Friday, September 08, 2006


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tweedle dee doo
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tweedle dee doo


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BERNARD LORD - "Does anyone wish to join the Party?"

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Originally uploaded by Oldmaison.
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Michael Tanker Malley is a P.C. Mla from Miramichi Bay -Du-Vin

Arrrggggggg Tanker is the worst liars of all the MLA’S in the New Brunswick Legislature.

I first met this MLA during my protest and he was my greatest supporter.


He always told me - Don’t ever forget Charles!!! One man can truly make a difference. Who would have believe that one day it's Tanker who could have made a difference???

He would always give me a few bucks here and there. He was really good to me.

I’m a strong believer that you don’t forget who your friends are when you’re down. So when the protesters from the Miramichi showed up in Fredericton to protest their cuts at the hospital.

The day before, I went to see Tanker and I encourage him to face the protesters head on. No P.C. Mla has come out front to face an angry crowd. It has never happen and Tanker would be the first.

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The next day he did just that. He was my hero.

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Who can forget the time that he tried to blackmail Bernard Lord for a cabinet post?

He was all alone and I stood by him tooth and nail. It was so bad that while using the washroom in the Legislature.

I noticed Tanker in there and he was very sick < I won’t give no details > I quickly told Dan Bussieres and they rushed in the washroom.


The speaker saga really did it!!!

The Legislature is like a chess game because you wonder who’s going to make the first move?

I knew that Dan Bussieres would take advantage of Tanker's weakness and he did!!!

I did tell Tanker - Don’t you dare to sign papers to have me ban!!! I predicted this months ago that Dan was going to order Tanker to sign papers.

To make it worse?

Tanker went to the media and said- Charles has been warned on many occasions not to harrass the public.


I never been warned once.

Tanker is a MLA who will follow the money trial. What

A car, a high raise in salary etc etc etc.

I might add that he degraded my good friend Abel LeBlanc.


Tanker Malley must not be re-elected. Does he deserve a pension for life? OF COURSE NOT!!!!

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Lord's claims of accessibility of his government are A-maze-ing"

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The Irving paper was fair!!!

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Story is inside the blog.

Blogging the political trail
What can blogs offer election coverage that mainstream media can’t?

The writ had barely hit the ground when the New Brunswick blogosphere exploded with new websites and bloggers typing in their two cents worth. In fact, coming across a new blog is no longer as uncommon an occurrence as it once was.

In early July, bloggers and their readers in this province went astir when a frequent commentator on the mere handful of political blogs in New Brunswick started one of his own. Spink About It drew an unusual amount of readers and debate.

The author of this blog, known as Spink, was himself awed by the response to his postings, stating on his site, "the response and number of visitors for a blog less than a month old has surprised me." The intensity of debate seemed to grow from there and the dropping of the writ couldn't have come at a better time for this genre in New Brunswick.

But, what does this all mean for the election and for blogs? What can blogs offer to election coverage that the mainstream media (MSM) cannot?

Politics New Brunswick author, PNB, likens blogs to the opinion section of newspapers except "much faster in responses and with much more immediacy." In fact, all those bloggers who responded to that question seemed to be in agreement; blogging offers content and responses just-in-time.

The only restraint being the effort required to actually type out the message.

The MSM though, are not simply sitting around. They have also grabbed onto this medium, as can be seen with blogs on, hosted by Clarissa Andersen, and CBC, hosted by political reporter Jacques Poitras.

Two candidates who have up and running blogs, Jack Keir, Liberal candidate for Fundy River Valley and Brent Taylor, Progressive Conservative candidate for Southwest Miramichi offer their views on the subject, agreeing that blogs have a place, indeed they fill a void left by the MSM.

Keir talks about blogging as yet another tool to deliver the message, saying "a brochure has its place, but it generally doesn't change throughout the campaign once it has been printed." Blogs bring flexibility to delivering the message that old-school resources simply cannot accommodate.

In terms of coverage, Taylor believes that "the MSM is so understaffed and overworked that they cannot cover individual ridings and races the way that they could in the past." Even though none of the bloggers spoke negatively of candidates having their own blogs, PNB cautions the candidates to avoid undesired attention should they post something that could come back to haunt them. This kind of scenario showed up after the last federal election with Conservative MP Garth Turner's blog. Turner got into some trouble with his own party because of his outspoken frankness.

Neither Keir nor Taylor are incumbents, nor is Shirley Smallwood, another candidate who has recently started a blog. Perhaps there is something about blogs that incumbents are wary of.

Blogueuse Julie Bélanger insists that "New Brunswick candidates (of all parties) are way behind technologically-wise," but she admits that both Keir and Taylor are running good blogs, Taylor is no stranger to the use of emerging technologies, stating that he was the first MLA to have an e-mail address in 1993 (Taylor was elected to the 32nd Legislature between 1991 and 1995). He is critical of the parties' lack of use of the Internet beyond e-mail and websites which offer little more than information.

