Thursday, April 16, 2009

Go Canucks! The playoffs get political

A good start to the playoffs by my Vancouver Canucks last night. They need to watch the penalties or they’re going to get burned, but 5on5 they were stellar and Bobby-Lou was his usual awesome self. The man has something to prove, so watch out.

This isn’t a sports blog though, so let me bring it back to politics. Getting politicians to blog and embrace social media has always been tricky. If they get too real and unscripted, it can backfire. But canned repetitions of talking-points ghost-written by comms staffers are boring, and run contrary to the rules of the medium.

With the BC election mirroring the Stanley Cup playoffs the Vancouver Sun is trying a novel approach to this dilemma: invite BC Liberal leader Gordon Campbell and BC NDP leader Carole James to blog for them … about hockey.

Yes, while Stephen Harper is pretending to write about hockey, Campbell and James actually will be.

The Sun is calling the joint Campbell-James blog “Faceoff” and it got underway yesterday. So far, Gordon has filed three entries and Carole has filed two. Or, more likely, their staffers have.

Here’s some post-game analysis from Gordo:

Getting Sami in on the scoring bodes well. We always do well when our defense plays their game, and then scores a goal or two for good measure…I also thought Ryan Kesler showed how a real leader contributes without necessarily scoring. It's not just scoring goals, it's stopping them…The Blues will get better, but with that game under their belts, so will the Canucks. It was a game where special teams did as much as could have been expected and we got the W.

And some pre-game scene-setting from James:
I'd like to think that playoffs are a lot like the election campaign…Anything can happen. It doesn’t matter what happened in the regular season. I feel optimistic about the Canucks’ chances in the playoffs. They've got their game together and they’ve been going in the right direction for the past several weeks…The Stanley Cup playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint. The campaign is the same. You can’t afford to conserve energy, but you can’t be frivolous about it either.

It’s early, but so far it seems Campbell is focusing more on hockey analysis while James is trying a little harder to draw political parallels. Or maybe Campbell is just being subtler.

We’ll see how the experiment goes. And maybe the Sun can invite some Canucks to write political blogs. Does Mats Sundin support the carbon tax? Does Roberto Luongo favour electoral reform? Inquiring minds, etc.

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sjw said...

I have never believed that Stephen Harper is writing a book on hockey and if one is ever published I'll eat the thing.


Anonymous said...

I think it's a good idea for Campbell to stick to hockey and pure hockey. It shows that he's not just a cold, calculating politician eager to squeeze votes 24/7.

After all, he's human, so he should really show his human side!