Monday, May 11, 2009

PC Leadership Websites: A Randy Site





Tagline: "A Conservative Leader for a Conservative Party" and "Common Sense Solutions That Help Ordinary Ontarians"

Unofficial Tagline: "A Conservative Leader for those of you who think Mike Harris was too much of a pinko commie"


Image: Randy is rockin' the suspenders.

The Basics: The basics are all there on the front page for everyone to see, with the emphasis being put on policy, and on signing up new members. Hillier's been good about sending out e-mail updates since I joined his list and, because of that, I'd try and feature the e-mail sign-up a bit more prominently if I were them.

Web 2.0: While Hillier does the basics well, there's not much else here. Sure, there's audio, but the site is thin on video, with a rather dull youtube channel. He has the mandatory web 2.0 links, but hasn't been putting much effort into them, with only 185 supporters on facebook.

Visuals: The man is clearly an Eifel 65 fan, and the website suffers because of it. Still, Hillier does make good use of the space above the fold on the main page and the sub-pages on the site are a bit easier on the eyes.

Meet Randy: Randy Hillier doesn’t beat around the bush. He’s a Conservative, so his slogan is “A Conservative Leader For A Conservative Party”, and his site is so blue it will hurt your eyes. He wants the votes of rural Ontarians so he wears suspenders in his picture. He wants to build on the Harris nostalgia, so he’s proposing “common sense solutions”.

Policy: In my mind, Hillier has used policy better than any leadership campaign I have ever seen. Rather than weighing in with a lengthy platform full of platitudes, Hillier has 10 specific “common sense” policies on three themes - Freedom, Justice, and Democracy. The policies are perfectly targeted to his core demographic, they have catchy headlines, and he explains them in simple terms. He’ll let beer be sold at corner stores. He’ll bring in Senate elections. He’ll overturn the pesticide ban. These aren’t promises to increase funding or set up commissions, they’re things people can understand and relate to.

Are you a SoCon? Well, he has policies on gay marriage and the human rights commission for you. Are you a pit bull owner? Enjoy the occasional bear hunt? Well, this guy is your man.

As much as I disagree with almost every policy he proposes, leadership candidates and political parties could learn a thing or two from Randy Hillier.

Alexa Rank: Lower than Hudak and Elliott, but people are spending more time on Hillier's site per visit. He's also managed to drive a bit of traffic to the site through google searches on human rights commission issues, which shows his policy focus may be working.

Rating: It’s a well-designed site, with good content and weak visuals. Add it all up, and I give it a 7 out of 10.

Can he win? No, but from my vantage point (which admittedly is way outside the Ontario PC circle), he won't do worse than a strong third. Which means, for better or worse, Randy Hillier is a real force to be reckoned with in the Ontario PC Party.

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