Monday, August 17, 2009

Partisanship past and future . . . Clarifications

My recent post on partisanship elicited a number of strong comments, a couple reasonable and justified and a couple of offensive wing-nuts who actually think a group of Jewish trade-unionists run the world. (These comments were justifiably rejected)

As a point of clarification I want to say that the quote that I used to suggest a troubling trend in political discourse on Liberal blogs was in a blog that subsequently contained a number of reasonable points concerning the recent NDP convention. I didn’t name the blog simply because I found the unfortunate words at the beginning of the blog to largely nullify any reasonable discourse because such poison language can hardly be the foundation of a real political debate. It is hardly reasonable to say to someone “you are a no-good, dishonest, lying, stupid, weasel” and then say “but here are some of your good points.”

Though the blogger from whom I took the quote had a number of cogent points later in his post, not only was the possibility for meaningful discourse poisoned,  but it was never my intention to get into a wider debate about specific policies of the NDP some of which I agree with and some of which I do not. My blog is very seldom about policy issues. Though I have attacked specific policies of the Conservative Government, usually when I address politics I am talking in wider terms about political philosophy and the various paradigms in which we operate. One of the reasons that I seldom engage in policy debates is that the people with whom I disagree are working in a different paradigm to the one in which I operate and for policy debates to be meaningful it would require far more space and time than a blog offers.

I have been accused of actually misrepresenting myself as non-partisan because my blog appears on a NDP blog site. First of all, I was completely unaware that I appeared on any NDP related site and have never seen this for myself, but given the nature of the Web I guess it is possible. Second of all, I say to the one or two readers out there who actually read my blog that I have never been a member of the NDP, I would never shy away from criticizing the Party if such criticisms seem warranted to me, and If my blog does appear on an NDP related blog site this should not be interpreted as evidence of some kind of party affiliation.

Finally, my recent post was intended only to address what I see as a growing trend of poisoned discourse in relation to partisanship in Canadian politics. I am certain that I have also been guilty of this at times, and for this I express my regrets. I have always reserved my harshest words for the Conservatives because I think that beyond simply matters of policy the party in its present manifestation represents a serious threat to human rights and democracy in Canada.

Yours in the struggle.


No comments: