Keeping it Real…

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The Election Campaign is ON … and Blogs Will Play Largest Role EVER!

January 25th, 2013 · 22 Comments

Only fifteen weeks to go!  Hard to believe but the election many of us have been yearning for … and others are no doubt  dreading …. is now soooo close.

Of course the campaign has already begun … with positions staked … or avoided, with photo ops … or staying in hiding as much as possible, and with what will soon be a never-ending list of promises and press conferences and appearances on mainstream media by political leaders, aspiring MLAs and even those sometimes very shy cabinet ministers.

But THIS TIME the BC election will be different.

The blogosphere is here, the “people” have a louder voice than ever before …. and social networking now reaches MORE people than all of BC’s mainstream media put together!

Woe to any politician who fails to realize that … or recognize the influence YOU will now wield, right here and on other blogs, websites and social networks.

Of course, this new reality brings new responsibilities as well as increased influence or power.

Unlike so many of the mainstream media reporters, pundits and editorialists, WE will not toss only puffy questions to politicians/parties we secretly support but ferocious grilling to those we oppose: we will demand answers from them all and serve our readers/participants … not any advertisers or corporate owners. Or public or private union bosses either.

The aim of  Keeping it Real (unlike some blogs that a clearly one-sided and highly partisan) will be to play a unique, open role in raising populist issues and allowing leaders, politicians and supporters of ALL the parties reach out DIRECTLY to the voters with their answers to concerns and points we all raise on here.

And what many politicians already know …. but may surprise some readers … is that circulation of Keeping it Real is NOT limited to the many tens of thousands who directly access this website: I have allowed several other community websites to republish the contents free of charge, resulting in province-wide distribution of issues raised.

THAT is the power of the blogosphere.

And in BC’s May provincial election … OUR role on here will be a very important one!

Good to be back.

Harv Oberfeld

Tags: British Columbia · Media

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 D. M. Johnston // Jan 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Unlike the MSM, bloggists have there own expertise and style. Some are, or have been professional reporters, others are knowledgeable amateurs each with their own specialty and expertise.

    After scanning the two daily fish-wraps, I check out the Tyee, BBC, the Guardian and/or the Independent. They I peruse 5 or 6 favourite blogs ( I have 20 favourites.), which over a week keeps me well tuned to the news.

    I also contribute to a blog, which has gained popularity; strangely though the blog has an international flavour and is read by people in Eastern Canada, the UK and Europe.

    Forget about radio or TV news, I have completely tuned them out because I am tired of the goody two-shoes approach, with puff interviews and equally puff stories.

    Radio has become annoying as it seems that one particular top dog station has become a political infomercial, where the truth is bet and twisted to such an extent that it ceases to become important.

    So much for Liberal attack ads, I don’t listen or watch enough TV to see them.

    The old guard media are fading away, mostly whimpering to the end and just do not have the moral fortitude to take on real news anymore.

  • 2 DonGar // Jan 25, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Welcome back. Totally agree with your comments. The non partisan blogs will indeed play a very significant role in this election. Especially in getting the truth out to the voters that the MSM and politicians don’t want released.

    Look forward to your questions and insight.

  • 3 Stevie Ray // Jan 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Harvey, we miss the days politicians quaked in their boot at the sight of a BCTV microphone coming their way. Welcome back. Too much has happened since you took a break, suffice it to say, none of it was good.

    (Response: Ahhhh! Those were the days! Too bad. And I blame management. h.o.)

  • 4 Robbie // Jan 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Do you see this pending social media exposure as a means to level the playing field for some or Independent candidates? Do you think Huntington was a one off, and the parties can breathe easy? This should all be ‘very, very interesting’ as Artie used to say.

    (Response: It won’t “level” the playing field, because candidates for the big parties will get extra exposure from the millions of dollars spent by the parties on lots of colourful brochures, billboards, radio, tv and newspaper advertising and will be able to ride on the coattails of their leaders performances (or suffer) on open-line or other interviews … so the playing field will not be level. However, the blogosphere and social networks CAN give at least some important exposure to candidates that they might not otherwise get… not by just letting them all rant and tie up sites, but by giving them a widely read and watched forum to reply to issues raised by bloggers and others who comment. h.o)

  • 5 Hugh // Jan 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Here is an election issue:

    Private run-of-river projects are killing fish while costing BC Hydro $52 billion for un-needed power:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/mobile/news/vancouver/river+sector+regulatory+disarray+documents+suggest/7857949/story.html

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Hydro+awash+private+power/6605915/story.html

  • 6 G. Barry Stewart // Jan 25, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Welcome back, Harvey. (Curse your captcha tool, though! I still get multiple fails, unlike Norm’s.)

    I hope that regular blog readers will take the time to send links to family, friends and colleagues — and ask them to pass them on.

    There are many fertile fields that are just waiting for the seeds of truth to be sown.

  • 7 G. Barry Stewart // Jan 25, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hmm… I just switched from Safari to my Firefox browser and I passed the captcha screen on the first shot!

  • 8 John // Jan 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Respectfully, I suspect you are mistaking what you refer to as partisanship for what is clearly a desperately needed counterbalance to the soft-pedalling and intentional underemphasis many MSM columnists/political commentators display.

    Especially needed since government feels so comfortable using our own tax dollars to lie to us, and the MSM so desperate for advertising dollars they give government a free pass to do so.

    Precisely how many times and for how long do Palmer/Smart/Baldrey /Smyth et. al. get to dance around various issues, deliberately framing them so as to either minimize or outright obfuscate the misdeeds of government MLA’s and their senior bureaucrats?

