Google Launches Election Website

Posted on Sunday, September 16 at 13:46 by Rural
"I recognise that this medium is not some sort of gimmick but can provide an uninterrupted, direct and open channel between decision-makers and voters," Mr Howard said in a video presentation at the site's launch. His conservative government has targeted Internet users as it seeks to reverse poor opinion polls and win a fifth term in office. Google's Australian-developed election site includes a feature called "On the Record", where users can type in a politician's name, along with an issue of their choosing. It then scours parliamentary transcripts and the politician's personal website to find any statements on the issue, allowing voters to check whether their representatives are being consistent. It also gives voters electoral information through a range of online tools including YouTube, GoogleEarth and GoogleMaps. Google said it was the first time so many features had been available on a single election website. Peter Garrett, the former singer with protest rockers Midnight Oil who is now environment spokesman for the opposition Labour party, said the Internet would have a massive impact on the election. "This will probably be a Google election," Mr Garrett told reporters. "I think it's going to encourage a generation of Australians who have used online access as one of their major communications, education and socialisation tools from a very young age, to key into what I think will be a very exciting political campaign." [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 17, 2007]


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