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Party websites not ready for prime time

Already depressed about Canadian politics? Don’t follow the links in this post unless you want more reasons to emigrate to Paraguay.

At the end of a tectonic week in the country’s history, the federal parties’ websites are as disastrous as Stephane Dion’s video.

Let’s start with the Liberal site, with its soul-stirring graphic of the clock on the Peace Tower, and a link to a paralyzingly dull news release about the prorogation of Parliament.

Apart from a photo of Finance Minister Tom Flaherty, the only recognizable person on the home page is Justin Trudeau. A snapshot of his dad would have more impact. The headlines are all about the Liberals and the wicked Conservatives -- not about Canadians who might venture on the site looking for advice. Grade: D.

The NDP site at least talks about “Rallies for Change” (thank you, Barack Obama), and addresses visitors directly (“Be a part of it. Support the coalition.”). But the coalition link is dated December 1, and the only December 5 link is to Jack Layton’s statement about the three dead Canadian soldiers -- necessary, but not related to the struggle for power in Ottawa. Grade: C+.

As for the Conservatives’ website, it offers Harper smirking and Dion shrugging and Layton pointing -- over and over. Bonus graphic: Jacques Parizeau, whom most young Canadians have never heard of. Again, not a hint that Harper actually cares about anyone who turns up here. Grade: C-.

You don’t even need to be a French immersion grad to see that the Bloc Quebecois site is slicker than those of the anglophonies. Gilles Duceppe is clearly the guy in charge, he’s not smirking, and he’s got some news about the prorogation -- and about Monday’s Quebec provincial election. Grade: B-.

Not one of these sites deserves mention in the same breath with that of Barack Obama, which helped to raise $750 million as well as get him elected.

So which leader will have the sense to sack his communications team before Christmas and hire some 16-year-old who knows how to design a website and put some serious content into it?

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