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e-Democracy update - 7/12/05

07 December, 2005
By Daniel Macpherson

Australian blogs nominated in awards

Several Australian blogs have received nominations this week in the Weblog Awards 2005.

Fifteen blogs were nominated in the Best Australia or New Zealand Blog and included various high profile political pundits such as John Quiggin and Tim Blair.

The nominees for this category are Tim Blair, Silent Running, Sir Humphrey's, Allthings2all, The Currency Lad, Slattsnews, ABCWatch, It's A Matter Of Opinion, SunnyO, catallaxy, Deltoid, Larvatus Prodeo, John Quiggin, Whacking Day, and Professor Bunyip.

The Weblog Awards 2005 are hosted by Kevin Aylward, who runs popular political webpage Wizbang!. Wizbang! has attracted over 5 million viewers since its foundation in 2005.

Report recommends full implementation of Australian e-government services

A recent UK report has suggested full implementation of e-government services in Australia.

The Beyond e-Government report states a full implementation of joint state and federal health initiative HealthConnect can save over $300 million per year.

It also indicates the full implementation of Victoria’s Criminal Justice Enhancement Program (CJEP) will "achieve a net benefit to Victorians of $8-10 million".

The report praises the Australian government for numerous e-government initiatives, particularly the Electronic Lodgement System (ELS) for taxation and Centrelink’s Job Network.

Over 80 per cent of Australians lodge their tax with ELS and over 178,000 Australian job seekers have found long-term employment with the Job Network in the year preceeding April 2005 , according to the report.

Australia’s Special Minister of State Senator Eric Abetz says the Australian government has been working for many years to address the particularly complex challenges that all countries face in implementing e-government.

"As a result, today we can safely say that Australia is one of the world's leading nations in e-government, a position that will be strengthened by the release of a new e-government strategy in the coming months," Senator Abetz says.

In September, Brown University’s Global e-Government Study found Australia had dropped a ranking in the top ten e-government listings.

Rice lobbies for continued US net control

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has suggested the US should continue to retain control over the Internet.

In a letter to British foreign secretary Jack Straw prior to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Ms Rice said she regretted the recent positions on Internet governance offered by the European Union.

"Burdensome, bureaucratic oversight is out of place in an internet structure that has worked so well for many around the globe," Ms Rice said in the letter.

The US government currently oversees the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which controls the net's root servers and naming system.

During the WSIS, Brazil, China and Iran have lobbied for greater net involvement and the European Union has proposed a number of changes for international net regulation.

London terror poll goes live

London police are inviting citizens to take part in an online discussion on methods of response to terrorist threats.

The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) has launched the poll in conjunction with a one-day conference "Together Against Terror?", which is scheduled for December 12, 2005.

The poll asks ten key questions, such as:

Metropolitan Police Authority chair Len Duvall says the event signals an important step and he urges Londoners to make their views known.

"It is crucial that we involve as many people as possible in this debate," Mr Duvall says.

Politics Online Conference in 2006

Politics Online will host a conference next year that will allow the technical community to interface with key policy makers in the US.

The Politics Online Conference 2006 will run from March 7-8, 2006 at the George Washington University’s Marvin Center in Washington, D.C.

The venue can accommodate more than 500 attendees and provides a large exhibitor hall with extended facilities on both days for vendors to demonstrate their products.

Key speakers are to be announced.

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