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Candidates’ websites – October 2008

By johnboy - 15 October 2008 144

[First filed: October 13, 2008 @ 23:43]

Candidate websites are in decline.

Politicians seem to have realised that the web is hostile territory where people won’t always say what you want them to say. Much safer to stick to older school media where opinion can be safely bought and sold, to be ladled to the dwindling band of proles still receptive on their couches.

A minority of candidates, however, are still giving the interwebs a go.

I plugged the laptop into the tele and got my politically apathetic housemates to give their opinions of the various websites and, photography permitting, crumpet factor, of those who would rule over us for the next four long years.

For those unwilling to wade through the notes I can say it was an all Labor show.

Mary Porter has the best website by far. Adina Cirson (pictured) wins the crumpet factor, with Andrew Barr the only male to make the crumpet list (should have had a website Morgo).

Mike Hettinger also features with the ugliest website, possibly the ugliest website ever produced outside the educational sector.

Steve Doszpot

It has elegant design. And it’s well set out. But making text deliberately small is just silly.

A decent effort, but unremarkable.

Joy Burch

Unremarkable and dull, lacking in appeal. But she seems like a nice person.

Mick Gentleman

A housemate thinks he looks a little insane

As for the site the fonts are too busy and it looks like a blog. A plain blog.

John Hargreaves

When his picture came up the comment was “eahhh…”

But the site looks friendly, if a little empty.

Tracy Mackey

This page is super trendy with the centrepiece being a flash driven slideshow zapping gormless motherhood statements into your brain.

The problem is that periodically the same photo keeps flashing

It’s otherwise light on content.

Wayne Seivers

Wayne Sievers is a serious man, but perhaps the site could have benefitted from less photographs of him rather than more, because he’s no oil painting.

The use of hyper-emphasis which drops high level heading text into the middle of paragraphs was also not appreciated by the housemates who shrieked “STOP YELLING AT ME” at Wayne’s visage.

On the other hand he mentions RiotACT on the front page so he gets a plus mark.

The Motorists Party are too busy reminiscing about Pauline Hanson to do web pages. But we did have lots of giggles looking at their photos. William “Andrew” Simington always got a laugh when spirits were flagging.

Anyone want to speculate on why all the AMP candidates are men in white shirts? Hasn’t history shown us poor results when political movements wear uniforms?

The housemates wanted to know why they’re all so ugly?

Chris Bourke

The housemates quite liked the look of Chris Bourke saying he looks reasonable, with quite a pleasant face.

The website on the other hand is dull, sparse, with not much to it.

Adina Cirson

According to her website Adina is “one of us”

Which made us wonder what if God was one of us?

And is she trying to hide being an alien?

The site has far too many colours. They clash. And the whole thing is not pleasant to look at.

In a rare break with convention the candidate appears to be the child standing next to the grownups, and is not the focus of the pictures.

Mary Porter

This is a very pleasant, very well laid out website.

By far the best on offer for any candidate. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what ails a site but this one is rolled gold.

Roger Nicoll

An ugly and disinterested site with mixed fonts and motherhood statements heavy, everything else light.

Jacqui Myers

Like Adina, Jacqui claims to be “one of us” with all the slightly creepy overtones entailled.

While not making the crumpet list she was considered to have a reasonably pleasant face.

Nothing too exciting about the site but no complaints.

Andrea Tokaji

Andrea has a myspace page with all the ugliness that entails.

She also proves that scans of campaign literature don’t work on the web.

And she scored as crumpet.

Matthew Watts

Mismatched fonts, and bad proportions were balanced by a link to RiotACT on the front page.

Matt on his soapbox did not impress. Although he was accused of looking at one of the housemates “funny” one night in the Pot Belly. Make of that what you will.

Harold Hird

Blurg.

Egocentric and yet with nothing on it other than the colour green, buttons and a photo.

It says “Hello, and welcome to my web site,” welcome to 1995.

And how many fonts do you need? Three? Four different fonts?

Mark Parton

It’s generally considered to be one of the better sites, and it didn’t make anyone’s eyeballs hurt.

