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Friday, September 12, 2008 

Green Party Staffer Apologizes To Blogger

From: John Bennett
To: leftdog@hushmail.com
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 13:58:55 -0600
I apologize for my hasty email yesterday. My actions came out of a
concern to ensure that internet content is an honest and real
representation of facts and I look forward to future positive
dialogue with you and other bloggers.

In the TVO clip, Elizabeth May clearly says "they" think Canadians
are stupid, referring to the opinions of some politicians. She then
turns to the questioner and agrees with HIS assessment that a carbon
tax is essential. No spin can change that.

I have included a video clip and quote from Elizabeth May that
indicate her clear respect for the intelligence of Canadians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIWFDsmmfz4

"It needs to be explained, but I think Canadians are smart enough to
understand the idea that we need to ensure that we reduce our use of
fossil fuels, that the climate crisis is upon us, and this is not the
only thing we need to do, but it is the foundation for a successful
climate policy," Elizabeth May said. CTV's Question Period on
Sunday, May 25, 2008.

Sincerely,

John Bennett

-----------------------(To which I replied) ----------------

Mr. Bennett;
A Canadian federal election is a mutually agreed and defined period
of time where an unfettered free forum of opinion and debate should
ensue. The debate will inevitably contain both bold statements of
vision as well as blind narrow partisan rhetoric. It will be full
of humour and conflict and is intended to attract the citizens of
the nation to cast their votes a particular way.

New to the debate is the ability of individual citizens to climb
onto a modern day soap box - known as a ‘Blog’. The collective
community of individual blogs is called the ‘blogosphere’ and it is
a virile and potent force. You have witnessed the potency of this
community over the last two days.

Those who do not recognize the power of the blogosphere nor even
one sole member of it, do so at their own peril. The blogosphere is
dynamic and it is unpredictable. It is well suited to facilitate
this unfettered free forum of opinion and debate.

Using your position with a national political party to silence my
voice by threatening me with legal action was both offensive to me
and an extremely unfair use of your voice in the election campaign.

I will accept your apology and urge you and others to respect the
potency and validity of the blogosphere in your future dealings.

Leftdog
Regina

A sorry shade of Green - Kady O'Malley

Great reply. You go, dog, get 'em!

I also loved your assessment of the blogosphere and its undeniable power. I'll have to blog about this post of yours later in the day.

Thanks!

A fair reply you made to John, considering the damage he could have done to you had you not had the blogosphere to back you up.

Oh, and the best part of cooler heads prevailing, is that no lawyers got richer (I hope).

" ... considering the damage he could have done to you had you not had the blogosphere to back you up."

Your hyper-partisanship is truly unrivaled anywhere ... "the damage he could have done to me"? Your ability at damage control and spin is amazing!!

noni's got the audio in slo-phi. "....they think canadian's...."

KEvron

er, "canadians...."

KEvron

"All of this, though, may be a tempest in a teapot, because a few of us here at the shop have reviewed the tape in question and - although she says it a bit quickly - May does not seem to be saying "... I think Canadians are stupid..." at all, but rather " ... They think Canadians are stupid..." In the context of the conversation, the "they" in question would be other politicians who do not have the political will to consider a carbon tax. In the words of Daffy Duck, this whole incident may come down to a case of pronoun trouble.
To some listeners, May's comment is made a bit more ambiguous by another comment she makes right afterward: "... and I fundamentally agree with that assessment...".

I'm glad you got that apology and your response is on target. I wish the apology could have come sooner and I pushed hard to get it to you sooner. Our party is not big and doesn't have the number of paid staff. An obviously frazzled staffer took a fair bit of undeserved heat from ol' JB today and I've had to make some apologies for pushing as impatiently as I did.

You're absolutely right. Many people are just starting to realize the power and freedom of the blogs. Hopefully, most of the lessons will be less painful than this one was.

Now, are you going to go back to focusing on the Con's like Jack said? The last few days have been all Green, all the time, here in the dog park.

JB

yes, i read echenberg's post.

KEvron

Congrat's Buckdog and a high-five to you! Another mark on your belt, a notch on your bedpost and a feather in your cap I look forward to each and every post you put up!
The Beast.

Congrats Buckdog. Like Jim Bobby said, lets focus on Harper. Funny, about that, and I can't help myself saying it, but when the focus of May not being in the debate was put upon Layton, and not Harper, or Duceppe, or for that Dion, who said if he's not in, nor am I, it's hard to swallow the "let's focus on Harper."
I will take JB at his word. Thank you for going to bat for buckdog.

The other two posters above, who just seemed like they couldn't say, good show, well, they can't hold a candle to JB.

Good reply, leftdog. Making your point without further inflaming the situation. Kudos.

Good stuff.

