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Aussie Politicians Now Online To Interact

Aussie politicians are now following their American counterparts and are using the Internet for real-time online interaction with voters. John Howard reports.

Claiming to be the first Australian political leader to engage in the interactive media, NSW Opposition Leader, Mrs Chikarovski, will be available for a cyber-grilling from 6pm to 8pm each Monday.

She said the online interview ( would be used by the Opposition to develop policies and would provide "a direct pipeline to my desk."

Mrs Chikarvoski used the technology during last year's election campaign and her online interview then led to some intriguing and serious questions. From "Are your eyes realy blue?" to more serious queries on hospitals, employment and science and technology.

NSW Premier, Bob Carr has so far yet to become interactive preferring to use the Net for his one-sided view of the state of the world but with a static email feedback form.

In America, research by politicians and political parties has found that having only email feedback angers correspondants who want personalised real-time replies from the politicians.

Interactive interviews are apparently used more and more with people on line talking to the politician and at the same time including others in the "conversation."

A quick surf around the websites of NZ political parties reveals they have no facilities to allow people to talk online to their leaders.

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