Thank you and thank you

It’s that time of year when everything seems to come at once, from undergraduates studying for exams to Christmas shopping, from chequebook rebalancing to graduate research defences. Now, add an imminent election and then take a deep breath: it all gets better from here.

No matter if you’ve been preparing a campaign since the spring or if your political involvement extends only as far as casting a vote on election day, we’re all facing the hectic schedule of the mid-November crunch. We take our morning caffeine supplement, hunker down and fight each day’s coming battles as they crest over each distant hill.

Today, I’m fighting the war on two fronts; I am always slaying dragons when it comes to my graduate thesis but I also see the gathering storm on the horizon of a brutal and bloody campaign for the defence of our country from further Liberal atrocity.

I’m aware that everyone is fighting their own battles, and some are much more engaged than me. This is why I find brief and welcome respite from a fellow warrior (a General, if I am but a common soldier) when he tipped his helmet in my direction the other day in the midst of his own heated struggle against our shared foe.

Yes, my conservative blogging friend Monte took some time on the weekend (as he prepared for his own showdown versus Finance Minister Ralph Goodale) to say some nice things about yours truly and two other blogging friends (Kate and Ezra).

Monte was inspired to pass on the blogging cheer when Paul Wells gave him a similar nod. Lately, I always seem to bump into the Macleans backpager when I’m in Ottawa and on our most recent crossing of paths he shared an election metaphor with me, and after hearing it, I realized that I had read (and made note of) the same somewhere else before. Most other people might face the accusation (from anyone) of borrowing from a wittier and perhaps more literate source. But, with Wells, I was certain that it was his. I’d say that’s a measure of success when one’s own political analysis becomes so ubiquitous.

I’d like to continue this backslapping fun and move it forward to some blogger friends that have either inspired my writing or have been good blog neighbours to myself and others.

First, I’d like to make note of Andrew Anderson who has always met the grade when it came to postings of high quality and frequency. Unfortunately Andrew has recently retired his blog. Andrew was and still is an architect of the Canadian blogosphere. His Canconv site is the anti-echo chamber of the blogosphere and Andrew’s “unofficial” Elections Canada database has been a thorn in the side of the culture of entitlement, which had the original crippled when it became too much fun for Conservative researchers. Many reporters that I’ve chatted with in Ottawa swear by Andrew’s database and I’m glad to know that Andrew will still be building, if not blogging as frequently.

One of my all-time favourite bloggers is Greg Staples, the man behind Political Staples (put him on your blogroll). I finally got the chance to meet Greg at a meetup of the right-wing conspiracy just off campus of the University of Toronto. Greg works hard to get his daily contribution of intelligence published (usually in the form of 2 or more posts a day). There’s not much more to say, Greg’s one of the best.

Another great blog for content is that of Bob Tarantino. At Let It Bleed, Bob rips Toronto Star and Globe and Mail columnists to shreds and truly is a compliment to the blogging medium. I don’t expect that they’ll publish the fisking of competitor reporters and columnists soon in the national daily papers. But they should. And Bob should be on the payroll.

Aaron Lee Wudrick is another graduate/professional student that spends too much time blogging at the expense of his studies. ALW brings a lot of stinging (and welcome) humour to his musings and I find myself nodding in agreement more than often with what he has to say.

Rite Turn Only, Blue Blogging Soapbox and le Blog de Polyscopique are essential daily stops on my blogroll, while I’m looking forward to seeing how the blogs of Conservative Canadienne, Kerplonka and Mark Alan Whittle develop.

If you’ve noticed some other great blogs lately, post them in the comments and if I’ve linked you in this post, backslap it forward! (and trackback it here)