July 25th, 2007
The Ontario PC Party main website is in every respect a state-of-the-art campaign site. Yet it reveals the tensions always present among the three pillars of an election campaign: the leader, the platform, and the party. Finally, notice that several websites are involved.
The home page has a bold header, a picture of John Tory and his slogan “I want a better Ontario” superimposed on random Ontario images (farms, forests, lakes, the Toronto skyline). The centre column links to the platform (“A Plan for the Future”) and then to Tory’s video-blog. The right column has options for involvement – donate, join, volunteer, and attend – and profiles candidates. The left column has media and policy updates. Unlike the NDP’s, it’s clear that this website is about winning the October 10 election.
In the upper right corner is a link to leadershipmatters.ca, Tory’s website for the technorati, containing his blog, feedback from voters, links to his sites on YouTube and Facebook, and a competition among volunteers to recruit friends, send letters, etc. The party has at least one one-issue site, savethetrillum.ca, devoted to a critique the McGuinty Government’s rebranding of the floral emblem.
The main site is somewhat better than the NDP’s for French presence – at least the entire platform is available en francais – and disability-friendliness, having the capacity to increase font size.
Looking at the three pillars of campaigning, leader John Tory is most visible, followed by the platform, then by the party. The problem with the platform is that it is a grab-bag of promises, and the website lists policy updates on 13 – count