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The Best And Strangest Web Domains Owned By Canada’s Political Parties

Harper.fail, Justin.fail, Mulcair.fail.

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In early June, just as the NDP began to surge in the polls, someone with the Conservative Party of Canada bought this domain name:

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Other parties have also been stockpiling domain names that could be used to launch attack websites, or that have been registered to keep them out of the hands of their rivals. For example, NDP own Harper.fail, Justin.fail and Mulcair.fail.

Our research found that the four main political parties together own more than 400 domain names. Here's the number of domains owned by each party:

  • NDP: 217
  • Conservative Party of Canada: 159
  • Green Party of Canada: 75
  • Liberal Party of Canada: 39

To get those numbers, we performed a reverse Whois search for each party using its official name and registrar email address. This resulted in a list of domains that are officially owned by each party. (We say "officially" because individual candidates and their campaigns may have purchased their own domains.)

Here's a look at the most notable — and currently unused — domains owned by the parties, and what they signify.

The NDP were particularly active in June of this year, registering three domains of note. The timing coincided with polls showing that the NDP was the frontrunner. The party registered one domain that has became a core slogan.

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#Ready4Change was used for the first time as a hashtag by the main NDP Twitter account and by Thomas Mulcair's personal account on August 2, the day the election was called. But as of now they are not using the domain, or the related Ready4Change.org.

We’re #Ready4Change – watch @ThomasMulcair kick off the #NDP campaign here: http://t.co/3s0K9JC4qw #NDP #elxn42

The June registrations also include two domains that could be used for initiatives related to voter interference or strategic voting:

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Those domains are in line with one registered back in early 2014: SaveYourVote.ca.

There was a flurry of registration activity in September of 2014. The NDP bought a domain that was likely meant to play off the Conservative's attacks that Justin Trudeau is "Just not ready" to run the country.

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They also registered three domains with the new .fail top line domain.

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Along with Mulcair.fail, the NDP owns Stop-Mulcair.com in order to keep it out of the hands of other parties.

But the most notable defensive registration from the NDP came when it bought this in June of 2013.

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On June 13, Mulcair drove past a security checkpoint and several stop signs on Parliament Hill without stopping.

CBC reported that he "proceeded to his parking spot behind Centre Block, and when he then spoke to the RCMP officer, he asked, 'Don't you know who I am?' and suggested the officer would be in trouble for following him."

The NDP registered the domain the next day.

Two years ago, when the senate scandals began to unfold, the NDP registered several domains that could be used to go after the Red Chamber.

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On February 8, 2013 the Senate announced it had hired auditors to examine the expense claims of Senators Duffy, Harb, and Brazeau. Three days later, the NDP registered the above domain.

They also registered this domain at the end of 2013, though it's unclear why.

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The Conservatives have been the most active with recent registrations of note. In July, they registered two that focused on controversial taxpayer-funded mailouts that the NDP made to ridings. A House committee found the mailouts were partisan in nature.

And in early June, when the NDP began to surge ahead in the polls, the CPC set its sights on Tom Mulcair.

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The month before, the party signaled its emphasis on Harper's experience by registering ProvenLeadership.ca.

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As with the NDP, the Conservative party also bought domains that could be used by other parties to attack its leader. In April of this year it made a big run on anti-Harper domains:

The Conservatives are adept at grabbing domain names associated with other parties' slogans. "Hope and hard work" is a Liberal line. "Canadians deserve better" is something the NDP says often. The CPC owns both in .ca.

As the Senate expense scandal continued to grab headlines in the summer of 2014, the Conservatives registered a domain that suggests they were thinking of pushing forward with a new plan to reform the Red Chamber.

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But it was never made active as a website.

Finally, the Conservatives are the owners of an unused domain related to the number of Federal ridings in Canada for the current election.

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The Liberals don't seem to have spent time or resources registering domains aimed at going after their opponents, or buying up domains that other parties might use to go after their leader. The most recent registration from the party came in July.

We also noted that in November of 2014 they registered this interesting domain.

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That registration was timed to the November by-election in the late Jim Flaherty’s riding of Whitby-Oshawa. Pat Perkins was the Conservative Candidate.

The domain suggests at some point the Liberals considered launching a website that about and against her.

(After taking office, Perkins faced criticism for hiring her daughter's live-in fiancé.)

Like the Liberals, the Greens have not been buying up attack domains. We do, however, hope they find use for this domain.

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According to the Internet Archive, the Green Party last had content on that domain in April of 2011. Back then it was a spoof of ShitHarperDid and had a page listing all of May's accomplishments, both real and fake:

Elizabeth was the first human to circumnavigate the globe in a Zorb Ball.

Not really, but she did take her historic seat in Parliament for Canada's Green Party!

Read about it here on the CBC website...
Elizabeth May has a salad named after her.

It's actually pretty good.

She also has a Chair in Sustainability and Environmental Health at Dalhousie University named after her.

Elizabeth May is a lumber jack, and she's okay!

While she is okay, Elizabeth is not a practicing lumber jack... though she did cut down a tree once.

Elizabeth once made the Billboard 100 for her hit rockabilly anthem: "Less Honk, More Tonk!"

Well, no. But she did make Newsweek's 2010 list of most influential women in their Women in Leadership series.

Elizabeth rewrote Beowolf, the Illiad, and the 1994 Guinness Book of World Records into the unspoken tongue of the sacred forest.

Sort of… She has actually written seven books, though none have been translated into the unspoken tongue of the sacred forest... yet.

In her spare time Elizabeth May sequesters C02 with her bare hands.

She also enjoys sudoku.

She enjoys scrabble more.

Also, FYI, the Green-owned domain CoOperNation.ca is currently for sale, if anyone is interested.

Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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