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Friday, April 22, 2005

Suze and Politics Part 5: The Political Party Websites

Here is a list of the NZ Political Party websites. If a party does not have a website then they are not worth voting for. If a party does have a website and I couldn't find it quickly and easily, then they are not worth voting for. Some of those with websites are probably not worth voting for either.

To keep myself amused I will give each party a rating according to the website (and overall "image") that pleases me the most. I will ignore the actual content...although I expect there to be content. Hmmm... perhaps later on I can develop a formula to calculate who to vote for based on several factors.

Note: here is the official list of currently registered political parties.

Labour (www.labour.org.nz)
Not pretty. But not as ugly as the National website IMO. It's an OK design, although I don't really like their logo. All the information seems to be in relatively sensible places, which is good.
One thing I really like about the Labour website is that it has a text only version. That is a very good thing.

Rating: 6/10

National (www.national.org.nz)
F*$ck$#ng National website!!!

First of all I was put off by the relatively ugly logo and design. Not good, but then I didn't exactly expect to be blown away. The design did fit in with the conservative image I have of National. I can live with ugly designs if the content is good. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case.

What irritated me immensely was not being able to find any policy documents. Sure, they have a general philosophy statement and speeches, and media releases, but in each policy section they have an email link saying "Give us your views on [insert policy] Policy". I don't want to tell them my views!!! I want to know what their views are. And I want them to tell me in a format designed for easy reading and digesting. Ideally in concise point form. I don't want to have to read through speeches and media releases and figure it out myself. Ughhh!!!! Not impressed. Maybe the information is somewhere, but if I can't find it, then it is in the wrong place.

Rating: 2/10 (I admit this rating is biased. It is highly influenced by my extreme annoyance at not being able to find policy statements/documents. Other party's may be worse, but it's not like I am seriously considering voting for them. National is one of the two major parties. I should know, or be able to find out, what they stand for.).

ACT (www.act.org.nz)
Ugly! Ugly! Ugly! Disgusting colours and logo. It looks like one of those cheap websites that has paid advertising. All those boxes look like ads, not links to actual ACT information. Yuck! It is so ugly that I do't really want to spend any time there.

However, it does have all the information I am after, which is more important than looking pretty. Just.

Rating: 3/10

The Green Party (www.greens.org.nz)
Unfortunately someone other than the Green Party seems to have parked www.green.org.nz which is what I typed in my first attempt to find their website. That didn't put me in a good mood. Fortunately their website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. A lovely green design. So pretty! And they have a blog (frogblog) which seems to be similarly well-designed and written.

I could find the information I was interested in (ie their philosophy and policies).

Rating: 8/10

New Zealand First (www.nzfirst.org.nz)
Too many pictures of Winston, which is quite off-putting! All the information seems to be there and easy to find.

Rating: 5/10

United Future (www.unitedfutureparty.org.nz)
Takes too long to load. I don't like boxes flying in from the side. It is too powerpoint (a bad thing). Aesthetically it is quite nice...but only if you keep your mouse still and don't click on anything. Once you start moving and clicking there are annoying mouse-overs and more animation and ENFORCED SCROLLING that seems deliberate (yuck!!!).

The information seems to be there but I am too annoyed to look carefully. Anyway it's not like I really need to bother reading anything. The day I vote United Future is the day...you can pick your cliche now...pigs, hell, blah blah...

Or am I being too judgemental? I don't actually know anything about United Future. For all I know they could be the ideal Suze Political Party.

Rating: 5/10

Destiny NZ (www.destinynz.org.nz)
Another one that takes too long to load! This time it's probably because of the pretty (unnecessary) pictures. It is an attractive design though and all the information is there and there aren't any boxes flying from the side of the screen and there aren't any buttons changing shape....so I guess it's really just the slowness that annoys me.

Rating: 7/10

Libeterianz (www.libertarianz.org.nz)
OK. Not ugly ugly. Information is very easy to find. Not too slow (but definitely not speedy. But I don't really like the logo. The Statue of Liberty??? Ummm. Yeah.

Rating: 7/10

Maori Party (www.maoriparty.com)
Hmmm. A com domain, not an org like everyone else. I wonder why.

Beautiful logo! Annoying flashing text. Otherwise an OK design.

I don't think they have any policies. I know they have aims. I know they have rules. Like National they have lots of information I am not interested in. Like National I can't find what I am interested in. They also have a very strange way of structuring the information.

Rating: 4/10 (I really like the logo)

Progressive Party (www.progressive.org.nz)
I'm bored now. Amusement waning. No more writing. Just ratings.

Rating: 5.5/10 (I wonder if whole numbers would be a better idea? Oh well)

Outdoor Recreation NZ (www.outdoorrecreation.co.nz)

Rating: 3/10 (I may not have been entirely consistent with these ratings. I think the ACT website is better, but like I said, I'm bored with this now)

Democrats (www.democrats.org.nz)

Rating: __ (Now I am really bored and can't be bothered rating anything else. I might fill these in later.)

Christian HeritageNZ (www.chp.org.nz)

Rating: __

Alliance (www.alliance.org.nz)

Rating: __

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (www.alcp.org.nz)

Rating: __

OneNZ Party (www.onenzparty.co.nz)

Rating: __

yes it's amazing how many parties just don't get the web. That united future site is terrible, it looks like a website from 1998.
I guess those parties represent people who don't get the web.

Judging a political party on its website may not the best idea, but I don't think it is the worst idea either. It's certainly easier than reading stuff.
FWIW I noticed a couple of weeks ago that National's policy has not been clearly placed on their website, and mentioned it to the powers that be. I am informed that it will all be up in the very near future.
Ah good! That should be interesting.
Thanks David. FWIW, I noticed Labour had some of their policies up on the website, and when I informed the powers that be, they promised to take it down as quickly as possible and replace it with something a bit more airy-fairy.
please be gentle with the Alliance website if you get around to it - we are all volunteers (and the party has little money for the website, if any) and none of us particularly web-literate!
I really should get around to browsing the other websites, if not rating them.

Are you involved in the Alliance site?

I just had a quick (20 sec)look and a) it is not ugly, b) it doen't have strange distractions, and c) I can find information easliy. Yay! I like it already :-) I imagine I would give it 6-8.

it is interesting that I like it better than most of the other sites, who probably have bigger budgets.

Thanks for the comment. I'd completely forgotten about the Alliance. Yesterday I was despairing at the lack of voting options. Maybe the Alliance is an option...

I should probably also do something about my comments because this will be buried :)
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