Google’s website for the 2007 Federal Election was one of the many sites I relied on heavily in the lead up to that election. That world-first service included an election mapplet—with the electorates marked out and information including the incumbent member, the candidates contesting that election, the margin, links Google News, YouTube, the ABC and other services, and a history of the seat—for Google Maps, links to the party’s YouTube channels and Google’s Australia Votes channel and a string of iGoogle gadgets.
Such a service from Google was sadly lacking from this election. Until this morning of course when Google launched their 2010 Federal Election landing page. Another outcome of Google’s 20% rule, the 2010 suite includes:
- A Google Maps mapplet with electorates, colour-coding to indicate tipped outcome and filtering by margin, with candidates and polling booth locations (and driving directions) to come.
- An insight and search trends gadget that visualises the relative search frequency of the parties, the leaders and policy topics (including economy, broadband, education, health and immigration) on Google News over a 1 day to 1 year period (and sophisticated customisation if you’re so inclined);
- A citizen-reporting YouTube video portal electionWIRE, announced last week; and
- Student Voice 2010, which includes a simulated election for 15 to 18 year-olds, polling during the 9 – 12 August, and a cartoon caption competition using one of political commentator and editorial cartoonist Peter Broelman‘s cartoons (but I want to write more specifically about Student Voice in another post).
Google are also reusing the Australia Votes YouTube channel which launched for the 2007 election.
The service was launched with a forum with talks from Senator Kate Lundy, Paul Fletcher MP and Senator Scott Ludlam. I’ve posted their clips below (but the sound is really bad – I hear ya gazonde!).
Lundy spoke first. Unsurprisingly she spoke about Gov 2.0, the transformative possibilities of social media on government and open access to public sector information, using the talk as a chance to reiterate her three pillars of open and transparent government (although a slightly different version :p). She also butt-kissed the NBN and the Digital Education Revolution policy, took a dig at the Liberals for proposing to cut both policies, and a shout out to the Government 2.0 Taskforce and the Declaration of Open Government.
Fletcher was next. Other than giving us a message from Tony Abbott—”Vote for the Liberal Party”—Fletcher spent the first 3-minutes-something sounded like the Wikipedia entry for ‘the internet‘. Then he butt-kissed Google and took an Abbott-Liberal-styled stab at the NBN.
“Technology investment is risky. Technology investment is risky. And there is a real question as to whether it is wise to put $43 billion of taxpayer investment at risk in a risky technology bet on the National Broadband Network…”
Fletcher was followed by Ludlam. He compared the debate with politics via social media platforms. Couple of worthwhile points he made: “I think the more boring the offline election campaign get or the televised campaign gets the more interesting it gets online” and “Politics is far too important to be left to politicians.” Although Ludlam, I deduct points for use of terms like ‘young folk’!