People have been fired for blogging before. But I can’t think of any politician who has been shown the door because of his blog.
Not exactly fired in the vocational sense, Garth Turner was kicked out of the Conservative Party of Canada because he was publicly critical of some of his party’s policies on his weblog. Keep in mind that he was a Tory backbencher, and not a Cabinet minister or anyone in a position of serious influence. Now he’s an independent member.
He’s an MLA who maintains a blog so his constituents can learn about what he does and why he does it. This is exactly the right reason to blog. The current government doesn’t get it.
Before his site really slowed down under the strain caused by the curious (me) and the well wishers (also me), I managed to read through a bunch of his stuff and I am really mystified why they canned him. His writing is clear, concise, personal and entertaining — quality bloggage, all in all. As best as I can tell, his criticisms of the Conservative platform and the government are quite measured and not disrespectful in any particular way.
I respect Turner for saying what he thinks, especially in a world increasingly full of public officials who are unwilling to say something, anything about what they believe for fear of offending someone. Turner offended some people and paid for it I guess, but if it were me, I would rather piss off The Man than think of myself as a pussy for the rest of my days.
So yay! A first for Canada! The first politician shitcanned for his weblog. I guess our current government has convinced itself that it’s okay to punish one of its own for writing down what he actually thinks, even if it is not exactly “the party line”.
So, is this the kind of government you want running your country for you?