Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let’s be blogsphere leaders as well

With the national executive of the Liberal Party meeting this weekend to set the site for the leadership convention and the rules that will govern the leadership process, the Liberal leadership race is about to begin in earnest, both in the real world and on the blogs.

Like last time, I believe the blogsphere can play an important and influential role in the leadership race, to a far greater degree than we’re able to during a general election. During a general I think the impact of blogs is still relatively minimal – unless we screw up. That’s because blog readership tends to be limited to those with a heightened level of interest in politics; as such, they tend to have their votes set already. So the ability to influence is minimal.

In a leadership race it’s exactly those readers that we want to reach. People who are active in political parties, and likely to vote at a delegate selection meeting or be delegates themselves, are more likely than the general population to be blog readers. And, more and more, they’ll be turning to the blogs for news and analysis of the different leadership candidates as they decide whom to support. The media will also be turning to Liberal blogs as a source of leadership happenings, momentum, and buzz.

That is both an opportunity for us as bloggers, but it is also a responsibility. Let us take advantage of it as such. There may be a temptation for some to use blogs as a way to attack other candidates, to spread malicious gossip, and to otherwise advance the cause of their chosen candidate by bringing down the others. That would be a mistake. Not only will it hurt the Liberal cause, it won’t reflect back well on your own candidate either.

We’re all Liberals. Let’s remember that, and let us online set an example for how Liberals can have a spirited debate about the future of our party and its leadership while still respecting each other, and all the candidates. Let us use these public forums to advocate for our candidates in a positive way. We can make the case for our candidate without making the case against another.

And, most of all, let us use this period of opportunity, when leaders are seeking support and when Liberals and the media are more closely following the blogs, to be advocates for the type of Liberal Party we want to see, for the changes we think are needed, and for the direction we think we need to take. Whatever small modicum of power we may briefly have, let us use it for good.

Good luck to all.

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1 comment:

roblaw said...

Well, we're not ALL Liberals.. hehehe..

But, fyi, I've voted Liberal in two federal elections, and I'm a conservative because, in my mind, they're less stupid that the most recent crop of Liberals..

So, I'll keep involved in the blogosphere, including Liberal blogs, seeking to give my two cents worth as to why occasional fence-sitters such as me might be more or less inclined to vote for certain Liberal leaders.

(FYI.. Bob Rae would be a really bad choice, but, Ignatieff, well, one never knows..)