Canadian Parliamentarian Garth Turner is probably the highest profile individual in the history of blogging to get dooced.Â Last week Turner got kicked out of the Conservative Party for the views he expressed on his blog — views that were in some cases critical of the Government, his own party.
For those of you who’ve never heard of him, the closest thing to Garth Turner in the world of Tech blogging might be Robert Scoble.Â Putting aside Turner’s views, which you might or might not agree with, he has relentlessly listened to his constituents, brought those views to Parliament and to his party, and published his thoughts and his constituents thoughts openly on his blog.Â Moreover, he started a vlog as well, called MP.TV, where he interviewed not just members of his own party, but members of all political parties.
In other words, he’s a blogger, and a darned good one at that.
Blogging has been good to Mr. Turner, and it seems to have comeÂ naturally.Â After years as the money reporter for the Toronto Sun, he’s comfortably made the transition from print toÂ in front of the camera, and online.Â Populist, principled,Â and scrappy, Turner was a high profile and popular candidate for the Conservatives.
For that, they showed him the door, putting him in the same company as countless other bloggers sacked for having the temerity to express an opinion differing from their employers.Â
There is a delicious irony in the fact that the Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party campaignedÂ promising reforms that would allow members to speak freely, and that would give members more free votes in the commons.Â One MP took them at their word, starting a public and open-ended dialog with his constituents… and got fired for it.
No matter.Â As Turner himself said “It’s hard to see who this benefits.”Â Indeed — certainly notÂ Prime MinisterÂ Harper.Â Â Turner is now relievedÂ of anyÂ obligation to support the party moving forward. Â Moreover, he’s unlikely to be the last politician with a blog.Â
It ain’t 1984 anymore, now is it?Â Makes you wonder what the lads and ladettes in the Conservative Party were thinking.
Oh well, time to get the chile on.Â It’s Hockey Night in Canada.