Sunday, August 1, 2010

Keeping the pollies honest with election leaflet database

With over 300 election leaflets and counting,, wants to help Australians make an informed decision.

The site is encouraging people to photograph or scan election leaflets in their local area and upload them to a nationwide online database.

This way, everyone can track what candidates and their parties are 'advertising' and keep them honest (even if they don't live within the electorate and get flyers in the mail).

Flyers are organised according to party, policy issue and electorates. Alternatively, users can search for leaflets using an interactive map.

The idea worked well in the UK (from which the Australian site is modeled) where over 6,000 leaflets were compiled during the last election.

OpenAustralia is funding the project as part of its mission to:
"find better ways of making government, public sector and other useful information freely and easily available for the benefit of all Australians".
As technology advances (especially internet technology and with it social media like Twitter and Facebook) it is becoming easier and easier to stay on top of (or alternatively be buried underneath) the mass of election material distributed throughout the campaign.

The more, the merrier I say. Keeping politicians accountable is a key feature of democracy and a database such as this is another link in the chain that connects the people to the government.

I'm sure researchers, journalists and politicians themselves will be thankful for the archives in years to come too.

1 comment:

David said...

Hi,your link in the opening line is broken.