American Politicians using 2.0, Australian Politicians still using paper

28 03 2007

Politics 2.0 on the ValueWiki Blog only highlights the Luddite qualities of Australian politicians and Australian Government. All the presidential candidates for the USA 2008 Election have their own MySpace pages, some candidates have blogs, social networks and the ability to create your own website about the candidates. The two candidates for Australian Prime Minister are John Howard and Kevin Rudd are a very different story. John Howard has a special website for his seat of Bennelong, which contains an online community survey for Bennelong, email form submission for feedback and an area to enter your snail mail address to receive detailed information on specific issues. Kevin Rudd’s own website URL only redirects back to the ALP website. An email address is not listed on John Howard’s member page for the House of Representatives, although an email address is listed on Kevin Rudd’s member page for the House of Representiatives.

The party websites aren’t much better, the Australian Labour Party website has an email newsletter signup as well as buttons to email the page, print the page, view text-only version and bookmark the page, although they do have a selection of Australian Labour Party RSS feeds, however these are all different formats for a single content feed, which is of Media Releases (how very old media).

However, there are some 2.0 political voices from Australia, they just don’t belong to the politicians. This MySpace page does not belong to Kevin Rudd, but is trying to show support for Kevin Rudd (Kevin Rudd For PM! has 1474 friends). Best name goes to JohnHowardAwesome (John Howard: PM of Australia has 490 friends). There is also a MySpace Group for Australian Politics. That doesn’t include any of the mock pages such as these ones on MySpace for The Ruddmeister (Kevin Rudd) and John Winston Howard (John Howard).

Is there really no more engagement than an RSS feed of Media Releases?




6 responses

29 03 2007

So you want Australian pollies to have myspace pages? Why?

30 03 2007

It’s not just about MySpace, it’s about engagement. Do Australian politicians actually try to engage the voters in a conversation, or is the communication all in one direction?

30 03 2007

Well, I think it is a ‘little from column a, a little from column b’.

Australian voters known what they want (a generalisation I know). But often it’s a case of when our pollies talk, we listen a little then tell them to ‘get stuffed’. Most of the drivel is a one-way machine. We don’t have the access to them that we might want or deserve, but I don’t think that having online forums – or even offline forums – is likely to change this much.

So no, they don’t engage the voters as much as they should. But would it really make a difference to what they do if they did? I think not.

30 03 2007

It should, this is supposed to be a democracy, where they represent the people. If the people don’t get to talk to them, how do they get a say?

30 03 2007

It seems that the only say we get these days it at the polling booth. They are all ears until that time, then they just do what they want. It’s not right, and it’s not fair.

22 04 2007
Laurel Papworth

Check out It’s possible to get organised online and create change. If politicians only play the numbers game, then a motivated online community can generate those numbers.

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