies all over the world.  Citizentube, YouTube’s political channel, did a feature on the website last week: YouTube Politics Hits Australia.  Netpulse, the global e-journal of online politics, highlighted Australia’s use of the Internet in politics in their September 18 edition.

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