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Things I learned in Toronto, Part 2.

– John Manley supports Via Rail. David Graham (of The World According to cdlu) and I saw him taking the train to Ottawa while we were waiting for our own respective trains in Union Station. (He takes first class, no surprise there). We thought of introducing ourselves, but then we said.. nahhh… we’re just a couple of lowly nothing bloggers. He won’t care.

– Pro and anti MMP bloggers can sit in a room or talk in an eating place without erupting into invective (at least, those from the same party) and are still actually friendly in person. There is some concern on all sides some of this is getting too personal and that we’re going after the people on the other sides, not the ideas only. I don’t know how much influence I have with any or all of the bloggers who are in the Prog Blog group who are actively engaged in the debate, but I would ask from here on in that both sides can maintain a civil discourse on this debate. In the end, bashing other bloggers isnt going to matter – its the voting public that counts.

5 comments to Things I learned in Toronto, Part 2.

  • Jason Townsend

    Tough to say; arguably there are long term trends at work, and there were threads of extreme nastiness in political life even when democracy was an evolving artform.

    I tend to look to the cultural and political divergences of the late 1960s worldwide; the fundamental schisms in both viewpoints and even concepts of what political action should -be-were sort of beyond the pale of contemporary 'system' politics.  It doesn't seem like the discourse has ever really quite gotten under control since then. 

    But then there were always instances of drastically going beyond the pale of what contemporaries thought was acceptable political discourse, and getting away with it – McCarthyism, for example.  So long as everyone is just gawping and whispering "How can they say things like this," sometimes they get away with saying things. 

    I would say the political discourse on the right wing blogosphere in Canada is sufficiently far out that it could probably lead to a backlash if it ever started abruptly becoming a more normal way of communicating in 'real life' with political nonbelievers.   But I doubt that will happen; the blogosphere is, if not quite a hermetically sealed cultural bubble, something close.

  • Sandra

    Thank you  for raising the issue of how uncivil many have become.  This occurs not only on the web, but also in the real world.  Perhaps I am judging too harsly, but it appears to me that since the remaking of the old PC party into the CPC that the air in Parliament, in Ottawa, and in many parts of Canada has turned decidely nasty.  It is sad that many cannot debate the point without throwing in personal slurs. 

  • Funny thing… my wife crossed paths with John Manley last year in TO just outside Union Station. I think she surpried even herself when she blurted out, "Hey! You're John Manley." He smiled and replied, "Yes, I am." I'll bet he would have been happy to meet you and David. 

    Good observation, btw, on more civility in person and less civility online. Maybe it's due to the fact that nobody can slap you silly online. 😉

  • I second that Cam, lol. We shouldn't let it get personal.

    It's also good to see more people supportive of Via Rail. Why we don't have more passenger rail in Canada boggles me. I only last traveled on Via in February (Prince George-Jasper RT), but it was quite a fun trip. Now, if that train could be extended to Edmonton (and there is no good reason why it shouldn't be- there's enough room in the schedule to do so), we could be talking about a substantial increase in ridership.

  • Here, here Scott… that's a sentiment that we can all agree on. We don't always have to agree to get along. Now lets join hands and sing "We are the world" 🙂

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