On this, the first day of school, I find myself in reflective mode. It’s been about a month and a half since I started composing these missives and firing them off into the void of cyberspace as though I were Carl Sagan at Arecibo blasting radio-encoded ones and zeroes at neighboring stars, hoping for a reply. I daresay my luck has been a little better than Carl’s. This has been a great experience. While we’re not changing the world or really doing anything of great cosmic significance, it’s wonderful to see your comments and know that you’re enjoying reading my fractured takes on life – to any writer, that’s the proverbial manna from heaven.
Tomorrow, we’re kicking it up a notch. I hinted at this a few days ago on Twitter but now the curtain lifts and all shall be revealed. I’ve been lucky enough to have been chosen by The Toronto Star as one of their “Speak Your Mind” Community Bloggers for the 2011 provincial election. I’ll be offering commentary specifically on the race to succeed Joyce Savoline as MPP for Burlington. This is the first race in quite a while where there is no incumbent and while Burlington is traditionally a safe Conservative seat, the local PC riding had some bumps choosing a candidate and as a result, this year all bets are off. It’s gonna be a lot of fun covering this race and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my updates. It won’t be all politics all the time of course, I’ll still have lots to say about what’s going on in the rest of the world and plenty of West Wing references for the new readers who found their way here thanks to the awesome Rob Lowe.
In this day and age, writing about politics is difficult without veering over the line into cruel snark. I have my own beliefs and my own thoughts on the outcome I’d like to see, but I intend to write as fairly and as balanced as I can (unlike a certain U.S. “news” network). What I want to see is candidates talking up to us, not down; raising the debate, not driving it into the sewer with canned sound-bite, sarcastic answers to complex questions. I want to see this election as a contest of and for smart people. If I think someone’s crossed the line, if I think they are trying to cruise into office on a tide of smears, no matter which party they’re in, I’m gonna call them on it. Above all else, I will remain true to the three principles I outlined in my very first post – humanity, heart and hope. Our politicians are only partly to blame for the state of the public’s apathy towards government today. As writers who want to get them engaged again, we have to give them a reason to tune in other than scandals and shouting. That’s my plan and I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hope you are too.