January 24, 2004

Campaign Ads - Reviews on the Way

In one of his previous posts, Graham Young said that I would review some of the election ads for the forthcoming Queensland election.

Iíve been eager to do something since the campaign started however Iíve had a number of problems. Firstly my new laptop died 1 Ĺ days after I got it and has only just come back from repairs. Second, Iím not a great watcher of commercial TV (unless the cricket is on) and instead over the years have relied heavily upon the major parties web-sites to download and watch the ads.

Unfortunately on this front all the major parties have not made it easy for me.

First, the ALP has only just started putting their ads onto their campaign web-site and despite suggesting I could watch them using Windows media player they only offer them in a Quicktime format. So now Iíll have to download Quicktime. Hopefully I can review the ads in the next couple of days.

Second the Coalition ads arenít even up on either Liberals web-site or the Nationals web-site. Iíve fired off an email so hopefully Iíll be able to get something soon.

However I was able to download one ad from Lawrence Springborgís web-site earlier this morning. To his credit I can watch this using either Media Player or Quicktime. Iíll sit down late this afternoon and do something up and post tomorrow.

Just a final point before I sign off. Whilst I get the feeling that there seems to a bit of anti-American sentiment in the electorate the major parties really should take a leaf out of American political handbook and use the internet as a medium to get their messages across. This doesnít mean just having a web-site with photos of candidates and media releases but should include putting their ads, television radio and newspaper up on the internet as soon as they are released. Perhaps next campaign?

Posted by Michael at January 24, 2004 11:03 PM

It's great to see people with opinions about how the net can be used during election campaigns.

Unfortunately my new laptop went on the flick on Sunday. (Second time within a week). However the good news is that I get a completely new machine tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to post on the ads tomorrow night. In the meantime please keep those posts coming.

Posted by: Michael J Lee at January 27, 2004 09:46 PM

I disagree about decent campaign sites, esp. candidate blog sites, needing to cost a lot of money to set up.

I helped Drew Hutton to set up www.drewhutton.net for under $300, using the excellent typepad system. Drew can now maintain the site by himself, adding to it when he likes.

I also helped to establish www.qld. greens. org.au with two other volunteers using free, open source software, postnuke.

This software runs our entire internal web-based communications network as well.

On the net it's more a question of having something interesting to say, rather than having a lot of money to say it with.

Posted by: Mark White at January 27, 2004 06:51 PM

As someone who use to work for the National Office for the Information Economy I can sympathise with the frustration that the internet isn't used to its full capacity.

However, I suppose part of the problem is money. Anyone can put up a webpage but most home grown pages are fairly poor. Certainly they have a lot of issues in terms of readability. They can also take a lot of time to update regularly.

So if candidates want a good page, that has a high readability, is relevant and interactive, and updated regularly, they would have to spend quite a bit of cash. Not to mention time passing on the documents necessary to update. It would be questionable whether this was worth a state candidates time when they could door knock or use other methods of communication (with much larger electorates it is a different case for Federal MPs and Senators).

Again it would also only be relevant if your electorate was highly net-savvy. Unfortunately many parts of the state still have low levels of connectivity, and most people are still on dial-up connections which can preclude downloads video and audio files.

But the parties sites should be much more interactive. Not being to access media releases, press statements, interviews and ad's is a bit poor. Certainly the sites could be better utilised not only to inform the public but to involve supporters in parties campaigns.

Posted by: Fiona at January 26, 2004 01:44 PM

I like the idea of your blog site (as umpire).
But would there be any chance of keeping a promise and cost list by the two players.

I note that ALP is throwing a lot of stuff out now on a federal level as a suck and see against this election backdrop so I'd say that the federal election run has begun as well. Let Beatee take the risk so to speak from what really is an unassailable postion as some kind of measure in Queensland.

Links from your site direct to them perhaps. For a change could you get some forum going that they answer directly and accountable with their names here.

The net is here and it is not going to go away. FOI is coming and only Nazis block FOI. No privacy for Pollies promises. ALP and Greens and dems locked themselves out of accountability for Privacy on a national level. Reserved their Spam rights in entirety.

I Like Bloggs.

Posted by: John at January 26, 2004 12:53 PM


Thanks for the comments. It is good to see candidates using the internet to spread their message. It also raises the point what should campaign web-sites include? If I get some time I'm put up a post with my thoughts on the issue.

I'd be interested in other candidates thoughts and experiences as well.

If you could lend me a hand and get the Nationals to put their ads up on their campaign web-site it would be great.


Posted by: Michael J Lee at January 26, 2004 09:00 AM

Since our campaign team was formed back in Aug '03, our candidates website was live. Whenever a letter goes out to the electorate, it goes up on the website. It gives links to the party site and detailed information on where and when to vote. As the campaign grows, so does the website. Our website has been a most helpful marketing tool in our campaign. http://www.margaretgrummitt.com

Posted by: Gayle Wilson at January 25, 2004 12:00 PM
Graham Young
John Black
Mark Bahnisch
Michael Lee