An fun and usable interface to visualise and interrogate Australian Government parliamentary debates.
  • most frequently used terms by member in a bubble chart (coloured by term sentiment based on context)
  • Searchable interface for all digitised debates
  • Abbot vs Gillard top 10 terms as a monthly time serries from 2011 to today

Analysing data from the Hansard database.

This database has electronic records of parliamentary debates from 1998. By stripping out the text and allocating it to the person who said it, we can track a politician's opinions and passions throughout their political career.

So far there we have built a database and extracted a large amount of debate data which can then be filtered for people, date or language to more easily search and analyse a large number of debates simultaneously:

In addition we can analyse the type of language used by Politian’s and rank it on a scale from positive to negative as well as analysing the frequency in which they were said. This is shown through a bubble chart.

This would be useful for:

Journalists who want to reseach and analyse a particular issue, who need to find out what has been said about it over time and by who. It could be extended to allow easy search for quotes or statements, and to analyse the frequency of particular words said with their value connotations attached.

Future applications could be:

To develop a time scale, allowing the public to see both topics and trends in positive versus negative tone as the debate progresses.

Another application could be using a matrix to see which pairs of politicians frequently interact. This would likewise indicate which topics each politician normally speaks about, and if this matches their professional profile and portfolio.

By analysing their language you could also potentially link it to frequency of being reported. For example you could see whether taking an aggressive or negative tone in debate is rewarded by the press by increased coverage.


Team Name: 

Science, you monster

Team Bio: 

This group consists of Daniel, Lars, Olivia and Rhiana. Daniel and Lars currently work at as programmers at 99designs. Olivia knows Lars from University and works for Coffee Bean Software and teaches Computer Science at RMIT. Rhiana is married to Daniel, has studied statistics through Monash University and currently works in academic programs through Melbourne University.


  • Remote Participant
  • Melbourne

Team contributors