Virtual campaigning: Australian parties and the impact of the Internet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper examines the impact of the Internet, specifically the World Wide Web (WWW) and e-mail on Australian parties in two key areas: (1) party communication: what exactly are parties using their Websites for? and (2) party competition: does the Internet lower the threshold for smaller parties to communicate their message compared with the traditional media? We examine these questions with two types of data-a questionnaire of party communication staff and content analysis of a representative sample of party Websites. Our findings show, first, that Australian parties have taken a fairly cautious approach to the new medium, using it primarily as an information storehouse rather than putting it to more innovative use. Second, while almost all Australian parties have a Web presence, there is a divide between those parties with parliamentary representation and those without in terms of their site quality and visibility on the Web. The study concludes by interpreting the findings in the context of research on parties' use of the Internet worldwide.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-129
Number of pages30
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002