Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Labour Leadership election- meet the candidates!

This week - a key event for the uk the Labour leadership election.
The best starting point is the official labour party website. This has a section which lists the candidates, and the rules.
The candidates are:
Diane Abbot campaign website
constituency website
They work for You (useful voting records, election results, membership of comittee and other facts)

Ed Balls

Campaign website
Constituency website
They work for you.

Andy Burnham

campaign website
They work for you

David Miliband
Campaign website
They work for you.

Ed Miliband
they work for you.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Australian elections - hung parliaments and other discussions

Following on from the elections a number of blogs ghave been discussing the hung parliament.
Some good examples are
News services
Crickey which has lots of comment and cartoons on the hung parliament!
The Drum from ABC
National Times Columnists
The Punch News Limited staff
Election Blackout was a group blog covering the elections in some detail. it included postings on the use of social media during the campaigns.
Tally Room - maintainmed by blog by Ben Raue. former Greens candidate in south-west Sydney. Includes maps of results.
Australian politics.com - maintained by Malcolm Farnsworth. Includes twitter feeds and links from other blogs.
Finally there is a useful Australian politics blog directory on the about Barton website where many more are listed.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Australian elections - good sites for keeping up to date with the news

This website has an excellent collection of links to the main national and regional newspapers from Australia
Most have special election coverage with interviews, polls and more.
The Australian has news polls, tweets and videos
canberra Times has multimedia discussion of issues in the region
Sydney Morning Herald has a Pulse blug as well as the usual news and reports
ABC public broadcaster has a special website with electoral calculators, interviews and news coverage.
Crickey is an alternative news service which has discussion, polls and satire
Angus reid global Monitor has summaries of most of the main newspaper and market research polls.
other useful blogs and news services include;
Inside story and other papers listed on Australian Policy online.
Womens Electoral Lobby discussion of womens issues and the election
Google Australia has information on google search trends, it also has links to the main YouTube channels of the parties where you can view promotional materials
For more information on the use ofm social media in the elections - take a look at the Mapping online publics website This is the blog for a research project called New Media and Public Communication: Mapping Australian User-Created Content in Online Social Networks, based at Queensland University of Technology.This has analysis of twitter postings and usage during the campaigns.

Australia elections 2010 starting points

Here are some good starting points for basic information on the elections.
Australian Electoral Commission
The Australian Electoral Commission is responsible for conducting Australian federal elections, maintaining the electoral register and providing electoral information to the public. Its website provides detailed information on the functions and structure of the Commission. It includes the relevant elements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act of 1918 which established its role. Also accessible are the full results of all federal elections and bye-elections from 1993 onwards from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Links are also provided to the websites of Australian state and local electoral administration bodies

Electoral Council of Australia

a consultative body composed of election officials and commissioners from the Australian states and territories. It is concerned with all aspects of electoral administration. Its website provides access to information on the purpose of the body and its recent activities. It includes background information on the operation of the electoral system and the Australian system of proportional representation and recent reports from the council on such issues as elections, ballot papers, electoral registers, electoral reform and electronic voting.

Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters - Parliament of Australia

This is the official website of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, a committee of the Australian Parliament which scrutinises electoral procedures in Australia. Its website provides information on the history, purpose, membership and current work of the committee. It also includes access to its recent press releases and full-text reports. The latter cover such topics as the administration of elections, election registration and electoral funding in Australia

Australian Parliamentary library has guides, facts and repots on elections and the electoral system.

Australian policy online - has agood basic primer on Australian election

ABC news also has a good basic guide These include list of candidates, facts, a blog from political editor A. Green and more

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Australia historic election resources

As Australia prepares to go to the polls here are some excelelnt recommended resources for finding out more about past elections.

Australian government and politics database

This website is maintained by researchers at the University of Western Australia. It provides free access to a wealth of facts and figures about Australian politics from 1890 to the present day. It includes results of all state assembly (lower house) general elections since 1890. Results for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT 1989-) and the Northern Territory (NT 1974-); summary information on political parties which have won more than 2 percent of the vote or won a seat at any of the general elections; lists of government members; dates and summary information about Australian prime ministers. Also avaiable is a searchable glossary of Australian political terms. 2010 results are to be added soon!

