While this weekend's Green Party convention 'Towards a Green New Deal' harkens back to America's Depression-era stimulus programme, the party announced today it is going to avail itself of some 21st century political tools.

The Greens have become the first political party to sign up with a new web service that intends to harness Barack Obama-style tools for campaigning.

Opening his party's convention in Wexford tonight, leader John Gormley said the Government faces some of the most difficult choices ever made in this country on reducing spending and increasing revenues.

He added those decisions were absolutely necessary so the country can have a viable and sustainable financial future.

Click here for a full schedule of the convention

The Minister for the Environment vowed to use his party's position in Government to banish what he called light-touch financial regulation and the reckless profit-driven bank system it fostered.

Mr Gormley said the Green Party would ensure reform of our planning laws to put the interests of people, and not developers, first.

The Obama Effect

The Green Party is teaming up with MiCandidate, a new Irish-based web service that gives parties and candidates access to online fundraising and organising tools for the 2009 Local and European elections.

'MiCandidate will provide our election candidates and our party with some of the same tools used so successfully by President Obama's campaign to engage with, inform and motivate supporters and voters,' Mr Gormley said.

MiCandidate, which will feature more than 10,000 local and European candidate profiles from 27 countries, is due to launch in early April.

While all candidates will have a basic profile, they can upgrade to MiCandidate's enhanced package with the campaigning tools.

Founder Patrick Cosgrave says MiCandidate is close to making a deal with other major Irish and European parties for their enhanced version.

Last week, Fianna Fáil re-launched its website with the help of Obama campaign veteran Joe Rospars from the US firm Blue State Digital.