An easy question: How to sell web standards to political parties, or let them make an issue out of it?
Political parties aren’t impressed by buzzwords. In fact, they aren’t really impressed with any technology at all.
You can see technology gone wrong when suddenly lots of politicians started to podcast. These podcasts were so horrific, one could wonder if the PR-person that thought up the idea wanted to kill off podcasting once and for all. So early adoption is something better not left to politicians.
None of the Dutch political parties have a validating website. And that includes the newest party, which has “progress” as one of its key points, and wants to further facilitate democracy through the use of internet. Most websites seem to be technologically and design wise stuck in 2002, the date of the previous elections (not counting the 2003 elections, for which they did not have time to plan).
Politics is all about communication. And our government has standards for on-line communication. As political parties have always only changed their appearance during election time, we can only hope in 2007, all political parties will sport a fine, standards compliant, accessible and user-friendly website.
Back to reality, politicians aren’t technologically savvy, so we’ll have to trust them to listen to people who know about standards, accessibility, and usability. If they do, it will be a big leap forward for the web.