"There are web pages, sure, but there is little meaningful two-way communication," adding that, "it's very unfortunate." Bélanger is amazed that so many candidates don't even have a basic website. Questioning whether she could even vote for a candidate that didn't at least put in the effort for a website. With youth relating more and more to emerging technologies, the idea that a candidate cannot even manage such an inexpensive and even simple resource could be offputting.

Blogger Charles LeBlanc though, believes just having a blog isn't enough. There has to be a forum for responses and debate and those candidates shouldn't be able to "only choose certain comments that will make them look good." Spinks however, warns that while having candidates blogging is an excellent idea, "allowing comments is somewhat risky [because] your competition could try to hijack the conversation" but that there are means to moderate comments, such as those used on Taylor's blog. "That's probably the smart way to go." While the idea that bloggers are independent of fiscal pressures is one that is generally perceived, the hiring of bloggers by political parties is not unheard of in past election campaigns outside New Brunswick.

"Not sure if it's anything we'll see very soon," was Taylor's response to that idea.

Some bloggers are quick to discount that statement, seeing as at least one of the major provincial parties has approached bloggers to practice their trade in their party's favour.

There isn't a great deal of disagreement concerning such arrangements. The bloggers admit that partisan commentary is usually quite visible.

"I don't think they change many minds," says PNB, explaining, "most people who read true partisan political blogs pretty much have their minds made up anyway." Standing out from the pack is LeBlanc, who is steadfastly against the view of bloggers working for political parties, saying, "this would be the end of the blogger as we know it." Party workers and other partisans are busy getting into the blog action, visiting them to ensure their message gets space in the comments sections.

Spinks writes on his blog, "it shows the parties are interested in reading what people think. PC candidate Brent Taylor visits here from time to time and always identifies himself so you know where he's coming from." What Spinks finds most concerning are "campaign workers going into blogs, leaving comments and trying to come off as non-partisan average citizens in an attempt to sway the readership." However, Spinks also adds that newspaper forums are in the same boat.

"At least with the blog, you can call someone on it right away." PNB recommends vigilance on the part of the blogger when it comes to moderating response postings. In fact, there is software called Haloscan that helps bloggers edit comments or remove them completely. "As a last resort I do have the option under Haloscan to ban the offender's IP address." Belanger echoes this, adding she hasn't ever seen comments sections hijacked in a "well-made blog." Taylor admits that the fear of having a comments section hijacked is real, and also, "in politics you don't want to give up your 'air' to the other side. Allowing unmoderated comments is probably a recipe for disaster." When asked about this possibility, Keir's communications manager, David Alston, responds by saying the comments feature on Keir's blog has been turned off. The blog is used primarily to communicate information from the candidate. However, readers are encouraged to telephone or e-mail their comments.

The New Brunswick party leaders seem averse to the blog trend, preferring to remain oldschool in how they reach out to the electorate.

A strange affair considering the relative youth of the two major party leaders.

Bélanger points out that "Graham does have something called Shawn's Journal that could pass as some sort of blog," but Lord has none at all. She also reveals that "Paul Martin, during the last federal election had a full-time blogger with him through the entire campaign," and internationally, blogging (and even videocasts) are par for the course during an election.

Bélanger, whose blog will celebrate its tenth anniversary in November, proves that blogs are not an entirely new phenomenon. "What's new," she says, "is that more and more voters are reading them and the mainstream media just discovered them." I would like to acknowledge the following for their participation: Politics NB Spink About It Charles LeBlanc Julie Belanger Brent Taylor's blog Jack Keir's blog Other New Brunswick political sites that may be of interest to the voting public: The Election Insider http:// The Sorry Centrist Politics from a New Brunswick perspective First, Pass the Toast Jacques Poitras' election blog NB Election 2006 Simple Essentials blog/ Half an Hour Harrap's Take Liberal candidate Shirley Smallwood's blog


Originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

The reporters following the political leaders during this election are in my opinion - HEROES!!

I can’t wait for this election to end because I’m getting sick of blogging the issue.

Have you noticed that my blog on each MLA are getting shorter???

Yes, I can’t wait to blog other issues beside politics.

These reporters have to follow them to each riding and are force to listen to the speeches over and over and over!!!

ARGGG IT WOULD DRIVE ME NUTS!!! Yes, they are heroes!!!!



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John Foran is a Liberal Mla from Miramichi Centre

I met the former police officer during my protest and I might add that he was the first one who invited me for a nice meal while I was in the tent.

During the past year, I was worried for John’s health. He lost a lot of weight but he’s doing ok.

I saw him in action in the Legislature and trust me? Once this Liberal Mla loses his temper?

Look out!!!!

John knows of the drug problem in his area and if he’s part of the Liberal team in power? He’ll do a good job.

Big Thumbs Up

John Foran will be re-elected!