Abundant political and election information appears on the World Wide Web. Americans in particular enjoy a wide range of government sites, resources from major and minor political parties, and independent sources such as Project Vote Smart. Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Around the World nicely complements this existing body of election and political resources. Edited by Dutch journalist Wilfried Derksen, it provides current election information including the political composition of the representative assemblies throughout the world.
Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Around the World appears in both frame and nonframe versions. The main page contains links to the election databases, a listing of web sites for political parties and Parliaments, and an international election calendar. Also available is a lexicon of liberal ideas and terms, a bibliography of liberal materials, and a list of liberal web sites.
The election database contains links to country information plus an introductory and supplementary information. Entries contain basic political data for all independent countries, political entities recognized by international organizations as holding political status but not presently recognized by other countries (Palestine and Sahara are examples,) autonomous overseas dependencies and the European Union. Also included are links to a detailed election calendar listing elections from 1990 into 1998, an election index covering the same period, up to date election news, and links to related Web political databases.
Election information for individual countries appears by geographical area (continents, Arab speaking regions, and Oceania) and alphabetical order by name of political unit. Independent countries are identified by bold print links; dependencies have lighter print links. Entries for individual political units contains the official name of the country, geographical size, population, and the capital. Recent political results appear for both executive branches and legislative bodies. Information for the executive includes name of the office holder and terms of office. For the parliaments, the results for the most current election, listing of parties, and number of seats held by each party appear. Entries close with links to Web pages to the political parties, executives, and parliaments. Links to other Web bases sources such as the CIA World Fact Book, Political Sources of the World, and Yahoo's government links also appear. Those countries with monarchies, dictatorships, or single party governments are identified as such. Also included is detailed information on the makeup of the European Union.
This site's primary advantage is the timeliness of the presented information. For example, elections results for the May 1997 British elections and the June 1997 Algerian and Canadian elections appear. Also, links to the various political parties flesh out the political platforms and background information on party leaders.
Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Around the World complements and updates standard print sources such as Europa Year Book and Stateman's Year-Book along with information appearing in periodicals and news broadcasts. Patrons will find this site invaluable for research and remaining current on political structures on other countries. It is hoped that Mr. Derksen or others will continue to maintain this useful tool. All academic libraries will benefit from this source.
Stephen L. Hupp
University of Pittsburgh of Johnstown