The writ has dropped for the 43rd Canadian General Election. As the nation’s federal parties take their platforms to the people of Canada, their use of the internet and domains in particular can actually provide some significant insight into their methods.
Some points of note:
The only party not to maintain a .CA extension is the Bloc Quebecois.
As a party with Quebec sovereignty as a fundamental pillar of their party platform, the Bloc Quebecois have opted to set their main website under the Blocquebecois.org rather than make use of a .ca. Blocquebecois.ca is registered, but inactive.
None of the parties have registered domains using International Characters
Of the six main political parties in Canada, only the domains Liberal.ca and Blocquebecois.org would have accents in the French-language versions of their respective domain names. Both .org and .ca domains offer international characters with their domains, permitting the accents to be used in the domains themselves. Neither organization have chosen to do so.
The NDP, PPC and Conservative Parties display their French-language variants
When switching to the French-language versions of their respective websites, the Conservatives (Conservative.ca), the New Democratic Party (NDP.ca) and the People’s Party of Canada (Peoplespartyofcanada.ca) display the French-language variants in the address bar (Conservateur.ca, NPD.ca and Partipopulaireducanada.ca respectively). The Liberals have no variant as the characters are the same in both languages. The Green Party, by contrast, does maintain Partivert.ca, but it redirects to the /fr subdirectory of Greenparty.ca.
The Liberals and the NDP use subdomains for their candidates
For each of the Liberal and NDP candidates in the 338 ridings of Canada, their websites display the candidate names as a subdomain in the form “candidatename.party.ca”. The Conservatives display their candidate names as hyphenated subdirectories. The Greens organize their ridings by number and do not display candidate names in the address bar at all. The People’s Party relies on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook rather than having profiles for their candidates.
These various differences speak to some of the trends currently underway with respect to domain names in Canada and how the major federal parties reflect those trends in their own way, particularly with respect to bilingualism. The election takes place on October 21st, 2019.