Friday, April 6, 2007

Cherniak once said: bloggers really unable to change opinions ... lol

"Bloggers are not elected, not representative in a numerical sense and unable to really change much more than the opinions of the 500 or so Canadians who read them."

and read other past rhetoric ... The Generation

Bloggers are like true Parliamentarians

Jason Cherniak
Many bloggers have calmed down a bit over the summer and started talking about policies, causes and philosophy. This is in stark contrast to the partisan sniping that we all engaged in while Parliament was in session. For example, I went from posts about all the negatives that came out of the Conservative Convention to those about a legal decision, libertarians and Marc Emery. Aaron Wudrick has started talking about civility within the Blogging Tories and how the Conservatives should start putting forward policies. The Marc Emery campaign has crossed partisan boundaries and I will be on the streets of Toronto on Monday to collect petition signatures with the organizer of the Liberty Summer Seminar. In many ways, Paul Well's recent article on speeches he would like to hear is the perfect summation of all these positive things that are going on. If the partisan blogging community can start to have real conversations, why can't the politicians?

This sort of question has boggled the minds of many people for a while now. Why is it that politicians feel the need to write things like this instead of this? I think one of the big problems is the media. The fact of the matter is that they would rather report this than this. Conflict grabs headlines and that is what politicians need.

Bloggers, however, do not go for headlines. We have services like Progressive Bloggers that have individual people voting on the most interesting reads. (I hope the Blogging Tories start doing this also.) It is the epitome of group editing and I think that the choices are often quite good. If I were to write the sort of tripe that often comes out in political speeches, I would never have people reading this site. Bloggers need to earn respect in order to gain an audience. Power politics and the ability to organize warm bodies is completely irrelevant.

That is what Parliament used to be like. People would get elected so that they could go to Ottawa and debate the issues of the day. Indeed, they got so into the debates that Parliament saw its share of brawls. Meanwhile, though, boring people like Edward Blake used to get up and give eight hour speeches on the intricacies of a budget, government supply and legal reasons for supporting or opposing the execution of Louis Riel. The same sex marriage debate is probably the only one recently where this actually happened in Parliament. Generally, MPs are there to give the party line, show that they are better than others at giving the party line, then make sure that they vote. Careers often depend on the ability to give better media quips and be better organizers come election time. Parliament has lost its real purpose.

This will never change unless the media starts covering politics properly. They should have people watching Parliamentary debate and then writing the next day on what was interesting. They could go back to reporting on maiden speeches. They could tell us which MPs get up on a regular basis and actually speak eloquently about the issues. They could give lists of rising stars on the basis of merit instead of solely on the basis of who is most likely to get into cabinet. They could treat MPs as people elected to go debate the issues and come to conclusions in the best interests of all Canadians.

Bloggers are not elected, not representative in a numerical sense and unable to really change much more than the opinions of the 500 or so Canadians who read them. However, I would much rather be in a political party or debating issues with Calgary Grit and Aaron Wudrick than Hedy Fry and Peter MacKay.