Other places

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.

Oz Election 2007, Political Animal and Australian Politics Forum. Forum sites: one is explicitly related to the election, the other two might as well be in the current climate.

Ozvotes. Newly launched group blog, seeking contributors.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

29 comments on “Other places”

  1. So we’ve got this new crowd of wombats, what I suspect is an armadillo at Club Troppo and Possum’s eponymous-ness. And not only that – all of the same posters! Moody loners, William, or complete dorks? (Like me. I’m still salivating over Google’s doobywhackers. Not that it tells me anything new, but the Google maps graphics are underpants-wettening.)

  2. http://www.federalelection.com.au/ comes dangerously close to falling foul of the federal electoral laws against advocating an informal vote.

    Putting a 1 in a box only is definitely informal under the compulsory preferential system that is used for federal elections.

    Since this site seems blissfully unaware of of the punishments, such as imprisonment, dealt out to people who have fallen foul of this law, the site doesn’t seem to be a very credible source of information.

    I also hate sites such as this that launch multimedia automatically on opening.

  3. I’m going to call these iVotes people tomorrow to find out who the hell they are, because I am seriously offended that badges stating “Voting … cool as” and slogans like “Lets talk policy fool” are even thought of, let alone used seriously.

    One of the advisors listed is the University of Notre Dame – is this a bunch of Catholics trying to co-opt American gangster speak for its dorky brethren? If not, it’s the Chaser having a satire attack.

  4. http://www.federalelection.com.au/ comes dangerously close to falling foul of the federal electoral laws against advocating an informal vote. Putting a 1 in a box only is definitely informal under the compulsory preferential system that is used for federal elections.

    Rupert, I have searched the site in vain for any suggestion to the contrary. Can you please direct me to it?

    Thanks DrShrink, it’s been added – as has youdecide2007, which I had overlooked.

  5. re: comment #7

    ozvotes isn’t intended to tell anyone how to vote. we envisioned it as a place where we could get some overlap between ‘right’ and ‘left’ and get some debate happening, instead of people reading the same stuff over and over. the idea is to inform and argue so that hopefully a person can work out their interests and vote for them. sure it might not work but we’re true to our word. if anyone feels like it they can post on there. we’re trying to arrange guest posts from candidates (initially in our electorate) as well. if anyone has any idea where to find ‘right’ leaning commentary on the level of william bowe’s or that of larvatus prodeo etc, please email us because we’d love to hear from them as well. if any commenters here are more to the right of things, go ahead and email us as well. thanks and sorry for using your blog to hawk my ideas pb!

  6. Back to the education thread I started before, I see Julie Bishop turns around trying to say that we’ve never had it better off and equates Universities having record profits equating to a great education system. With Howard he promised never ever to have a $100K degrees, but we have a whole hand full of those now.

  7. So by that logic all politicians who say “Vote 1 for me” should also be prosecuted? Interesting.

    William: You don;t have to say “guessed” when you have validly applied the inductive method 🙂

  8. Well, I reckon the blog bandwidth has been 90% wasted on trying to discern a pattern in the tea leaves. It is instructive to build a random model of what hypothetical polling would show under the present conditions. If you do, you get a set of data points that doesn’t look in any way different from those that have been accumulating over the last 6 months. This should convince even the most hardened tea-leaf reader, even Dennis Shanahan???, that trying to discern a pattern in the polls on a week-to-week basis is absolutely pointless. So, trying to attribute a reason to a TPP movement that probably hasn’t happened is much worse- an exercise in utmost futility. Currently the statistics show that it takes 100 days of weekly/fortnightly/monthly polling by 4 organisations, polling 1000 to 2000 people each time, to make a definitive statement (95% certain) that a swing is on.

    Watch the footy instead, and come back in November.

  9. To Mark Bahnisch:

    I am happy to contribute to ozvotes no matter who the company may be. It is not a partisan site just because it allows an independent Labor view. I’m not the party and if you read my plog closely you might pick up criticisms of the ALP as well of the conservatives. I am also a so-called “citizen journalist” for youdecide2007 and try to use a higher standard of journalistic ethics than is common in the mass media or online for that matter. Australians should be more prepared to fight for their principles openly rather than hide behind the fiction of objectivity used by media commentators whose views just happen to coincide with the Liberal party (or other parties for that matter).
    Enough self righteousness for one post. Try my plog today for a lighter touch.
    ‘Labor View from Broome’ http://laborview.blogspot.com/

  10. MarkTwain…what up gangster?

    sorry you got so offended. We personally think its a pretty good job for four young Australians between 19 and 25, on a budget of their own savings trying to get other young people engaged.

    Who cares if they used a bit of slang, (American or not? like, whatever) If you can’t see the use of irony and tongue in cheek then you lack the part of your noggin that delivers humour.

    At least they are having a go.

    Im offended at your racism and religous bigotry.

    Anyway, im off to pop some caps.

  11. Kevin Rennie, I was putting a question mark against whether or not “Labor View from Broome” was partisan or not, not buying into whether it’s “objective” whatever that may mean. However there’s obviously a big difference between a site like this one and others which provides primarily psephological analysis and commentary and political blogs which provide opinion along with the analysis. That’s all. No need to get huffy!

  12. Mark, I thought you were talking about ozvotes which is clearly an opinion site. Sorry for trying to blow the house down. We partisans (that’s fighters trying to reclaim their country) hope it won’t be Don’s Party this year.

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