Adam Verwey

Adam was considered to be possible crumpet, but with insufficient detail in the photo no verdict could be reached.

The site design was considered harmless if slightly amateur.

Darren Churchill

Popups everwhere!!!!! Nowhere is safe to mouse!

We thought it had the same picture over and over but down the bottom there lurked a new one.

Andrew Barr

The only male crumpet in the pack the website also rated well with the layout especially pleasing.

Eleanor Bates

Housemates wanted to know why is her neck the same size as her head?

It’s dull, but well set out and she rated as Semi-crumpet

Simon Corbell

“Our city is under a tack!”

This site bugged me so much.

So very much effort has gone into annoying the user.

It changed the mouse cursor to something blue. “Give me back my mouse bitches!” shrieked the housemates.

And if you have sound turned on it makes a HORRID HORRID noise – like a coin on glass – when mousing over the menu buttons. Why go to that much effort to upset visitors?

The big red tack stabbing into Canberra was thought to be a positive, distracting from Simon’s zombie like visage,

After some debate zombies were prefered to giant tacks.

Katy Gallagher

Despite a staggeringly dorky “Welcome to my new website!” message Katy scored as crumpet.

The site also featured far too much red text. But was otherwise workmanlike.

Mike Hettinger

“OH MY GOD” we all screamed.

“MAKE IT GO AWAY” followed forthwith.

Then we all fell around laughing for some time.

The housemates decided that young Mike was crumpet in his USAF uniform. Current Mike less so.

Outside of the education sector it’s possibly the ugliest website ever made.

David Matthews

David’s eyebrows were thought to be on the scary side.

But on the plus we were able to find his page even though he shares a name with a rock star.

The website cunningly matches his grey suit and hair.

But it was thought he needs more information on the front page, and less begging.

Norvan Vogt

“welcome to my little part of Cyberspace” was not a winning message with the housemates.

Now was two shades of orange for communicating. And not much to communicate.

Elena Kirschbaum

Another Myspace page, and one of the more elegant ones out there.

Elena’s reputation of emo-hate had preceded her and the housemates were not pleased.

“I think the reason she hates emos is they’re so much more beautiful than her,” said one.

“It’s time to grow up and get a real website,” said another.

It also features leftover senate campaign information and puts her a year younger than her profile data suggests.

Belinda Barnier

“She looks like she’d be a nice mum,” was the verdict.

A good looking site at the top of the page, down the bottom it looks like her kids have been trying to help out.

Red buttons with bevelled edges and mismatched fonts urgh. Ticker blech.

But there’s some nice use of themes with imagery.

Jacqui Burke

“It is a pleasure to welcome you to my homepage,” is the opening piece of patronisation.

On the site there’s very little to indicate she’s a Liberal.

It makes nice use of simple points and benefits from a well thought out soft palette.

Definitely one of the better ones.

Jeremy Hanson

This site is a triumph of style over substance.

It plays up his Army links but features such comedy boxes as:

    “Upcoming Event
    No Upcoming Event”

It also starts an auto-load of video which is a great way to seriously annoy visitors.

Gary Kent

Grey text on white, with a grey background.

The site makes a point of flogging opportunities to help him, and fourteen mentions of the word “Gary”

Greg Tannahill

It’s a default template blogspot blog, hasn’t been updated since August.

It screams “I wish I’d never let them talk me into doing this”.

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, but frankly if you can’t get your site into the first couple of pages of google results you’re just not trying very hard.

What’s Your opinion?


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144 Responses to
Candidates’ websites – October 2008
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mutley 4:57 pm 15 Oct 08

The public will vote for an ugly man with good policies before they vote for a ugly woman with good policies.

Deb Foskey didn’t even have good policies. how do you explain that one?

johnboy 4:52 pm 15 Oct 08

Loquaciousness said :

That, right there, is inequality at its best (or worst).

L

But that was not an inequality being perpetrated here.

So get off my back.

If you think that people aren’t more receptive to messages from people they find attractive you’re insane.

