I would be lying if I told you all that I expected to still be doing this a year later. At the time, I wasn't really all that familiar with the "blogosphere" - I knew it existed, but didn't really sift through it in any significant depth. This ignorance led me to believe that nobody was covering the PC Leadership Race in the way that I believed it should be covered - after all, PC members were choosing Alberta's next Premier, and there was as much main-stream media attention being paid, in the initial stages, as if it were a school board election. Turns out the guys getting all the attention lost.
I was shocked, early on, to find that my writing was resonating with people. I've always had something of a knack for expressing myself on the page, but to have intelligent, politically-informed people sending me messages of support, and posting about this new, anonymous blogger who seemed to know what he was talking about... it was both surprising and extremely gratifying. It still is. I can't tell you how happy I am when I see my blog being discussed elsewhere on-line, because it means people are talking - and not just about me, but about the issues I'm raising, which was the entire point.
I have noticed some discussion as to the identity of this blogger... and I'll re-iterate my stance that, due to my position with the Government of Alberta, "coming out" could have very negative implications for my income. I welcome the conjecture, though. My favourite rumour thus far is that I'm a backbench Tory MLA. Does anyone really think that I'd be content to be a BACKBENCH MLA? ;-)
I couldn't help but notice that my blog hasn't been put forward for any blog awards - surely, the nominations were lost in the mail? ;-)
I thought that this blog would help cure the occasional "politic-itch" that I have experienced in the past, let me get a few things off my chest, and then fade into obscurity. I have found instead, though, that it has renewed my optimism, my passion, and my desire to contribute to the process in a positive way - by covering the issues, or by perhaps someday stepping forward and putting my name on a ballot (if, conspiracy theorists, I haven't already).
Nation, I will continue to fight the good fight, and as most of you know, I am by no means alone. There are many wonderful bloggers of ALL political stripes, from the very partisan to the completely unbiased. Be they municipally-focused, provincial or federal, they work day in and day out to present something that will inform, enlighten, and entertain all of us. Let me tell you - except for a rare few, blogging doesn't pay well, if at all. Nobody's doing this for the money. The people that you find out here in the media wilderness plugging away are doing so out of a desire to contribute to the discussion. I applaud them, and remain in awe of the work that they do - I am proud to be numbered among you.
I would be remiss at this time if I didn't thank all of the wonderful and supportive people who have offered encouragement (or a kick in the pants) when it was sorely needed. Be they bloggers or readers, their feedback and support has bolstered me and served as a valuable reminder that what I say, and how I say it, DOES resonate with people - I have a responsibility to them to "get it right and be fair", and to at all times respect the intelligence of my readers, whether they agree with me or not. It's a lesson that I remind myself of daily.
Special thanks go out to:
- The wonderfully supportive Duncan and Allie, who introduced me to the blogosphere and held my hand when I was in unfamiliar climes;
- That up-and-coming youngster Ken Chapman, whose wise and encouraging words helped me through a particularly difficult cross-roads;
- Larry Johnsrude who, despite joining "the dark side" recently was the first "real media" person to acknowledge that I might have some intelligent things to say despite my lack of a journalism degree;
- CalgaryGrit and daveberta who, despite our differing leanings have been nothing but supportive in their comments;
- Kirk Schmidt (the next MP for Calgary West), who has helped restore my faith that good people who want to make a change can and will go up against incredible odds;
- Naheed Nenshi of the Better Calgary Campaign, who surprised me with his confession to being a member of the E.S. Nation (I knew he was smart, but never suspected he was THAT smart - thanks for reading, Naheed);
- anonymous poster - you know who you are, and so do I;
- All of the candidates for various elections who have linked to this blog under their "media" sections - thank you for running, and thank you for the nod;
- To the much-maligned (wrongfully, in my opinion) Scott Tribe and the folks at Progressive Bloggers who, despite the fact that I'm not a fire-breathing radical lefty, still give me a forum from which to occasionally point out that not all conservatives are neanderthals;
- And most of all to my lovely fiancee, the soon-to-be Mrs. Savage, whose never ending patience while listening to me "clack-clack" into the wee hours has made all of this possible. Sugar, you know I'd give this all up tomorrow if you asked, so thank-you for not asking. :-)
It's been a great year, Nation. Here's to another!
Self-aggrandizing, congratulatory post done. Back to the issues. :-)