The great political website debate

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Saskatchewan Party vs. Saskatchewan New Democratic Party

Jonathan Petrychyn
A&C Editor

As an apathetic student, you probably don’t have time to read the entire platforms of the two main political parties, the Saskatchewan Party and the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party. Most likely, you’re going to go to the websites and vote based on whoever’s website made the best impression. Here’s a breakdown of the party websites, and how well each party fares on five arbitrarily chosen categories:

Aesthetic Pleasure

Hands down, the Saskatchewan Party has the most aesthetically pleasing page. The green and gold on white is less assaulting that the orange and green of the Saskatchewan NDP. I don’t know much about colour theory, but orange and green can’t be nice together.

Winner: Saskatchewan Party

Donation Pages

Who wants to be assaulted by large donation pleas when going onto the website? If you assault me with a donation pop up, I’m not going to vote for you. Sorry NDP, you lose again.

Winner: Saskatchewan Party

Leader Photos

I get it: the leader is the face of the party. But when you have four images of Link on your homepage, I’m a little concerned. That being said, the Saskatchewan Party has Brad Wall integrated right into the logo, selling the leader as the brand – so I’m not quite sure who’s more at fault here.

Winner: Tie

Amount of Information

The Saskatchewan Party has a lot of pomp and flash. It’s pretty, and there are lots of videos and pictures. But when it comes to hard facts, there’s almost nothing. What is the Saskatchewan Party’s position on the economy? How do they feel about women? I don’t know, because there isn’t anything about their values readily available. The Saskatchewan NDP has whole web pages devoted to what they stand for on issues like the economy, women, and the queer community. Good show, Link.

Winner: NDP

Usability

But, really, it doesn’t matter if you have any information if you can’t find it.  The Saskatchewan Party’s interface is simpler, but that means that if I want to find information about their stance on the economy, it requires me to click on almost every link. The NDP’s page is kind of clunky and a bit Web 2.0, but I can find things about the party with ease. It’s a hard balance, and neither page really makes it easy for me to learn about them, but the edge goes to the NDP.

Winner: NDP

Final Score: Sask Party 2, NDP 2, Tied 1.

Although the Saskatchewan Party has a nicer website, the NDP’s is a bit easier to use and has more meat on its bones. If you’re really going to vote for someone based solely on their website, the edge has to go the Saskatchewan Party because it really just looks a lot nicer. The Saskatchewan Party website leaves a good first impression, which in politics, is sometimes all that counts.

UPDATE (11:30AM, 10/20/11): The NDP rolled out a website redesign this morning, pushing it away from the Web 2.0 aesthetics of its predecessor, and into a more modern design similar to the Saskatchewan Party's design. It doesn't attack you with a donation pop up now, but it does have Link's head integrated into the header in a similar fashion to the Saskatchewan Party website, which doesn't gain them any points. Based on the changes to the website, I would have to give the edge now to the NDP. They managed to address the issues I had with the website even before we went to publication: it's cleaner, nicer on the eyes, and doesn't have five imagines of Link on the homepage anymore. 

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