New Delhi: Today, 6 May, as Britain votes in its general election, we at Mint thought of making a digital comparison between the Election Commission of India Britain’s Electoral Commission. And by digital what we mean of course, is to compare and contrast the homepage of each commission’s official website.
The most noticeable difference between the two websites is in how they have chose to use colour. In the homepage of Britain’s election commission (a country known for its “stiff upper lip”) it was a pleasant surprise to see a colourful website with a judicious mix of pink and blue.In sad contrast, India, always famous for its vitality and vibrancy, has a website that can only be described as ‘dry’. Dominated by white, the only colour seen in the Indian Election Commission home page are mostly on the letters and icons which are reluctantly blue and grey.
Screenshot of the Election Commission of India website’s home page
From colour, we moved to the use of pictures. The Indian homepage is certainly no match for its British counterpart here. The Indian election commission website boasts a solitary thumbnail image of three women standing in queue with voter identity cards. The British commission homepage on the other hand has an abundance of both clickable and non-clickable photographs.
Screenshot of Britain’s Electoral Commission website’s home page.
Another point where the British website scores over the Indian one is the fact that it has a calendar. The calendar clearly helps visitors who need to refer to dates. The Election Commission of India not only lacks a calendar but does not have a rating system either. The British one has a format where a visitor can rate the page on a scale of one to five. Moreover, on this website one can email the page to a friend unlike on the Indian one.
But there is one area where the British one cannot match the Indian election commission. The Indian home page navigates readers to many PDFs of heterogeneous and healthy sizes and subjects. These are mostly guidelines to people involved with the election process and and the compendium of instructions of conduct of elections running into hundreds of pages. But then again we are sure if a Brit decides to go through all PDF files available via the Election Commission of India home page to know about the Indian system, there is a fear that he or she will not have the time to exercise the right to franchise today. So vote first, read later. Cheers to democracy!