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Oz greenies rattle politico cage with robocalls

Automate this, Gillard

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Young, right-on greenies in Oz have set up a website for voters to send an automated telephone message to their local MPs.

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) deployed so-called “robocalls” to take revenge on politicians, according to a report on ABC News.

Former Aussie prime minister John Howard debuted the calls in his 2004 election campaign, since when the messages have become standard use by politicos in the country looking to win votes from become extremely unpopular with the electorate.

For those El Reg readers not familiar with the robocalls phenomenon, the Urban Dictionary website offers a useful description:

A form of cluetrain-ignorant marketing in which an organisation, often a political campaign, uses a machine to dial your phone number and leave a pre-recorded message, deliberately wasting your time and subjecting you to a dehumanising experience in order to save the organisation time and money. ‘My representative doesn't let people send her personal emails without going through her website, but she loves to bombard the district with robocalls’.

Annoying, eh? Well, now AYCC is encouraging voters to send messages to their local MPs.

"It's about connecting young people with their politician in a really easy way," the group’s head Amanda McKenzie told ABC News.

"Young people have been a bit sick of hearing the spin on climate change, so this is a great way for them, a message for their politician about what they think."

She claimed that more than 1,500 people had already used AYCC’s online robocalls tool.

"We have 53,000 young members who are very concerned about climate change and are very concerned there's not a comprehensive policy plan on the table from the major parties," she said.

"So this is about also conveying the frustration of our members and other young people that want to get involved and their concerns."

Oz voters go to the polls on 21 August. There's currently a cigarette paper between the incumbent Labor party under PM Julia Gillard and the Liberal-National coalition.

Immigration, rather than environmental issues, is dominating the election campaign. ®

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