Once the preserve of a small band of moody loners, online psephology is becoming a boom industry as the federal election approaches. I have added a roll of external links to my sidebar for non-partisan sites specifically dedicated to the election, which are detailed below. Readers are invited to alert me to any sites meeting these criteria which I have missed, bearing in mind my definition of non-partisan does not extend to sites such as The Big Switch which promote particular issue positions. Adam Carr’s election guide goes without saying; Antony Green’s guide will be unveiled by the ABC on Friday, and not earlier today as previously reported.
Google: 2007 Australian Federal Election. The search engine behemoth does no evil with its mouth-watering range of election features, highlighted by the incorporation of colour-coded electoral boundaries into Google Maps (with polling booth locations soon to follow). Google’s Rob Shilkin sold it thus in today’s Crikey:
The site employs the best of Google technology and products including search, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google news, YouTube, Trends and gadgets to provide easy-to-use, up to date and accessible Australian election information to voters, politicians and the media. It’s designed to help Australians to stay on top of news, electorate information and candidates, read and hear different perspectives, have their say, research MPs and track issues … The tools were all built by Google’s Australian engineers, in Sydney, and represent the first time that Google has created a dedicated election site anywhere in the world. Our local team wanted to show that the Internet can make a meaningful and substantive contribution to the democratic process, by synthesising masses of information about politicians and issues at the click of a mouse. We’ll continue to input further information and content to the site as they become available. It’s designed for political junkies, as well as those who want to find basic information (like what seat they live in).
The Bullring. Excellent election-focused group blog from The Bulletin, featuring Stanford University academic and psephoblogger Simon Jackman, Perth-based academic and John Howard biographer Peter van Onselen, wild card Jack Marx and sundry Bulletin journalists.
youdecide2007. Promises to provide a forum for a seat-by-seat coverage of the 2007 federal election, produced by YOU, the voters. The site is led by the Creative Industries faculty at QUT, funded by the ARC, and supported by project partners SBS, On Line Opinion and the Brisbane Institute.
FederalElection.com.au. A revolutionary portal and first for Australia which enables you to listen, watch, express your opinion AND shape the political discourse. Produced by an affiliate of Channel Seven with input from Roy Morgan, the site is rather thin at present but we are told their new site will be launched shortly.
iVote. The election made hip by a national network of hardworking, innovative and driven young Australians. More style than content at this stage.
Ozvotes. Newly launched group blog, seeking contributors.