Reader G. Barry Stewart said this today in comments on ‘A road to inevitable unrest’:
“I had a thought today. (Pretty amazing, huh?)
“As a New Year’s resolution, I am going to make little print-outs of the web addresses of my favourite BC political bloggers. I’ll tack them on community posting-walls, leave them in coffee shops and pass them to friends or colleagues. I’ve already been sending links to friends via e-mail — but this could get the word out to new circles of people.
“I invite others to join me. Maybe we can start a fire!”
I appreciate those words and my colleagues in the world of independent political blogging would too. We don’t advertise, we don’t employ shills to populate the social media using taxpayer money or corporate funding and the mainstream media largely ignores us. So, it is word of mouth conducted by readers that leads to growth. Those of us who are active see regular growth in readership. Here is my experience at Northern Insight as the blog approaches its fourth birthday:
As you can see, the readership has been developing steadily and monthly readership is now measured in many tens of thousands.
Any power these blogs have or might have comes from the pool of engaged readers. My aim here is not to promote one party over another, or to advance one vested interest beyond another, as the CTF, the Fraser Institute or the BC Chamber of Commerce intends with numerous paid staff. The aim here is to promote ethical principles, accountability and transparency within public institutions. My clear view is that Liberals fail on each and every element and, no matter what they say in future, they cannot be believed. The Liberal Party has been sponsored by and beholden to big business interests. In my view, it’s time to re-balance the influences that drive government in British Columbia. It’s time for ordinary people to have a dominant say in public affairs.
The next administration needs to rewrite the rules by which government operates. We must enhance the power and influence of statutory officers of the Legislature, not to make policy but to ensure that it and its results are disclosed honestly:
- The Auditor General,
- The Information and Privacy Commissioner,
- The Ombudsman,
- Chief Electoral Officer
- Representative for Children and Youth,
- Conflict of Interest Commissioner,
- Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
More importantly, the responsibilities of individual MLAs should be enhanced through meaningful use of committees and public hearings.