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BC's political bloggers dish on the election

[Editor's note: Feel free to add your favourites of B.C.'s bloggiest at the bottom of this list by The Tyee's blogs editor Crawford Kilian.]

Between the rumble of the mainstream media and the squeaks of Twitter, the middle range of B.C. political bloggers is sometimes ignored. That's a pity, because some very interesting people are blogging this election, and their views deserve wider attention.

For the last month or two, The Tyee's B.C. Blogs page has offered a selection of some politics blogs. Here's a selection of what's on those blogs as we slog through the last week of the campaign:

At 2010 Gold Rush, Bob Mackin digs into the reasons for Gordon Wilson's return as the prodigal son to the embrace of the BC Liberal Party. He finds those reasons more complex than they seem.

At BC Election 2013, Sacha Peter crunches poll numbers and posts an occasional commentary. You may not agree with his views, but you'll appreciate his fact-based approach to the issues.

Bernard von Schulmann at BC Iconoclast is another poll analyst who also pays attention to the housekeeping chores of government, like keeping the civil service adequately funded to do its job.

At The Gazetteer, longtime blogger RossK is no fan of the BC Liberals, but he is consistently entertaining.

At Jaded Ram, ex-BC Liberal James Plett offers an insider's look at the political scene, and it isn't pretty. His May 7 post explains why Liberal candidate Mary Polak threw her gay campaign manager, Todd Hauptman, under the proverbial bus.

Retired journo Harvey Oberfeld at Keeping it Real brings almost four decades of B.C. reporting experience to this election; he knows where a lot of bodies were buried, and his original spadework often made those bodies shovel-ready.

One of our most consistently interesting political bloggers in B.C. is Laila Yuile, whose No Strings Attached is a regular must-read. If I were a politician I would not want to annoy her, if only because if I did, her recent post on 100+ reasons the BC Liberals must go would show me my own unpleasant future.

My only complaint about Politics Re-Spun is that it doesn't re-spin often enough. But when it does, as in the May 6 post on Ralph Sultan's shrugging-off of single mothers and kids in poverty, this blog can be lethal.

I don't know who Grant G at The Straight Goods is, but he posts on a visually striking blog and he pulls no punches. What's more, he documents those punches with a link-rich, rhetoric-rich style that makes every post a crash course in the subject.

Alex G. Tsakumis is the star of his own blog, with B.C. politicians playing walk-on roles. He's clearly channelling Amor de Cosmos, our 19th-century journalist turned politico, and he's great fun. But don't bet the farm on his predictions.

And finally, the blog of Gordon Wilson himself deserves attention. I well recall him when he was my colleague at Capilano College, lecturing (always in a suit!) to rapt classes of geography students. He was also an esteemed faculty association president and a tough contract negotiator. We faculty considered his Liberal Party leadership an amusing hobby, and no more.

But one morning on the ferry from the Sunshine Coast, circa 1990, Gordon told me how a couple of heavy hitters had recently asked him what his price would be to hand over the leadership of his party. He had turned them down, he proudly said, and went on to win 17 seats in the 1991 election. His next appearance on the Cap campus drew colleagues as rapt as his students had been.

The heavy hitters bided their time, and took over Gordon's party anyway. They have been ruling us for 12 long years.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.


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