Solberg, Taylor and other blogging Tories!

Slept in. (See previous post about hospitality suites before and… hey, I’m an observer and I don’t need to attend delegate votes at 8am).

Lunch time: cab it into the congress centre.

Pop into a policy debate concerning economic development and prosperity. Belinda Stonach spoke about stopping the export of water before it can be fully reviewed. Then the real debate gets started… on agriculture. Apparently supply management is a contentious issue between it protecting against explicit subsidies for farmers and a viable economic model.

(Caution: shameless self-promotion ahead)

A handful of people approached me to tell me that they’re fans of this site and of bloggingtories! I was happy to meet Luc from Hacks and Wonks and Aaron Lee Wudrick. Then I see the de facto blogging tory, Monte Solberg walking by. I entend my hand to introduce myself as he passes and I introduce myself. “Hi Monte, I’m Stephen Taylor, with Blogging Tories”. He replies enthusiastically “HEY! I read your blog all the time!” His voice changes from cheerful to concern, “Stephen, I do have one complaint… your site is great but you don’t update it enough”. I’m humbled and somewhat embarrassed. I give him the meager exuse about having a MSc. thesis in biochemistry to work on but then concede that Monte’s probably quite busy too with his day job. We continue to have a great conversation about the blogging experience and I extend a personal invition to blogging tories. We chat some more about Monte’s adventures in blogging and, in particular, the PMO and National Post reaction to his recent blogging controversy.

My conversation with Monte Solberg brings up a particular point that perhaps political bloggers should consider. We do not, by any means, represent ‘traditional’ media, in any form as bloggers. In my experience with the traditional media, and in particular with interviews and conversations, it becomes somewhat clear when one is ‘on the record’ and ‘off the record’. Bloggers are becoming ubiquitous; they could be your neighbour, your brother, sister, or your dentist. Since a blogger does not represent the traditional media and is generally untrained in media relations, the on and off the record courtesy becomes somewhat lost as bloggers are sometimes too eager to publish the minutia of their experiences without regard for what was perhaps intended to be a private conversation between two people.

Given, Solberg knows who I am as a blogger. However, nobody’s life is an open book, even that of politicians. Private conversations are just that and thus I should only report the conversation as it related to the blogging of politics. However, I will say that Monte’s is a veritable class act and, because of his blog, he is now the undisputed king of Canadian political geek chic.

The agriculture debate was much too interesting for me and I needed a breath of fresh air, so I left the room and met some other national candidates. Of course, this would include Mr. Whatittakestowin Vi(c)tor Marciano. Vitor’s an animated guy and very intent on becoming one of the national councillors from Alberta. The policy debate on agriculture wraps up and supply management was accepted as part of the party’s policy.

Stephen Harper’s speech is next.