elect the environment you want

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The cynic in me says that Australia is democratic every three years for only one day. The news that the Australian 2007 federal election has been called for 24 November is a most welcome relief. At least I now know that I have only the next six weeks of political harassment to contend with on television, radio and in print publications.

The big issue for me leading up to voting on the day, is deciding which party is going to be the best for the environment. What campaign policies are going to propose to tackle climate change, salinity, overpopulation, renewable energy, declining biodiversity and diminishing water supply? Further, which party can be relied upon to instigate what is needed to address these issues?

For me, online resources are much more palatable than television, newspaper, or radio. The big reason is that I appreciate hearing different responses other than the political parties, and I can research topics that I don’t understand or feel that I need further information.

Although I feel that I am quite proficient at googling, Google has provided a 2007 Australian Federal Election landing page that provides links to selected searches, electoral maps (including annotation such as marginal seats) and an Australia Votes Channel on YouTube. This makes some of the initial searches quite easy. For example, you can select a candidate and search on all or a particular issue.

These are the results for the major parties on the environment from iGoogle and Google (alphabetical order):

Bob Brown [1], Australian Greens [2] [3] [4]

John Howard [1], Liberal Party of Australia [2] [3] [4]

Kevin Rudd [1], Australian Labor Party [2] [3] [4]

Lyn Allison [1], Australian Democrats [2] [3] [4]

Mark Vaile [1], National Party of Australia [2] [3] [4]

Steve Fielding [1], Family First [2] [3] [4]

Resources that I have bookmarked, at least for the next six weeks include:

YouDecide2007
A citizen journalist forum based at the Queensland University of Technology and funded by the Australian Research Council. It is a project to research the federal election campaign using content contributed by voters.

GetUp!
GetUp is an advocacy organisation providing opportunities to create awareness and action on issues.

ABC Elections and associated Unleashed.
Currently, I’m enjoying reading Helen Razor’s acerbic tongue. I might even get the t-shirt.

From reading the comments, I am finding out about issues of concern to other people and even other individuals and political parties that are standing up for this election, for example, What Women Want (Australia).

At the moment, I like the Greens slogan – “Third Party Insurance”. I don’t think the Greens will get to be a majority in the Senate, but it would be good if they have the balance of power. Unlike the dopey Family First Party, that had the balance of power who appeared to go along with the recently dissolved government that had the numbers in both houses of parliament.

[1] Home or local page.
[2] Party page.
[3] iGoogle search of Parliamentary Site for Environment (environment OR “murray-darling” OR carbon OR “global warming”)
[4] Google search with other environmental terms (”climate change” OR salinity OR overpopulation OR “renewable energy” OR biodiversity OR water).

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