And it ain’t sexism.

jakez 4:50 pm 15 Oct 08

whitelaughter said :

Another website:
Barry Smith (ginninderra) http://www.barrysmith.bigpondhosting.com/

right to use lethal force to defend your home stood out. I’d guess basic libertarian.

He seems to have a lot of libertarian leanings. I have problems with some of his policies though.

I think there is a correlation with some libertarian policy outcomes but he has a different philosophical starting point.

If I was In Ginninderra, he’d probably be somewhere in the top 7.

Loquaciousness 4:48 pm 15 Oct 08

deezagood said :

The expression MILF is definitely crude/crass, but in terms of intent and ‘denigration’ is it any better or worse than the than the term ‘crumpet factor’ mentioned in the original post?

My point exactly.

deezagood said :

And if we are honest, a candidate’s appearance can influence their overall likeability and how they are perceived by the voting public.

A candidate’s appearance (for either gender) changes perception – that’s true, but not to the same extent. The public will vote for an ugly man with good policies before they vote for a ugly woman with good policies. Similarly, an attractive woman can have any policies she likes and will get votes based on looks alone.

That, right there, is inequality at its best (or worst).

L

deezagood 4:48 pm 15 Oct 08

Absolutely jakez.

Skidbladnir 4:47 pm 15 Oct 08

If it makes you feel better, worse, or otherwise…
Johnboy did at one point have a go at Norvan in this photo for looking “like he has downs syndrome”.

Make of that what you will, but personally I prefer having a site editor who is human and willing to have (and change) an opinion, instead of one who is closer to Sir Les Patterson.

jakez 4:44 pm 15 Oct 08

Skidbladnir said :

I had a wiki link to the relatively inoffensive MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) of the Phillipines…

But I pity their victims, as having an obituary of “laid to rest in Manila Cemetary after being tortured for three weeks by the MILF” is probably not the best thing to be remembered for.

Relatively inoffensive? My future mother in law will never see her sisters again because it is too dangerous for her to return to Mindanao. I’m generally supportive of secessionist movements and I have no illusions as to the virtue of the Government of the Philippines, but these people are truly horrible.

I think rape and murder are more offensive than sexual attraction.

Loquaciousness 4:44 pm 15 Oct 08

johnboy said :

L we rated both men and women on crumpet factor.

Shallow, perhaps.

Sexist no.

And shouldn’t the women rejoice that so many more women were judged attractive than the men?

The MILF thing was distasteful however. I’d suggest you pass judgment on those commenters individually.

I don’t care whether you rated men as well as women – sexism goes both ways. For starters – there’s a giant picture of the woman rated with the best “crumpet factor” (no other pictures, no mention of who else was rated). And it’s not terribly surprising that you would rate all the women ahead of the one or two men. A male acquaintance of mine used to have a saying “I haven’t seen an attractive man yet”. Men don’t need to be attractive in order to be considered good at their job, a standard which is sadly lacking for women.

Saying that women should somehow be grateful that you have deigned to rate them as attractive is demeaning, rude and at the very nub of the point I’m trying to make. It makes my blood boil.

If you’re going to talk the talk, start walking the walk.

L

jimbocool 4:41 pm 15 Oct 08

Hey, how about that, the offending #81 has been removed – obviously not partisan whining then…

deezagood 4:41 pm 15 Oct 08

The expression MILF is definitely crude/crass, but in terms of intent and ‘denigration’ is it any better or worse than the than the term ‘crumpet factor’ mentioned in the original post? Why didn’t ‘crumpet factor’ enrage maryhow? Or our swooning over the meticulous, well-planned Jeremy? I think this thread, with all of its blatant sexism from both sides of the gender fence has been great fun .. especially Granny’s lovelorn diatribe … ‘an ode to Jeremy’. And if we are honest, a candidate’s appearance can influence their overall likeability and how they are perceived by the voting public.

johnboy 4:40 pm 15 Oct 08

And someone drew attention to it.

Use the contact form you imbecile.

