Sunday, September 18, 2005

Decision '05

While Richard talked about the politics of technology (in his blog on Friday), I thought I would look at the technology of politics; more specifically, the technology of broadcasting the election results last night. I think this example of elections/voting is a good illustration of how technology has changed so many aspects of society.
Firstly, the immediacy of results is a big advance on the ‘old days’ when the tedious mission of counting voting papers by hand took place. It wasn’t until several weeks later that counting was complete and results were aired. In today’s society we have come to rely on technology making things rapidly available. I must admit, the whole pen and paper thing to actually cast a vote seems a bit old-fashioned. But I guess more technological methods would incur risks of people screwing with results.
Secondly, I found the manner of televised results to be very well done. Last night I caught some of TV1’s coverage of “decision ‘05”. Their “virtual parliament” was clever, although I preferred Jeremy Wells (newsboy) and that other guy’s pool table demonstration. The constantly updated information across the bottom of the screen provided viewers with an immediate account of the percentage of votes counted for both party and local electorates, with cumulative results. The sense of liveness was apparent, and the screen layout (composed of several components) was comparable to a webpage.
The whole thing probably bored some to death, but it is refreshing to see the way technology can be applied in such a context as this.
-Shannon Doherty


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