Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blogging Tories an arm of the Conservative apparatus?

According to a CanWest News story via Neale News two disaffected Conservatives have asked Elections Canada to investigate the Blogging Tories alleging that by attempting to sway the election in concert with the Conservative Party it was in violation of third-party spending limits.

Call for probe into Tory blogs


QUEBEC --– Elections Canada has been asked to investigate the Conservatives after allegations the party is overseeing a group that operates partisan on-line Web logs. Canada'’s election watchdog received a complaint yesterday from a disaffected party member who claims the Tories tried to sway political opinion in cyberspace in the leadup to, and during, the election by setting up the popular 'Blogging Tories'” website.

Public Eye Online's Sean Hollman has more on his site, including a series of e-mails between Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy and then Victoria constituency association director-at-large Eugene Parks trying to set up a conservative blogging group.

Blinded by the right?
Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy and her longtime supporter Gerrie van Ieperen appear to have been involved with an initiative to counter the media's perceived left-wing bias via the blogosphere, according to a collection of emails leaked to Public Eye.

I'm really not sure what to make of all this. One thing to say is that the blogsphere is perhaps more influential than I thought. And if what the Blogging Tories are doing is wrong, what about Liblogs and Blogging Dippers?

It seems unlikely this will go anywhere. Unless these bloggers are getting paid out of party coffers somehow, and I haven't heard that suggested, then I'd imagine free speech should prevail.

Frankly, the parties would be foolish not to encourage bloggers that share their views to band together, given the increasing role and influence bloggers seem to be gaining.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers


Chris said...

My God. How pathetic. Is this all you people have left???

A BCer in Toronto said...

What's pathetic Chris is your reading and comprehension skills. Did you even read what I said before you spouted off?

For one thing I said I think this complaint is crap. And secondly, it was two CONSERVATIVES that filed it genius!

CanadianTruth said...

Better investigate liblig, the progressive blogroll and the NDP blogrolls as well!

Dumbest Thing said this election award

And it goes to Buzz, for this ....


Labour leader Buzz Hargrove says Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's attitude toward the provinces is essentially a separatist approach.

"If you devolve all the powers to the provinces, what do you have left? His view of the country is a separatist view," Hargrove said as he campaigned alongside Paul Martin.

He said Quebec voters should choose the Bloc Quebecois over the Conservatives.


The Conservatives want to give the Provinces more power to properly manage programs within their own jurisdictions, that's bad. So let's vote for a party that actually wants to break up the country! Stupid, stupid stupid!

Ed Hollett said...

There are a couple of fairly obvious comments.

First of all, the blogging Tories have been well-organized/co-ordinated for some time. For example they have been very diligent at cross-linking to each other to drive up their stats and hits.

Second of all, some blogging Tories have been very effective in getting covered. That generates extra coverage for their messages which, of course, was the object of the exercise in the first place.

Third all, it would be ahrd to consider this an illegal activity given that:

- it is largely a matter of free speech;

- unless anyone can identify money changing hands or some other formal connection between the Harper machine and their online organs, then we don't have a case here of anything other than free speech;

- if anyone can establish cases where the bloggers are just regurgitating The Bunker's output for the day, then you have a potneital media issue, not one Elections Canada is going to get too excited about.

Last of all, some people have wondered what the BlogCons will do once in power. The simple answer is not anything other than what they have done: aggressively back their party, except for the odd complaints that policies are too Liberal.

Anonymous said...

This is news???
C'mon. IF you find that revealing run down the list of Conservative candidates from Alberta and BC. The USA is content to have the whacko's at arms length, gathering the thoughtless to vote along with the zealots. In Canada we're gonna let them run the show. Talk about alcoholics loose in the brewery.