I’ve just finished participating in an interesting exercise. Yesterday I got an invite to participate in an “on the record” conference call that Stephane Dion was wanting to hold with various bloggers today. Those who could join the call would be able to hear some remarks he would make, and then he would answer some questions to him if any of us had any for him.
I won’t steal the thunder of all the rest of the bloggers who were on this call and who asked questions – I’m sure many of them will be posting their own thoughts, and I’m a tad rushed here – but for the specific benefit of Saskboy, whose phone cut out before the end of the conference call, I’ll say to him that Dion did definitely agree that the “10 percenter” fliers that the Conservatives have engaged in are definitely against the spirit of that law, and a definite indictment of this particular government on how it operates, and that some of his MP’s were going to see if they can make the case these violate the law (Saskboy has had 7 of these fliers show up in his mailbox from seven different Cons. MP’s – my sympathies).
I will say that I laud Mr Dion for going ahead and doing this and showing his willingness to interact with us. He made a good point about how younger people today seem to read blogs a lot more then they read or listen or watch traditional media, and that this will be an important medium now and in the future for getting people connected with politics and more involved.
[email protected]:48 pm: I should also mention that it sounds like from the folks who organized this that Dion would be willing to perhaps hold more of these calls, and I think increased blogger participation (ie. inviting more bloggers) or interaction in such a hypothetical future conference call is not out of the cards.
UPDATE [email protected]:20pm: Saskboy’s account and James Bowie’s acount of the chitchat are here and here (note that James plagiarized my title đŸ˜‰ )
UPDATE [email protected]:30pm: There was one part of the Q & A that Dion said that was very interesting to me that I will bring up. Dion said he has no intention of using attack ads such as the Conservatives have done to him since he became leader and the Liberals in general over things such as the Green Shift. He said the Canadian voters will have a choice whether to support a positive campaign as he intends to run, or a negative campaign as he anticipates the Conservatives will do during an election campaign, and only a campaign will tell which one prevails.
I presume of course that doesn’t mean he and the Liberals aren’t going to point out the shortcomings or be critical of what they perceive to be wrong policies that the Conservatives have implemented – but the methods will probably be more subtle then the sharp attacks the Cons. are doing. At any rate, it’s an admirable stance he takes – we’ll see whether it helps win him and the Liberals an election.
Update 4@ Aug 20, 1:30AM: Liberal Bag with his account of the call.
Update 5@ Aug 20, 11:15 am: Jason with his account here.
UPDATE 6@ 5:16pm: Jamie with his account here.