Sunday, February 27, 2011

Introducing the "Question Of The Day"

Nation, for 4 long years you've been surfing to this little corner of the interwebs to see me wax on and on and on about politics. About how politics is done, and about how it SHOULD be done.

That's not going to change anytime soon. I'm still going to write about that, and more.

What I *am* going to do, though, is add a regular segment - regular as in "several times a week, at least" called the "Question Of The Day" ("qOtd", for short - the letter "O" is near and dear to my heart).

In the qOtd features, I'm going to ask YOU, the members of the E.S. Nation, to tell me (and all of your fellow readers) how you feel about a given issue. I'll also lay out my own opinion, with the caveat that I may be totally, 100% wrong or have no earthly idea what I'm talking about.

The impetus for this comes from my experiences on Twitter in particular. The 140 character limit requires brevity - which is a virtue I had yet to master - but it also lends itself well to trite and shallow attacks. I've got an entire blog post cooking on the tragic over-simplification of public discourse via Twitter, but for now I want to give people the space to express themselves in complete sentences. I firmly believe that when we all act like adults - another thing that sometimes gets forgotten on Twitter - and respect our fellow engaged citizens (even while disagreeing with their assertions), we can often learn something from a completely unexpected source.

I don't know everything. For me to completely disregard the opinions of someone who votes NDP (for example) just because of how they vote is, frankly, idiotic. If you're a doctor and we're talking about health care delivery and I IGNORE what you have to say about the issues in the system you're knee-deep in every day because of the party you voted for, then I'm part of the problem. Hopefully, through this exercise, we can all be part of the solution.
Some of the questions will be about sharing opinions. Some of them will be about sharing data, or straight-up knowledge on a subject that others (like myself) may lack. Things may get heated from time to time. But what I'm asking for in regards to this feature is 4 things:

  1. Give me your qOtd suggestions! You can email me at the address listed in my profile on this page, or send them to me directly via twitter (I'm "@oberhoffner", with the hashtag #qotd). Other bloggers can submit qOtd's as well. I'll give full credit. :)
  2. At all times be respectful of the other people offering their thoughts. It's possible to say "I disagree" or "you're wrong on the facts" without saying "you're stupid".
  3. Please be up front about your bias, if you have one. If you are a nominated candidate for a political party, an officeholder for a party's provincial or federal executive, etc, it's only right to indicate as much. I've got all the time in the world for your thoughts - and I'm sure my readers do as well - but don't deny us all the chance to digest your thoughts in the proper context. I haven't been shy about giving people space on this blog to express ideas very much in opposition to my own, and I'm not about to start now. Let's just be open with each other. If you're advocating for a party's positions and you hold an elected position in that party, we deserve to have that information.
  4. Please share these discussions on Facebook or Twitter, linking back to the qOtd post in question. I want to have as robust a discussion as possible, and that means making it easy for ANYONE to contribute their thoughts, whether they regularly check this space themselves, or they need to be led here first. :)

The fifth of four "asks" is the unwritten one: Please stay engaged if you're part of the conversation already! The points you make are going to be challenged, or backed-up, or built upon - so keep checking back to offer more to the discussion!  In short, if you're interested in a qOtd - don't lurk! SPEAK! :)

Whaddya say, Nation? Ready to be part of the solution?


Jane Morgan said...

Is that the first question?

If so, yes is my answer.

Disclosure: I am a Director at Large on the Wildrose Alliance Calgary North Hill Constituency Association.

I'm also nomination campaign manager for Cory Morgan.

Enlightened Savage said...

Jane: I thought you were running against Cory? ;)

Jane Morgan said...

Still might... Not sure the Libs have opened up their nomination yet....LMAO.