It’s gone now, any further debate on this will see the commenter in moderation.

politikos 4:37 pm 15 Oct 08

Very sorry about your niece. We all have different experiences I suppose. You’re entitled to your view, but so am I. The women I’ve known with anorexia haven’t had any such experiences to warp their body image perception – it’s been about other personal issues affecting their psychology. The only person telling them they weren’t thin enough was themselves. Anyway, that’s my experience. And, yes, I agree, we are all worth way more than who we are on the outside, but not just women, men too.

Aurelius 4:35 pm 15 Oct 08

jimbocool said :

Hello – someone has just been grossly defamed by being called a paedophile – I’m not whining just pointing out that if it were Richard Mulcahy sullied thus you’d be pulling that comment down pretty quickly.

Or Elena Kirschbaum…..

jimbocool 4:34 pm 15 Oct 08

Hello – someone has just been grossly defamed by being called a paedophile – I’m not whining just pointing out that if it were Richard Mulcahy sullied thus you’d be pulling that comment down pretty quickly.

johnboy 4:32 pm 15 Oct 08

jimbocool said :

Um, Mods, you might want to take a look at #81 – line crossed there!
Otherwise Vote 1 Barry Smith, that guy rocks

Stop whining.

Most readers will read it as the partisan desperation it obviously was.

johnboy 4:30 pm 15 Oct 08

L we rated both men and women on crumpet factor.

Shallow, perhaps.

Sexist no.

And shouldn’t the women rejoice that so many more women were judged attractive than the men?

The MILF thing was distasteful however. I’d suggest you pass judgment on those commenters individually.

jimbocool 4:30 pm 15 Oct 08

Um, Mods, you might want to take a look at #81 – line crossed there!
Otherwise Vote 1 Barry Smith, that guy rocks

Granny 4:25 pm 15 Oct 08

I’m sorry politikos, but my beautiful niece descended into a nightmare of anorexia and death because of one creep who thought she wasn’t thin enough.

She was way too good for him, but I guess by the time she may have realised that the damage was done.

My girlfriends never put pressure on me. I love women. I think we are worth way more than who we are on the outside.

politikos 4:19 pm 15 Oct 08

Granny said :

You know I still remember vividly the pain and humiliation of boarding a bus when I was only fifteen only to have some guy rate me really low in front of everybody. Was he beautiful? Was he a ’10’? Was he God’s gift to women? Hell, no. But he assumed he had the right to sit there and pronounce judgment on my physical appearance. Actually, you don’t. Women have enough pressure to be perfect. Leave us the hell alone.

Yeah, I know what you mean Granny – I’ve had the same sort of experiences. Men can be prats. But so can women, and if anyone should take the blame for putting pressure on women to be perfect, it should be women. I’ve felt more pressure from other women to be thin, beautiful, clever, etc. than I ever have from men. Crude and rude comments from louts are few and far between and don’t really matter. But when your friends put you under pressure, now that has impact. Anyway, we live in a world where most of have eyes and use them, and I think men have every right to make an evaluation of a woman’s appearance. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t. I’d prefer them to communicate this in a positive and respectful manner, obviously, but I’m not about to suggest they shouldn’t look and think. And it goes both ways – I’ve heard women say some pretty crude things about men’s appearances too. In short, I think people need to be a bit more relaxed about the whole thing. Seems to me that it’s women putting pressure on themselves more than anything else!

Loquaciousness 4:15 pm 15 Oct 08

Hold on. “Crumpet factor”??? What the hell is going on here JB?

Since when did “crumpet factor” have any bearing whatsoever on a candidate’s ability to do their job?? Attack the beauty (or otherwise) of the websites. Don’t stoop to attacking the beauty (or otherwise) of the candidates.

Might I point out two links …

From 30 July:

Apologies for any offence.

It’s not something we’re planning on doing on a regular basis.

And from 3 October:

Ladies it’s always going to be a journey rather than a destination.

And simply because I haven’t gone in and purged comments on a past discussion (over 9,000 of them and I was away for 18 months) does not mean I’m happy with the way things came out.

Having said that I thank you for sticking around and doubly so those of you who point out when they’ve been offended, we can’t move forward without that feedback.

So thanks, it’s something I’m working on, and I appreciate any help you can give.

Your apologies are starting to sound very hollow.

L

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