School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    e-lection 2004? New media and the campaign
    CHEN, PETER ( 2004)
    This paper explores the use of new media technologies, such as the Internet, in the Australian federal election campaign of 2004. With indications of a closely-contested campaign dominating media coverage in the lead up to October 9, normal assumptions of campaign strategies would call for the use of the full range of campaigning techniques to pry open pockets of support in key marginal seats. Internationally, new media technologies have become increasingly important in political campaigning, both as a tool for direct communication between partisans and electors, and as a particularly powerful method of networking together people, money, and issues. Based on research conducted on parties, candidates, and non-party activists, this paper argues that the use of new technologies in the Australian electoral environment remains limited and, in some aspects, has declined from the previous electoral cycle. This can be attributed to a number of factors: fundamental difficulties in aligning new communications channels to Australia's political geography, low perceptions of the efficacy of new technologies in shifting electors' voting intentions, and the failure by organised political parties to systematically resource and strategise new media technologies within their conventional communications and campaigning strategies. Overall, while a number of interesting campaigning innovations were observed and individual candidates had a greater online presence in this electoral cycle, innovation in the use of new technologies for political purposes has remained relatively low compared with comparative jurisdictions.
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    eGovernance practice and potential in the local government sector
    Barlow, Sheryl ; CHEN, PETER ; Chimonyo, Janet ; Lyon, Alison ; O'Loughlin, Brendan ( 2003)
    This paper presents initial findings of a research project into the current extent of, demand for, and strategic inhibiters / facilitators to / for the development of electronic governance (eGovernance) in the local government sector in Australia. Undertaken by members of the sector in Victoria, in conjunction with the Centre for Public Policy of the University of Melbourne, the project is will produce a final detailed strategic report by the middle of 2004. Based on the results of survey data collected by members of the project team during 2002-3, this paper argues that the local government sector, as typified by municipalities in the state of Victoria , can be seen to have an interest in a broad range of activities that fall under the rubric of eGovernance as defined within.