My initial reaction to the idea of a Dion blog was negative. But I have been mulling it over for the last week or so because that’s how I think about things and also because Ottlib then Red Tory (Nov. 3rd) brought it up. I wouldn’t agree with everything they write but I have come to respect them enough that it’s probably not a good idea to just dismiss what they are saying completely. So there it is. I hope this admission doesn't cause any head swelling.
The initial image I had was of Dion bickering mindlessly with some anonymous 14 year old conservative troll. How do you respond to crap like “Stephen Harper is not a Leader.” He would end up looking like Peter Van Loan which is to say: not prime ministerial. The leader needs hatchet men and women to deal with the nonsense so he can remain above it. But then again, does the blog need a comment section?
The greatest impact that Dion will have with his principal ideas will still be by delivering them as speeches or by publishing them in the print media like he has done before. Too much could cheapen the newsworthiness. A blog would have less impact although it could fill out his public persona. It would need to be very stylish because blogging is still not mainstreet. If bloggers are honest with themselves they know that outside the smaller world of their friends there are still are a lot of people and of a certain age who view the blogosphere as a geek world populated by lonely socially awkward people. Yes, I know this is largely a stereotype, but it is what it is. When I started this blog, I told a good friend whose reaction was quite telling. She looked at me quizzically (and somewhat disappointedly) and said, “Why the hell would you want to do that?” She meant why would you go online and tell total strangers what you are thinking and feeling. I still like you but you are such a loser sometimes.
Dion definitely has his geeky side there is no pretending. So what I am trying to say is that a potential Dion blog would need to look exceptionally up to date so as not to emphasize possibly negative qualities of his persona. The blog would need to be first of all stylish --if geeky somewhat. Maybe a biweekly or monthly post about events… the backstory from his perspective. It could work to make him more known as a person.
Red Tory in the link above provides some interesting examples from the British political scene.
Oh yeah and by the way, Stephen Harper is not a Leader! ;)