World Wide Web: 10 Best Sites of the Week

Article excerpt

As the election bears down on the undeserving British public like an out-of-control juggernaut on a snoozing hedgehog, it's time to check out web resources that will keep you informed and entertained during the silly season of vote-chasing. Slick and efficient, the website of the present incumbents of Number 10 Downing Street is uncannily like the government itself - and it's overall control of this site that everyone is after.

Thanks to the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, no election night count is complete without someone wearing a silly hat and polling 27 votes. As you might expect from a party whose joint leader is a cat, its website is a pretty laid-back affair, and is hardly urging members to return to their constituencies and prepare for government.

Then again, neither is this lot. While tactical anti-Tory voting will scupper any chance the Liberal Democrats ever had of becoming the second-biggest party in this election, they at least want to look like a competent player, an ambition which extends to this website. It doesn't violate you with visuals or stun you with statistics - it's just a welcome site, sitting quietly in the corner of cyberspace and being sensible, and currently putting the environment at the centre of the Liberal Democrats' agenda.

The Green Party is winning the battle of the websites, if nothing else. It's as thorough as their policies, with plenty of readable material on core values and manifestos for sustainable agriculture (never more relevant than in this general election). They even include a "full philosophical basis" for their ideas, which is often missing in British politics. And there's a no-frames version, to boot.

Number 10's present residents, the Labour Party, have kept it simple with their website, politely outlining their successes - as a job candidate might at interview - while trying not to sound too smug for fear of putting off the potential employers. In what some might say is a reversal of the way the party runs its offline operations, the site does not take a design-led approach, instead preferring content over style. …