Halton is blessed (or cursed) with having the Canadian House of Commons' most prolific blogger as our MP. It's fascinating, informative, often embarrassing, and never, ever dull having Garth Turner represent us in Parliament and in the blogosphere.
Perhaps that's why Lisa Raitt's shortcomings as a blogger have stood in such stark contrast, and why so many have chosen to mock her (with my encouragement) even though her style of non-blog blog is more the rule than the exception among candidates. But given today's unceremonious removal of blogging candidate Chris Reid by the Conservative Party, it's not hard to understand why most candidates might be reluctant to risk the exposure, and why some parties might want to actively discourage the practice.
The thing with blogging is this: sooner or later, it bares the soul.
You can try to be good and stick to the party line. You can try to conceal who you really are. But if you are really doing it, day after day, putting your thoughts and opinions out there for all the world to see, sooner or later you're going to say something you wish you hadn't.
We've all done it. You get on a tear, you word something poorly, you say something that might reflect your real feelings at the moment but still isn't something you'd ever want to have to justify publically. But even these errors, understandable as they may be, say something about us. We may be embarrassed by them, but we cannot deny them. They are part of us.
Politicians are no different. They're human. They fuck up - but HOW they fuck up can be very instructional. They can either say something we can imagine ourselves saying under the wrong circumstances, or they can reveal a rot that goes to the very core of their being.
Garth Turner has fucked up plenty over the years, but his flaws and his errors in judgement are out there for all the world to see. Like him or hate his guts, you can't say you don't know what you're getting when you vote for him. Lisa Raitt and all the other candidates who hide behind boilerplate press releases and cookie-cutter talking points - I have no freakin' idea who these people are. They might be perfectly descent people, but I find their silence disturbing.
So, to all you candidates out there, of all parties: blog away. Please. Because if the only way you can avoid saying something bad enough to end your political career forever is to say nothing at all, then frankly I'd rather vote for the copy machine that prints out your press releases.