With the election just a few weeks away, how are all the parties
looking on-line in the increasingly important cyberspace battle?

Well, Labor is up and running at www.alp.org.au,
with profiles of most of its candidates with different ways to find who
is standing in your electorate, various bits of platform and policy,
press releases and the rest of the kit and caboodle.

The Liberal Party, in contrast, is hiding its light under a bushel. It continues to have a website at www.liberal.org.au
with an unfriendly set of navigation tools – and, strangest of all,
nothing to tell you who your local candidate is. As we have reported
before, the page “What others say about John Howard” is still blank
apart from an ominous “Information is coming soon”. Still waiting for
Dubya’s email guys?

At least the horny handed sons of the soil are up and running at www.nationals.org.au. Unlike their Coalition partners, they are not hiding their candidates, and the site even has an attack ad about Simon Crean.

The Greens at www.greens.org.au
has all the candidates, news and policy – a pretty good effort from a
party with fewer resources than the majors. Go there today and you also
get a fun anti-Howard cartoon that is being used to publicise an
electoral enrolment campaign.

The Democrats are, well, the Democrats. Their site is a bit dull and earnest at www.democrats.org.au, but does make good use of the “lie detectors” ad. Shame the banner head is the best part of the site.

its parliament has a fixed term, Crikey readers in Canberra all know
the ACT election will be held on October 16 – unless John Howard gets
in and bags that day for his date with destiny, in which case the ACT
Electoral Commission puts everything on hold until 4 December.

Labor has its full compliment of candidates up on its website at www.act.alp.org.au. So, after some time, do the local Liberal Party, who have taken the opportunity to re-launch their site at www.canberraliberals.org.au.

carefully hidden away, there’s even a little treat for those who are
starved of Federal election content. There is a link through to a page
on the Federal Liberal party’s website containing profiles of all their
candidates here. So why won’t the Federal Liberal Party let anyone know about their candidates? Very strange.

The Greens also have some ACT candidate details up here,
but the fact they have only one each so far for the two five-member
electorates, and two for the seven-member electorate, suggests as we
all know that despite the claims to be replacing the “old parties”, in
the end the Greens are only going for the balance of power.

the Democrats are a worry. They are represented by 26 year-old Natasha
clone Roslyn Dundas. You would think that given her site is the ACT
Democrats only presence on the web www.roslyndundas.com
that it might have some background on the Democrat’s grand plans for
the Assembly election. No, just lots of pictures and fluff on Roslyn,
something on her electorate, but nothing on what the Democrats are
planning for the campaign

An election is also looming up in
Western Australia. It’s due in February 2005, but Premier Geoff Gallup
may possibly go to the polls as early as 4 December. Labor’s web site
is up and running with profiles of sitting MPs, but nothing on new
candidates pre-selected for the state election. Perhaps the factional
deals are yet to be done or Brian Burke’s stolen that part of the site
from the party, too.

The WA Liberal Party
seems to have completely lost its web presence. Currently there is just
a single page telling you to come back soon when the site is
re-launched. Oh, and a link to download the party constitution. It’s
very WA Liberals. They would give the party constitution more
importance than using the web to encourage votes. It offers more scope
for faction fights – and electoral failure.

The Liberal Party don’t even give a link to Leader Colin Barnett’s website. Maybe they are just embarrassed by its address:

National Party do have a good working site up on the election already
with profiles of candidates, which will be very important at this
election given the retirement of several long serving MPs and an
increase in three-cornered contests with the Liberals.

WA Greens have their site up and running as well, which is a bit
cluttered in a way those green webheads logging in from Margaret River
will find appealing.

The Democrats, after their recent brush with state deregistration, also have a workmanlike site up and running, here.

it’s all rather uninspiring compared to other material available on the
web. Hopefully the offerings improve when the elections finally come

PS. So far our favourite candidate is the Liberal
contender for Capricornia, Di Kuntschik. Which journo or pundit is
going to make an unfortunate slip up with that name first.