Democratic Audit resources.
Since 2002 a team at the Australian National University has been conducting Audits to assess Australia’s strengths and weaknesses as a democratic society. Acess their full text reports online.

Electoral campaigns: Pandora Archive
PANDORA is a major project of the National Library of Australia which aims to archive key Australian Internet resources and websites for posterity. This section preserves materials relating to state and federal elections in Australia from 1996 onwards. There are large separate collections for the 2004 and 2007 elections. These include snapshots of sites taken during different stages of the campaigns. They include websites maintained by political parties, candidates, news services; media and lobby groups.


The Trove website is maintained by the National Library of Australia. It aims to provide a single search point to trace reliable information about Australia and Australians. These include digitised materials from the Australian archives, academic institutions and museums as well as resources about Australia produced by overseas institutions. All types of materials are indexed including multimedia, images, archives, newspapers, books, journal articles and theses. All subject areas of the sciences, social sciences and humanities are covered; with a particular emphasis upon Australian political, social and economic history. A search for elections brings up historic photos, newspaper articles and references to books.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Rwanda elections - 'meaningful participation by all?'

This week presidential elections took place in Rwanda.
Foreign policy journal discussed the outcome on its website
The official government website has results and information on the procedures. It refers to meaningful participation in the elections by all Rwandans. The Rwanda Press centre (managed by the Media High Council) also has some positive comment. However a number of other organisations gave critical comments on the system in the run up to the elections. here are some good places for locating comment.
Committee to protect Journalists - argued that there was no critical press
Rwanda Info noted reports by the FDU committee on irregularities.
Amnesty International reported on pre-election attacks as did Human Rights Watch
There is also a useful blog Democracy watch Rwanda 2010 created by aid worker Susan Thompson which gives a personal view on events on the ground.
The Commonwealth also sent an observer mission Its preliminary statements notes positive and negative aspects.
Finally try searching the Institute of Security Studies website for articles and analysis of the state of democracy and security in Rwanda and the excellent Human Security Gateway has links to the latest news and research reports from centres of research worldwide.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Favourite african elections resources

This week a selection of our recommended sites for finding out more about parliamentary and presidential elections in Africa.

Africa Governance, Monitoring and Advocacy Project (AfriMAP)

is a special project of the Open Society Institute which is working in conjunction with NGOs to promote democracy and the rule of law in African nations. Its website provides access to information about the aims of the project and its activities. It includes access to the full-text of a library of online press releases, articles, papers and reports published by its partners since 2000. Key areas of concern are political participation, election monitoring reports, government accountability and delivery of public services in Africa, civil justice systems. Although many African nations are covered principle areas of research are: South Africa, Senegal, Mozambique and Ghana.

Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa

was established in 1996 to promote fair and free elections in South Africa and has not evolved into the Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa, with a broader remit. The website provides information on the current voting registration and electoral systems. It also covers democracy and governance. Also accessible on the site are recent election results, data on womens parliamentary representation in addition to country profiles and comparative tables.

African Elections Project
co-ordinated by the International Institute for ICT Journalism in association with other partners and funding from Open Society Initiative for West Africa. It is particularly concerned with developing the use of ICT for elections in West Africa. The main case studies cover presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana, Cote d 'lvoire, and Guinea from 2008/9. The website provides information on the aims, methods and activities of the project. Each country section contains the full election results, plus access to examples of selected blogs, online videos and websites developed to cover the election campaigns.

Africa South of the Sahara: politics & government

An annotated guide to Internet sites relating to politics and government in Africa. This is part a larger Web guide to Africa-related sites called "Africa South of the Sahara", produced by Stanford University (USA). It is designed for students, faculty, librarians, and others. it includes links to sites covering African elections, political parties and political events.

Web Dossiers ASC Leiden
The Library, Documentation and Information Department of the African Studies Centre, University of Leiden prepares regular dossiers of useful resources to guide students and researchers studying African poliitcs, sporting events and economics. They typically include a bibliography of relevant journal articles, reports and papers . Note that while in some cases, the full text is accessible, in the majority, abstracts only can be read online. There is also a directory of links to the websites of key news sources and other research organisations where information on elections can be found.