To make it more fun, I’ve introduced three rules:
- I must include tweets from people - not just news sites
- I must include tweets from the politicians who are on Twitter where possible
- I cannot use the same tweeter twice.
Election set for Sat Aug 21 12:05 PM Jul 17th
This election is about giving a great people a better government. The Coalition will end the waste, stop the taxes and stop the boats. 6:35 PM Jul 17th
According to Wayne Swan, Labor can’t stop the leaks. If you can’t govern yourself, how can you govern the country? 10:49 AM Jul 29th
So PM says she’s going to cut the PR and be the “real Julia”. Let me guess, a PR hack advised her to say that? 10:25 AM Aug 2nd
A new opinion poll gives Labor an election-winning lead – but it’s close 5:57 AM Aug 18th
GetUp members and vollies are EVERYWHERE today as #ausvotes! 10:22 AM Aug 21st
Poms split their vote across 3 parties to get hung parlt. Ha! we can do it with 2 parties and a few indies! 12:17 AM Aug 22nd
ALP, Libs to negotiate with Independents to win office after Saturday’s election 8:37 AM Aug 23rd
Together with Bob Brown & Christine Milne, just signed agt with the PM to support a Gillard govt. Real movement on climate. More to come. 11:50 AM Sep 1st
3 independents don’t agree with each other but have put forward a “7 point wishlist” how will this be stable? 7:40 PM Aug 25th
Both Katter and Windsor have now criticised Abbott for refusing to put Coalition policies in to Treasury for costing. 10:41 PM Aug 25th
A confidential Treasury analysis has revealed an $800 million hole in the Coalition budget costings 12:11 AM Aug 10th
IND Wilkie reflects his constituency & backs Labor. 3 Amigos should reflect theirs & support LNP! 8:04 PM Aug 28th
Bob Katter throws his support behind the Coalition, but indicates it’s not unconditional support 2:10 PM Sep 7th
Tony Windsor chose to support Labor because of the issues of broadband and climate change. Onya Tony!! 3:09 PM Sep 7th
Do we have to wait another 17 days for Oakeshott to finish talking? 3:29 PM Sep 7th
OFFICIAL: Oakeshott and Windsor back Gillard. Labor survives election 76-74. Coalition defeated. 3:31 PM Sep 7th
Done – in 18 tweets!
But how often do the cross-benchers in the House of Representatives tweet? I decided to find the the four independents and Greens MP on Twitter to see how they’ve embraced the service.
The Greens Adam Bandt is definitely the biggest Twitterer of the bunch. His following has grown by an average of 46 people per day and now stands at 3,525. He follows 1,112 people, among them ABC journalist Annabel Crabb and independent online news source Crikey. He also tweets fairly regularly, with 25 Tweets in the last week. Bandt seems to be “with it” in Twitter terms, his tweets a mixture of informational, conversational and light-hearted humour. In one he even says “Welcome to Twitter’s ‘Fake Adam Bandt’. My only request: please be funny!” (Note: I searched and could not find the fake one).
Rob Oakeshott definitely knows his way around Twitter, but one would guess he’s spent so much time being wooed by Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott that this has left him with no time in the day in which to tweet. He’s picked up an average of 145 new followers per day this week to currently sit at 1,267. He follows 949 people, including yours truly as of 10:44 this morning. His last tweet however was on August 18. It looks like at the start of the election campaign in late July he was quite the tweeter, but by the second week of August had largely lost interest. A tweet from 28 July says “Thanks for the oranges Tony!”. I assume he does not mean Abbott.
Bob Katter gave up on his Twitter account before it began. His solitary tweet from 28 May says “Getting on Twiter to connect with the real Australians – country Australians” but ol’ Bob has been quiet since. This may explain why only two people per day are joining his following – which currently stands at 729 people. In return he follows an interesting if short list of just 17 people which includes Tony Abbott, Godwin Grech, Laurie Oakes and Bill Gates.
Tony Windsor, Andrew Wilkie and WA Nationals MP Tony Crook are not on Twitter.
The 12am Thursday morning electoral advertising blackout has been a part of Australia’s electoral process at least ever since I was a voter. Indeed the Australian Electoral Commission website states:
Under Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, which is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), election advertising in the electronic media is subject to a ‘blackout’ from midnight on the Wednesday before polling day to the end of polling on the Saturday. This three-day blackout effectively provides a “cooling off” period in the lead up to polling day, during which political parties, candidates and others are no longer able to purchase time on television and radio to broadcast political advertising.
This blackout is now challenged, however, due to the rise of Social Media. Services like Twitter and YouTube are allowing the political parties to continue campaigning right up until election day.
Just two hours ago, the Liberal Party’s official Twitter feed tweeted “Watch our new online video “Do you really know Julia Gillard?”.” The link goes to the following YouTube clip below. It’s not on TV, so it doesn’t break the blackout, but it may as well be – it’s a television advertisement in every sense.
Labor’s Twitter feed, meanwhile spruiks blog posts by the hour.
What are the repercussions? Clearly the media blackout laws were conceived in a time when Television, Radio and Print were the only media people had access to. With the development of the internet and more recently, Web 2.0, this has all changed. The uptake of Twitter and its embracing by politicians, and the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube have rendered the laws obsolete.
With Australia going to the polls tomorrow, it is obviously too late to change the laws for this election, but “Moving forward”, if the media blackout is to continue achieving the same goals it set out to do back in 1992 it will need to be revised with a view to including social media under what it terms “electronic media”.