What is the Most Important Viewpoint Held by Each Political Party
I’ve seen people analyzing Barack vs. Hillary’s websites, touting that the former uses soft gradients and rounded icons and that means that he appeals to a youthful progressive core while the latter utilizes traditional navigation bars and fonts and is therefore courting a more moderate Democrat. And to such immaculately ridiculous marketing analysis I can only say that advertising to that degree only works on two people: the foolish and those who desire to be fooled. But while I don’t believe that things like rounded corners or using light blue vs. dark blue is enough to sway the intelligent-enough voter, I do believe that a political party’s website is very much indicative of their party’s entire position.
So I thought I’d take a gander at the main political parties (of which I consider the Dems, Republicans to be, of course, but also Libertarians, for their inspirational name, and the Green Party, because how often do you get hippies with combovers and full suits?) websites and see what issues are the most important to them.
To clarify, I’ll determine what the most important aspects of each party are by viewing their website’s homepage. The theory is that whatever the most important aspect of an organization is, that’s the one you’d make most prominent on your website. If you didn’t, you either have a basic lack of marketing that will crush you in the campaigns, or you don’t see the Web as a viable means of communication, in which case you’ll still be playing kick the can with the rest of your out-of-work party mates. So to put it more simply, whatever the most blaring, obviously primary piece of content is on the homepage will determine how I judge these parties, for all time. Oh, and splash pages don’t count, but more on that tomorrow.
- Republicans. The most prominent piece of content on the GOP’s site is a slideshow which contains 5 messages. Here is a summation of each.
- The first pits Barack and Obama against General Petraeus and asks whether or not they will listen to his suggestions.
- The next is titled “Politics vs. Petraeus” and links to a video.
- The third mentions McCain’s address to the VFW.
- Fourth is a picture of Obama with the headline “This Week in Hypocrisy”
- The final notifies users that John McCain has several new web ads which are now available for viewing.
- The Democrats have a more singular focus: attack McCain. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the black and white photography over red and yellow colors, a throwback to old communist style propoganda imagery.
- Libertarians. This website focuses almost exclusively on promoting the party and has almost no mention of slander to any other party. The main bit of content links to a page which allows you to donate or join the party. They even use a nice little graphic of a welcome mat to help you rest assured. 🙂
- The Green Party shows an image of how the government is spending money and a picture of a California candidate running for the US House of Representatives.
I tried to present that information without bias, please forgive me if you don’t consider that task to have been successful on my part, certainly it’s difficult to express fact when one has an opinion. That said, continuing to attempt a non-partisan viewpoint, I think the following could easily be extracted from this information.
The Republicans are focusing primarily on war, then equally distributing attention to attacking the Democrats and promoting McCain. The Democrats are attacking McCain. At least between the two of them, the Republicans bothered to put some statement of their issues out there, whereas the Democrats simply resorted to useless mudslinging.
The Libertarians could’ve really won me over had they provided information on their position, rather than simply throwing a tagline out there and asking me to sign up. Only the Green Party showed any promise, having actually put the emphasis on what they’re trying to do.
I only wish all of the parties would direct their focus on telling us what they’re going to do rather than what their opponents aren’t going to do. Yet another reason I love the Barack site, you can read his entire plan with one click.
Up Next: Building Your Own Political Party