Mind-boggling. The senior ranks of the Liberal Party know less about the internets and the series of tubes that carry it around the world than they knew about the detail of their own WorkChoices policies.
In fact, most of the Liberal Party's old timers don't even know what those boxes with TVs on their secretaries' desks are all about :
The Libs have apparently woken up to the fact that their online election campaign was beyond woeful and they are not digitally connecting with younger conservatives. Better late than
Christopher Pyne, Malcolm Turnbull and Joe Hockey were the only senior former Howard government ministers who could use a computer, a Liberal party source said.
The Liberal Party is preparing a major internet blitz to reinvigorate itself amid plunging membership and an ageing support base.
Senior party sources said the Coalition "failed abysmally" to fully recognise the importance of the internet during the 2007 federal election campaign, and that John Howard's stilted YouTube appearances did more harm than good.
"There was a complete cultural misunderstanding of the internet at headquarters," a senior insider said. "In lots of respects, Howard's YouTube appearances underlined the problem. They are supposed to be spontaneous chats - not sitting in a stuffy study giving a prepared speech."
The Liberal Party (those who know how to work a computer anyway) are apparently hoping to do some digital trumping on PM Rudd's 2020 summit.
In what could be the Liberal Party's answer to the Federal Government's 2020 summit, The Sun Herald has learnt that a new Liberal interactive online forum will be unveiled at the Victorian State Council meeting later this month.
The forum would allow members to have a "continuing online conversation" with party elders and to engage younger conservatives.
Members will be able to access chat rooms to discuss policy papers and key issues such as housing affordability, the environment, national security and tax.
Liberal federal president Alan Stockdale said a similar idea was being explored at the national level.
Christopher Pyne, one of the few senior Liberals who know how to use a computer, says his party must work some magic over the internet if they want to become 'a modern political party.'
Mandatory computer and internet training for the offline Liberals will become a priority.
"The difference is between grudgingly accepting the internet and embracing it as a real campaign tool; I'm confident the party is now moving to embrace it," he said.
Grudgingly accepting the internet? Millions of young and old Australians now spend more time online at home than they do watching TV or listening to the radio and they're in the process of "grudgingly" accepting it?Expect a spam mail in your inbox soon inviting you to watch Brendan Nelson working on his motorbike and practising his guitar playing live on webcam.