Twitter displays a “followers” count for every user and using the Twitter API this information can be extracted for a collection of Twitters users. I fed the Twitter handles of PEI’s registered political parties into the API and extracted follower counts for each party:
I thought it would be interesting to contrast the Twitter follower “popular vote” with the actual popular vote from the 2011 Provincial General Election. This isn’t quite an apples-to-apples comparison because whereas each elector can only vote for one party, each Twitter user can follow any number of others. To calculate the “followers” number, I took the total number of followers of all parties, and then took each individual party’s total followers as a proportion of that. Of course, “Twitter users” is an imperfect reflection of “electors.” Also, following a party doesn’t necessary convey supporting that party (journalists, for example, will often follow all the parties). But it’s an interesting comparison nonetheless, inasmuch as the two sets of numbers are somewhat aligned:
It’s a different story when you compare the number of tweets each party has posted over the years they’ve been active; the NDP is the clear winner here. Again, though, this isn’t necessarily a measure of anything other than proclivity for tweeting.
Speaking of “over the years,” here’s when each party launched itself onto Twitter:
|Party||Account Creation Date|
|PEIgreens||February 3, 2015|
|IslandParty_PEI||October 9, 2012|
|PEILiberalParty||July 18, 2011|
|NDPPEI||November 15, 2012|
|PEIPCParty||July 28, 2011|
If you want to keep up with all the parties without having to follow any particular one (or any at all), you can watch this Twitter list of all the parties.
I’m archiving all of the data I used here every night at midnight, and I’ll update this post as the putative 2015 Provincial General Election progresses. That charts, by the way, come via the excellent, free Chartbuilder web tool.
Now we know who is making website for PEI political parties, what about the underlying software, the so-called “content management system” that parties use to maintain their websites.
|Party Website||Content Management System|
|Green Party||Drupal 7.35|
|Island Party||Not obvious|
|Liberal Party||CMS Made Simple|
|PC Party||WordPress 4.1.1|
The clues I used to help me identify which CMS each party is using are as follows:
In the HTML source of the site it’s explicity stated:
<meta name="Generator" content="Drupal 7 (http://drupal.org)" />
It’s worth noting that the Green Party is keeping its Drupal 7 installation up to date: if you visit the CHANGELOG.txt for the site, you’ll see that it’s running version 7.35, which reflect a mid-March security patch.
CMS Made Simple
The site is currently offline, but by searching Google for cache:http://movingforwardpei.ca/ I was able to retrieve an older cached version. There’s no explicit evidence for what the CMS is, but references to “modules” called “MenuManager” and “Showtime,” both of which are party of that CMS, are a good sign.
A set of clues, including this explicit statement (which only appears on the NDP WordPress):
<meta name=generator content="WordPress 4.1.1"/>
and frequent references in the HTML source to “wp-content”, a commonly-used WordPress directory.
As with the Green Party and Drupal, both the PC and NDP WordPress sites are running the latest version, 4.1.1, released in mid-February.
Every time you type a web address into your browser, you’re using something called a domain name – the one for this website, for example, is ruk.ca.
Anyone can register a domain name and there’s a directory of who’s registered what that’s called WHOIS: with this tool you can connect a domain name to the person or organization who registered it.
There’s used to be one big WHOIS for the entire Internet, but, with the expansion of the Internet, the directory has now splintered and you need to go different places for different domains. For the .ca domain, used here in Canada, Webnames.ca’s WHOIS is one place to go.
Every domain name has a “Registrar” (the company paid to register the domain name), a “Registrant” (the person or organization who registered the name) and an “administrative contact” (the contact person for the domain).
Using that tool, you can find out something about the websites of the Island’s registered political parties; It’s possible to hide the registrant and the administrative contact when you’re registering the domain; The Island Party is the only party that opted to do this. Here’s where the domains for the Island’s parties are registered, and by whom:
|Party Website||Registrar||Registrant||Administrative Contact|
|Green Party||DomainsAtCost Corp.||Green Party of Prince Edward Island||Stiles|
|Island Party||Go Daddy Domains Canada||Hidden||Hidden|
|Liberal Party||Webnames.ca Inc.||Results Marketing and Advertising||Heather Howatt|
|NDP||DomainsAtCost Corp.||NDP Party of PEI||Mr Michael Bryanton|
|PC Party||Go Daddy Domains Canada||Fresh Media Inc.||Melody Dover|
Remember What’s My Lot?, my web app that will tell you, if you’re on Prince Edward Island, what lot you’re standing in?
Now, in addition to being a regular everyday website, at whatsmylot.com, you can also install it as an app for Firefox or Chrome:
The Firefox web app can be installed on any device running Firefox – desktop, phone, or table – while the Chrome app cannot be installed on mobile devices (only because the Chrome Web Store isn’t available for mobile devices, oddly).
In addition to all the functionality of the original version of the app, the updated version now includes a thumbnail sketch of each lot’s original owner.
If you’re on a Mac using Firefox to install the app, you might have to adjust your security settings, temporarily, to allow the app to be installed.