From: http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=3&action=blog&subaction=viewPost&post_id=8113&blog_id=323

(last updated at 16:11 on Sept 12)


. . . . . It is unclear if she is agreeing with the assessment that Canadians are stupid, or with the assessment of the questioner from the audience, who says there is no political will for a carbon tax. To be fair to May, she clearly does agree with the latter assessment. The question is whether or not she also agrees with the former.

We'll ask her tonight.


_______________

I suggest you read the complete post from the link above.

Great response, I'm still giggling.

I think the Kady O'Malley post you link to at the bottom of your post is right on the money. The Greens' communications chief behaved poorly, and made his party (briefly, at least) look no better than the Harper Conservatives.

Buckdog, as a Green supporter, I was appalled by the email you received from John Bennett. Am glad you received an apology and in writing.

Your reply to Bennett's apology was eloquent and I'm sure that all of us in the blogosphere appreciate the hat tip you've given us. I sure do! :-)

Excellent leftdog!! They should have YOU writing for them since their PR person has difficulties with grammar.

If I may tack on some additional advice for the Green Party...

1. Please advise May to stop racetalking.

2. Please advise May to THINK before she SPEAKS.

3. Please advise May on how political discourse works. You listen, you stop to think, you address ONE PERSON AT A TIME.

She got into this mess for two different sentences in her answer. The first was hard to catch (I or they) the second confusing to follow. It did sound like she was agreeing with the assessment that Canadians are stupid. She needs to learn - desperately and quickly - to pay attention to the fact that her words are being listened to carefully and recorded.

That's all I have.

Just watched Bennett on Mike Duffy Live at 8 pm and he stated twice that your blog was Conservative.

karmat

That was an amazing reply Leftdog. Are you sure you're a progressive... :-)

However, one correction: an election SHOULD be a time of unfettered debate and speech.

Alas, there is the little matter of overt gag laws. And the unspoken laws of political correctness.

Anyway, let's all work together to keep the blogosphere a free speech zone as long as we can.

If members of Parliament are immune from slander raps in the House, ordinary people should have their own "clean room" too!

Noname - Apology or not,Bennett acted like, and continues to be an idiot. I do not believe that Green bloggers nor Green Party members are well served by someone who is so completely clued out about the reality of communications and the blogosphere in the 21st century!

But I will leave it to the Greens to deal with such inept and incompetent staff persons.

I have noticed something very telling in all of this. Even though most of them disagree would with you on just about everything political, you received a lot of support from the right side of the political spectrum. Just something to think about.

Good stuff...

Bennett would have been well advised to send a query rather than a threat in the first place.

Welcome to the conservative blogosphere by the way ;)

Good post Buckdog.Glad you road this one out and came out on top.

Dave F. The Rightosphere jumped on this simply because of the 'free speech' element. Surely you are familiar with the many posts on HRC challenges. When the Green's stupidly threatened me with legal action and I fought back, the Right responded because they see it as a key issue for where they are.

No real mystery in that.

Leftdog you took my last comment the wrong way. Obviously a lawsuit is damaging (financially, stress, etc.), and that was what would have been damaging to you had you not had support to get the matter dropped by the aggressor.

Saskboy ... thanks for the concern but I am an old street fighter of Irish Republic roots and there is not much that stresses me. As for financial cost ... well, I would have sold farmland.

Dirk ... thanks ... great post on your site!!! :)

I think it's great to see bloggers across the political spectrum support you. If something like this should happen to any other bloggers in the future, I will give them my support no matter if they support the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Greens, and even the Bloc.

"The Rightosphere jumped on this simply because of the 'free speech' element. Surely you are familiar with the many posts on HRC challenges. When the Green's stupidly threatened me with legal action and I fought back, the Right responded because they see it as a key issue for where they are."

Dead right. And if you post something true that the CPC or the Libs or the NDP sends you that sort of BS notice on I - and I suspect "we" - will have your back.

Free speech is just that. And it's important and even lefties have a Charter Right to it.

Thanks jay .. I tried to explain that to Bennett from the Greens when I replied to his apology email.
'Don't try and suppress the blogosphere or any one part of it'!

You've received the ultimate accolade.

Left - Right - Centre ... Green - Lib - Tory - Rhino - NDP ... the rules of the political game have changed with the advent of the Blogs. Those who do not recognize that from any point in the political spectrum will soon find that out to their own peril.

I am quite proud of the fact that Green bloggers challenged their own Party for threatening me. Bloggers like Saskboy actually phone, emailed and hounded them. I have had Libloggers go after the threats and I am also happy that a number of conservative bloggers didi the same thing. I actually feel kind of proud of the fact that this mobilization happened ... because it reaffirms what I believe is the best part of the blogosphere. We know what we have here and we are not going to go away!

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