Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Politicians Online

MelbournePhilosopher

Today I stumbled over the blog of Andrew Bartlett, which I read with great interest. It has been one of my long standing frustrations that interacting directly with important people is too difficult. Andrew, I applaud you! For those who don't immediately recognise this name, Andrew B. is the leader of the Australian Democrats, a party that has traditionally held the balance of power in Australia's federal upper house.

Introducing these kinds of information distribution mechanisms which allow direct access to the thoughts and opinions of our leaders humanises them, and brings them into relationship with us. John Howard may be our Prime Minister, but to almost everyone he is a figurehead, a myth. He is not accessible to them, but is simply the powerful figurehead of an organisation to which few people pay to be a part of. Politics in our country is something that other people do.

And so the inspiration for this article. Despite the revolutionary level of access which Mr Bartlett is giving to anyone with access to the Internet, the level of commentary on his blog is low. I wish to highlight the contribution of him and of others. It has been unfair of me to write this much without mentioning the website of an uneasy political ally, the Greens Party. This is not a personal blog, but is nonetheless a great forum for public debate. Unfortunately, it has been plagued by minor technical glitches, with the result being that for this election it has been mostly read-only.

The majors, as the Liberal and Labour parties are collectively known, have no such information challenges. Some of the various ministers have personal websites, but they tend to be mere extensions of the marketing arm of the parties and departments they represent. Kate Lundy , a Labour Senator, maintains some degree of personal commentary on her website, as well as doing much of the technical work herself. This gives her some street cred.

I would love to get feedback with any other political blogs or other kinds of personal information feed so that I can see them for myself, and so that others who might not yet be aware can also avail themselves of these great resources.

2 Comments:

Blogger a process of emanation said...

Hardly personal sites but they are powered by blogging software.
See 'The Bush2004 Campaign Blog' - http://www.bush2004.com/wordpress

And, 'The Official Kerry-Edwards Blog'
http://blog.johnkerry.com/

New respect for Bush for using truly Open-Source software... if nothing else.

I'm not sure which is the official one, but for John Howard see: http://www.pm.gov.au/
(especially love the links section)
or http://johnhoward.blogspot.com/

9/28/2004 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger C D M said...

The Democrats have always been at the forefront of utilising technology and actively communicating with the voters. And not just by having a comprehensive web. Party officials and members of parliament often participate in online discussions with members. They are also the only party to offer a range of RSS feeds.

Normally I'd say more power to them, but as a disenchanted ex-member of the Democrats I'm just waiting for the day when they pull their head in and get back to living up to their historical high standards.

Feel free to check out my links and blogroll at The Samwise Polemic for some diverse political blogs.

9/29/2004 01:10:00 AM  

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