Blogs and clowning on the campaign trail

This post is related to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, refers to local politics and personalities, and will most likely bore the vast majority of my readers. Skip this one if you feel the need.


Campbell Webster thinks that it is best to hide and obscure your convictions and ideas in the name of politics. Taking shots at Cynthia Dunsford and Nils Ling.As a crackerjack columnist in the local newspaper on PEI, and this being his second (at least) attempt to take a swipe at the blogging community, it seems that Campbell just doesn’t have enough interesting and original things to say. Campbell seems to like to regurgitate old ideas in weird semi-pompus language in the local news rag alongside Contract Bridge and advertisements for the local tractor pull.

Thankfully, however, Campbell was smart enough to buy out a defunct coffee shop in Charlottetown and put up the Timothy’s flag, resulting in Charlottetown’s third most decent (until Mavors took that spot) Coffee shop.

The sad thing? Campbell just could be an interesting personality. He’s produced a successful play that is only going to get more successful, he has been running a few important local businesses and with a few creative-writing courses, his writing just might become palatable.

But really, Campbell. The whole blog-fight thing? Boring as hell.

6 thoughts on “Blogs and clowning on the campaign trail

  1. Well, I read what he had to say and I think that he raises some valid issues. Bloggers are the first wave to show us what it will be like to live in a transparent society. The inconsistencies that he has noted from Nils and Cynthia are a result of their blogs. He would not have been able to find such facts so easily from non-bloggers (Just wait until the MySpace & FaceBook generation put themselves up for political office).

    Cynthia and Nils have an opportunity to show grace when anyone can check on their every published word and use it against them. I wish them all the best in suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous comments, for surely more will follow on these highly visible targets.

  2. Good points Harold, but my contention is that those are not really inconsistencies. They are the facts of life for being human.

    What Campbell (and others uninitiated?) are probably not used to is not blogging itself,but a politician being a REAL person, and doing things like admitting mistakes or simply acknowledging past decisions.

    I think political office is changing rapidly, and you are right — the myspace/facebook kids who are posting every single picture and incident right now are going to have no choice by to just own up to what their past is.

    What do you think GW’s Facebook would have looked like?! hah.

    Stephen Harper’s on the other hand, probably would have been clean. 😉

  3. The biggest pill to swallow for me, isn’t the fact that people can find out what I said 3 years ago (if that was the case I would have deleted my blog prior to running)…it’s the fact that in this game you find out who your friends are, and sometimes you get a surprise.

    You learn quickly that you can get enemies just for joining a political party, nevermind stepping forward to run for office.

    If I had something to hide believe me I wouldn’t have left it in blogland for all to see. And besides, if not for blogging I would never have met either one of you. My community would be much smaller.

  4. Hi Jevon –

    Yikes! I’m not sure how you got “Campbell Webster thinks that it is best to hide and obscure your convictions and ideas in the name of politics” when my concluding point was…”If Ling and Dunsford are to make this transition gracefully, they will need to be candid about past opinions and associations” I.E. the opposite of your point…

    And I am not sure where you got this column was anti-blogging (a previous one was) – I actually think blogs are useful in revealing true opinions of leaders, candidates etc…Happens regularly these days…

    I thought your posting was pretty funny actually – I like the weird, semi-pompous swipe….And I do have a question for you:

    What do you mean by referring to tractor pulls? To me this is usually shorthand for ‘low-class’ or ‘hick’ or ‘backward rednecks’ Tractor pulls, like when people use the word “legion”in a joke, are used as a slur – an “I am better than those people” reference. In other words, its sounds snotty! Was it meant that way? My mother was a tractor, you know…so watch it.

    Your thoughts?

  5. Cynthia – To be plain – I am not your enemy and I am sorry you misinterpreted my column in that way…I am a commentator in a paper and you are a candidate…

    It seemed like a good topic, so I wrote about it…If as a politician you get unfavorable press, it does not mean the writers are your enemies – It just means they are doing their jobs…How many people did you brand “stunned arses” on CBC radio? A few dozen? Are you their enemy?

    It is fair comment when a candidate (you) proclaims their true Liberal identity but has blog comments (not your blog, but other ones) which seem to proclaim the contrary.

    Right now their is a thread on peiinfo.com blog that says this, for example:

    “I am so not a Liberal. Worry pas my friend, it’s NDP for me. That’s not too say that a certain someone else I’m pretty close too wouldn’t vote Liberal, but for me this time around…it’s anything but the Tories or Grits”

    It is being attributed to you from a past posting by a variety of bloggers – Is it really you? And if so what would be wrong with saying you used to support the NDP but now you vote Liberal? Bob Rae did it…And he almost became leader.

  6. In re-reading my post after a trip to the gym, I can concede I was being a *little* over sensitive, I think due to your last article re: blogging.

    However, I don’t think there is a danger in however graceful the transition might be — but the act of dredging up old posts, comments and writings is a sort of cop-out, I call it taking yours pants off.

    To be honest: I miss seeing the annual run-up to the tractor pulls, etc now that I don’t get to see the ads in the guardian (I only get to read it online) — so I think that was just a hint of jealously, that and it gives readers unfamiliar with PEI a sense of the size of our communities.

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