There's been enough hot air generated over the election campaign to power a data centre for a year but now the debating is over what do the main parties promise for the technology industry.

There's certainly been plenty of input from various companies who have used technology to try to predict the results. A company called Kapow Technology has been trying to predict the results based on social media activity, predicting that that the buzz around Twitter and other sites suggested a Conservative win - which is not exactly the most daring suggestion ever. I'm sure I could have done the same without recourse to any statistics.

As for the parties themselves, for the first time they've As I've commented before, Labour has been very poor  with the their technological plans. The resistance to open source, the Digital Economy Act, the overblown, the lack of universal broadband, and ill-thought IT projects have all exposed the paucity of the Labour government's thinking when it comes to IT.

What's most galling about the failure of the New Labour project has been the way that the government has coincided with the rise of the Internet and the commercial use of the web, the government has squandered a perfect opportunity to embrace technology and use it for the benefit of everybody.

Are the Tories going to be any better. The simple answer is that they can't be any worse, the party is making the right noises about open source software, about bringing small and medium-sized companies to the party and about curtailing major IT projects. Both parties are talking about the importance of encouraging technological companies but neither seems to have much idea as to how do it.

Disappointingly, the Liberal Democrat party has shied away from any commitment or examination of technology. The rising interest in the party has led to closer examination of their policies and that's not been good news for anyone interested in IT.

So, if we want to have a look at how IT is going to look under a new government, we'd need to look elsewhere for inspiration. Perhaps the most thoughtful contribution has been from Jerry Fishenden, one of the authors of the crowd-sourced public sector IT manifesto. His thoughts on public sector IT are thought-provoking. Some of his proposals, such as the cancellation of IT projects and support for smaller businesses are on the Tory manifesto, others such as the integration of tax and welfare, a standard online identity and simplification of tax processes are not.

It got me thinking about other ways in which the parties have failed to use technology to solve particular issues. Take transport for example? Could the government have implemented a road pricing system to replace the rather crude congestion charge, offsetting the cost to motorists by reducing fuel tax? Could the government have tweaked the tax system to encourage home working? Could we have implemented the national car-sharing scheme that Germany has implemented so successfully?

Or on climate change: could the government have mandated power management throughout public buildings? how could it encourage more efficient data centres?

How could citizens be more engaged with their local authorities and their environment? Could there be more up-to-date information of road congestion, train cancellations, weather incidents? I'm surer there are many more: the point is that governments and potential governments haven't begun to explore the possibilities thrown up by the Internet and other technologies.

Whoever wins tonight, I hope that the incoming government takes a good look as to how IT can help change the face of the country, industry, and our lives.



Follow Maxwell on Twitter @maxcooter