It's election time here in Bedford, and the race seems to be a little more, ah, contested than usual. Which is to say that it looks like there are more candidates than positions. So hey, we're seeing some campaigning! Some of it is being done along traditional lines—front-yard signs, operatives going door-to-door—but this year we've also seen an explosion of local politics into cyberspace. Yes, our humble candidates for local office are presenting their arguments to the whole wide world on the world wide web. So who has the best site?
The incumbent, Cathy Cordes, presents a solidly web 1.0 design. At first glance it appears underwhelming, but closer examination reveals strengths that demonstrate her campaigning acumen. The site has an attention-grabbing masthead that matches her other campaign material, it unambiguously announces the date of the election, and it features a list of Bedford residents who are proud to stand up and show their support, in solid Times New Roman, for Ms. Cordes.
Bill Moonan's site, on the other hand, is a bit more modern-looking, but rather curious is the absence of any title or even design in the masthead. Perhaps it's blankness is a sign of Mr. Moonan's willingness to be, like Paul, all things to all men. On the plus side, the site has tons of content for the curious voter to peruse.
Finally, there's, Robert Avakian. He's the outsider in this race, the one the political establishment doesn't want involved in town government, and he shows it with a sleek design featuring the catchy slogan, "Elect Robert Avakian for Political Office." Let's hear it for generic Google Sites templates! At least he has a relevant title tag, not to mention a totally sweet zooming-star-underline logo (though the designer in me positively cringes at the visible catch between the straight part of the underline and the beginning of the curve). There are some things I'm curious about, though; for example, the mysterious box on the front page of the site headed with the single cryptic word, "Why":
An independent voice who will be:
Hard on the issues and
Work with people to
Find Common Ground
"Why" indeed! Why the colon, why the line breaks, why the capital letters? Is it some sort of poem? An acrostic? A secret code to his supporters? What does "AHWF" really stand for?!
Actually, I don't really care about any of that. In his platform Mr. Avakian says he will "oppose unnecessary tax increases" and calls for a "moratorium on affordable housing". So he wants rich folks to keep their money and poor ones to stay the heck out of town. Alright, in a race with three candidates for two spots that's all I need to know!
Election is tomorrow, Bedford residents: see you at the polls!