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Election 2.0: Political videos online

Launched in time for the election, homepage daily has made it super easy to tune in, turn on and flip out with all kinds of user-generated content. Here political correspondent Stuart Clarke analyses the candidates and votes for his favorites.

SICK OF THE POLITICAL ADVERTISING OVERLOAD?

It’s been impossible to escape the barrage of ads this election year, and apart from moving somewhere such as Burma where democracy is an unknown concept, there’s no getting away from it. Well, that’s not totally true: you can minimize the damage by turning off the old tube and turning on the new tube.

Sure, there are party political ads online (often identical to those on television), but you’re not forced to watch them while you wait for your favorite show to resume, and if you are remotely interested in who runs our lucky country you’ll find a treasure trove of user-generated videos that are often far superior to the official ones.

For a start, most user-generated vids will try and make you laugh while making their point, and although not all succeed, it’s always good to see them have a go.

Reflecting on the opinion polls during the past few months, the vast majority of user-generated vids are anti-Howard. In fact, all that Howard bashing prompted others to stick up for the PM, including an amusing take-off of the infamous YouTube defence of Britney Spears by a teary, androgynous fan.

John Howard is also making regular appearances on the Liberal’s YouTube channel, albeit seemingly startled by this new-fangled technology.

Kevin Rudd and Labor’s YouTube videos are generally more interesting, although they often take the easy way out with soft topics that won’t scare voters, such as Peter Garrett’s garden tips.

It seems the alternative Minister for the Environment wants to be Jamie Durie without doing time as a stripper.

As Garrett learned in his previous career as a rock star, music is a good way to convey a political message, and ‘Bennelong Time Rock and Roll’, ‘Doin’ a Howard’ and ‘Ruddical‘ are three of the most effective musical parodies of our glorious leader.

The impact of the internet upon the 2007 election is still to be evaluated, but there’s no doubting grass-roots democracy is alive and well online.

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