The Firefox vote

Michael Geary | Tue, 2004-11-02 15:31

Looking at political party websites in Firefox tells me a little something about each party. (Click images for full size versions.)

The Republicans may be able to pack two grammatical errors into one sentence (“In 2000, less than 17,194 votes decided five states, and 55 Electoral College votes.”), but they have a big tent and Firefox visitors are welcome:

Republican Party in Firefox

Popups? We don’t need no steenkin’ popups. And the scrolling banner at the top is awfully annoying, but it offers an interesting optical illusion: Stare at the live GOP site for 30 seconds or so, and then look at the screen shot of the same site. Your eyes will tell you that the screen shot has a scrolling banner too, moving the opposite direction.

The Libertarians may have a very small tent, but it’s a friendly one:

Libertarian Party in Firefox

No problems with Firefox here, and no scrolling banner to play tricks on your eyes.

How about the Democrats?

Democratic Party in Firefox

Well! We are not using an approved browser, are we? Firefox users are not welcome here. You will use IE or you will use nothing.

Does it get better if we scroll down the page?

Democratic Party in Firefox

Oh. That’s easy to read, isn’t it?

One of the reasons I switched to Firefox is that I can override the font size of any website by simply using the Ctrl+Plus and Ctrl+Minus keys. What about the folks who are still using IE? Can they change the font size of a website? IE does have a Text Size button, but it only works for sites that are gracious enough to avoid absolute font sizes.

What if an IE user needs really big text because of poor vision? Do these sites allow it? Let’s take a look at each one in IE with the Text Size cranked all the way up. (No large versions this time, since the point is to show how the sites might look to someone who can’t see well.)


Republican Party in Internet Explorer


Democratic Party in Internet Explorer

It is nice to see that the Democratic Party actually does have a website (as long as you’re using their approved browser). And why should you be able to choose your own font size, anyway? The Democrats, just like the Republicans, have already picked out the font that they know is best for you.


Libertarian Party in Internet Explorer

True to their philosophy, the Libertarian Party is the only one that lets you pick your own font size instead of being stuck with theirs.

(Where’s Ralph? Sorry, I got too tired to make that many screen shots. Summary: He’s Firefox-friendly, but just like the Demos and Repos, he knows what font size is best.)

Submitted by Rhywun (not verified) on Tue, 2004-11-23 21:35.

Wow - I’ve been using Firefox for months now, and I’ve never seen a website as messed up as the Democrats’. Nice observation about the LP site - as a web designer myself, I’ve long been torn between whether to use relative or absolute font sizes. Lately, I’ve been ignoring our IE friends and using absolute font sizes, because the design looks the same on all browsers. With relative sizes, I couldn’t get my design to look the same on IE and Firefox.