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Indy Politics
Next week The Independent will join the World Wide Web for the first time, launching a general election web site jointly with Virgin.

Independent/Virgin Election `97 is a highly interactive site, intended, above all else, to encourage informed debate. It cuts through the mass of facts and figures that make up everyone else's election "coverage" on the web to expose the issues that really matter to intelligent discussion.

The site will go live at 6pm on Wednesday April 2.

At 7pm that day you will be able to debate with Andrew Marr, the paper's editor and a leading commentator on politics and the constitution, who will be in the chat room for two hours to talk about media coverage of the election. On Thursday evening between 7pm and 9pm you will be able to question and debate with John Rentoul, who is an Independent leader writer, and author of the leading biograpy of Tony Blair. John will be discussing Blair, where he comes from, what he really thinks, who he really is.

The site offers:

w Latest election news, including bulletins from the campaign front line

w New in-depth features every day, explaining the election issues, with the Independent's uniquely non-partisan viewpoint

w Opinionated columns to spark off debate

w A news and features archive, so that you can trace the devlopment of any breaking story

w A subject-indexed "Resource finder" pointing to a selection of the best explanatory articles, web-sites, downloadable information and discussion sites avaiblable on-line - as much as you need to know, but no more than you want to read

w A sophisticated plain-English search engine working across a selection of the best election-related web-sites and the news and feature content of the site

w A "Debating Chamber" - the heart of the site - which offers threaded discussion on a selection of election issues, and live chat sessions with guest speakers

w "The Big Issues" - an area for the debates that the politicians should be having, but aren't.

From Wednesday evening you can join us on the web at the following URL:

http://www.virgin.net/Independent97

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