Thursday, March 30, 2006

Just do it.

I haven’t posted in a while; instead choosing to read others offerings while working my way through Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. However, one post that I felt needed some response was Jason Cherniak’s from earlier today on the ‘heckler’s veto.’ I left this as a comment on Jason's blog today, but since it's the most I've written in a while, I'll post it here too:

Jason, I think you should reconsider your reasons for not standing up for that position in your riding. I’ve only been around the Liberal blogging scene for a short while, but it is apparent to me that you have done a commendable job in helping organize the on-line community of Liberal bloggers, and that level of effort and commitment is what the party needs, especially now.

You did raise some concerns over how your holding that position might be perceived by supporters of one of the other leadership candidates, and that they may choose to exercise their own ‘heckler’s veto’ to prevent you from taking said position. To that I would suggest that you need to examine your own motivations and commitment to impartially performing the duties that would be required of you, and your ability to balance them with your own personal views.

It’s only reasonable to assume that any party member holding that position is going to have their own personal preference for a leadership candidate, with the only difference being that they may not have stated so publicly in a blog. Does that necessarily make anyone else more suitable for that role?

One of the aspects of the Liberal party that is going to have to be healed is our ability to openly support different members for leadership, riding nominations, or other roles within the party without fear of the backlash or attack (an unfortunate legacy left behind in the wake of the last leadership campaign). A large part of party politics is the discourse that occurs at these times; it’s a conflict, but one that is supposed to develop strength within the party, not divide us.

Another thing to think about is the value of being a political blogger. It seemed to me that you feel that your blogging history would serve as a detriment or a liability to further involvement in politics. Am I missing something? Did I fail to notice some scandalous, embarrassing career limiting diatribe? Was it worse than Mike Klander’s gaffe? That gaffe could arguably be said to have cost the Liberals one seat in the last election, if not more.

I guess the point I’d want to make here is that blogging is just a form of publishing, and should perhaps be considered an asset instead; if you had written a couple books (or, for example, published an essay, even one that had been widely misinterpreted), should that prevent you from running for some position within the party? Again, you’l have to examine your own record here, and decide for yourself. Have you published anything that you don’t feel comfortable being scrutinized over?

Just don’t count your self out unnecessarily.

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