Elections and the internet

The federal election hasn’t yet been called but is looming ever larger in the minds of voters everywhere. On the weekend I saw the unofficial campaigning begin with the Liberal Party’s television advertising kicking off.  So I thought that now might be an appropriate time to take a look at some of the online holdings of the major players in federal politics.

We all know that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made great use of Facebook and social networking at the last election to establish a connection with the electorate. These days Mr Rudd has added Twitter to his arsenal, and it appears that his current Facebook presence is merged with the Labor Party itself.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has also embraced social media and is making use of Twitter and Facebook. Interestingly, at the time of writing Mr Abbott has more fans on Facebook than the actual Liberal Party page.

According to the breakdown of current seats in both houses of Federal Parliament, there are five parties that hold seats:

Each of the parties has a website, and it’s interesting to note how similar they are. The Liberals and Labor look like they could have been built from the same template, and The Nationals and The Greens share a colour palette.

Spin goes both ways though, and there are a growing number of comedy/joke sites and personas being used online to make political hay. This year, Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy has been a popular target – usually for his proposed internet filter:



The fact that both of these sites are fakes and yet use highly valuable names should be a lesson to anyone planning to enter the public eye. Register your domains!

In the world of politics, you need to have a thick skin as many critics prefer the direct approach – http://kevinruddlies.com/lies/kevin.htm.

No matter your political viewpoint, it is clear that the web is having an ever increasing influence on the way election campaigns will be run in this country.