2007 is looking to be an election year in Australia, there has been an increase in political advertising, sites are starting to appear dedicated to the political mistakes made by opposing candidates and political one-upmanship has begun in earnest.
What is different in the lead up to this election is the role played by Google. The Google election site provides ‘channels’ for each political party to present their policies via tailor made YouTube videos. Thru the Google maps application, electoral boundaries are shown describing which party has which seat and its corresponding margin. Also available is a YouTube video demonstration on how to use the site and Google gadgets to “get the latest election information at a glance.”
The only mention of the Australian election commission (AEC) is a copyright notice, the AEC has given Google permission to use its electoral data in generating some of the maps on the page. Unlike most countries, it is compulsory to vote in Australia. Google has made a clever move by providing a real time tool to keep Australians up to date with the upcoming election.
Previously those with an interest in politics would have gone thru Google onto third party websites, they now stay on Google, which is great for Google, and users who now have a single site to keep them informed about the election.