    Without the MSM’s complicity the past 2 election cycles, this corrupt crew might have been exposed for what they are long ago. Wilfull blindness, “nothing to see here” drive-bys that many voters buy, because they do stil believe the MSM is impartial, despite the rise of the blogosphere.

    Partisan? No. Simply unafraid to present the facts that others either fear to report or purposely bury. Bring on the blogs and the election.

  • 9 Ian Fromme-Nelson // Jan 26, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Welcome back, Harv!
    Not much has been happening in BC while you were taking your break. Ha ha, just kidding — you may need to hire a couple of research assistants/typists if you want to document all the scandals, debacles and fiascos that have happened in BC during your break… while your blog was going on you must have been keeping them honest! Or… perhaps leaning a bit more to the honest side, anyway — I think full-blown honesty’s gonna take some work with this Gang That Couldn’t Shoot (or Talk) Straight… if it’s not impossible altogether!

    One thing to watch out for as far as blogs go in the next election — they know how increasingly laughable and irrelevant the LameStream Media
    is these days. Watch out for established parties using Twitter and blogs for phoney “grassroots” appeal. A RoboCall-type of attack on democracy could happen with the new media.

    And Coleman must resign!

    (Response: Thanks. Coleman will be the subject of Monday’s blog. h.o)

  • 10 kootcoot // Jan 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Why wait fifteen weeks, Christy should go now. After all, look at her numbers on the CKNW poll
    53% – Christy Party
    34% – NDP

    I tend to think that if she doesn’t take advantage of this it is tantamount to an admission that the poll was rigged and cooked by BC Liberal operatives, and I would hate to think such a vile thought about such a nice lady and her wonderful gang of folks dedicated to public service.

    Welcome back to paradise Harv, while you try to be non-partisan, don’t fall into the trap of false equivalency, which is the refuge of wrong headed policy wonks.

    False equivalency is the idea of considering a deck in East Van and the Fast Ferries equivalent to stealing a railroad, beggaring BC Hydro, virtually destroying BC Ferries, putting a roof on BC Place for more than Seattle will spend building a brand new stadium, and the Convention Center and those are just for starters.

    After all, Glen Clark was vindicated in court over the deck……..these guys had to use a six million dollar bribe to keep just one incriminating issue buried……and unless they’ve destroyed all the evidence or the incoming government takes the same approach as the Obama administration has to the Wall Street Fraudsters, vindication for these guys seems unlikely.

    (Response: I’m skeptical about those numbers..VERY skeptical. BUT … one thing I’ve learned is that in election campaigns, everything can turn on a dime. One dumb pronouncement by a leader, as few outrageous statements by outlandish candidates or party supporters, or one bad misstep (or really great quote) in a debate … and voters can be turned. And don’t underestimate the power of the MSM or all those ads we’ll see from both sides. . I personally don’t think it should be that way…the overall record should be weighed and assessed along with the new platform… but this blog is about Keeping it Real …not Ideal, so get ready for a really interesting campaign. I love it! h.o)

  • 11 r // Jan 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Welcome to BC-
    fighting HST/casino downtown/casino surrey/coal/ashpalt pipeline/and to get BC auditor job back etc

    http://www.coalwatch.ca/

  • 12 Barry // Jan 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    One of my favorite definitions of journalism is “Telling truth to power.”

    Since the corporatization of the media, along with the election of the Fibrals/Conjobs, it’s become more and more obvious that MSM, filled with supporters of those parties, wants to protect its friends. I predict that if the NDP gets in, all of a sudden you will see a new found “intensity” by MSM in covering the various NDP “scandals” under the guise of “just doing our job.”

    That is why I’ve turned more and more to blogs like yours, Alex’s, Norm’s and others. MSM is rapidly loosing legitimacy as a tool of the ordinary people. As technology allows people like yourself to bypass the media’s former stranglehold, MSM will either have to clean up its act, or face irrelevancy.

  • 13 Gini // Jan 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Good to have you back, Harv. I’ve missed your insightful blogs, and can hardly wait to hear your take on the Rich Coleman debacle. Also, Christy’s desperate attempt at vote-grabbing out in Surrey.

    Just read Vaughn Palmer’s column, and he surprised me again. It appears that Christy has finally fallen off that big pedestal she’s been sitting on for the past couple of years. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. It looks like Smyth is starting to go soft, just as he did prior to the 2009 election.

    Oh well, at least we have you, Harv, and Laila, Norm and a few others to ‘keep it real’ for us.

  • 14 e.a.f. // Jan 26, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    So glad you are back! Missed your comments.

    Blogs will play a much more important role than in other elections because many people understand the msm does not report the real news in a meaningful manner.

    When good articles are written on blogs people frequently send them along to their friends, the news gets around.

    political parties can run all the miss leading ads they want but if one blogger prints the truth, the word gets around.

  • 15 judi sommer // Jan 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Harvey,
    Welcome home! What a time to have been on holiday but grand to see you had time to post on Alex T’s blog. I can hardly wait to see what you and Laila Y have planned for Monday for Mr Coleman. When the story about his bullying and threatening attack on the Surrey coucil for voting down the casino, it was a local paper that broke the story and it has had legs ever since. Given the autowreck of Liberal disasters, I thought Vaughn’s latest piece was spot on. Commentors like to gang up on him but I thought his musings really nailed it. We see a government in deep trouble when people who are threatened ie: Doyle and Surrey Council push back and will not be silenced or bullied by them.Names that have never appeared on posts on the Sun or Province before in response to articles are moved to comment. I was particularly struck by a comment you made some time ago about when people laugh at a politician, he or she are seeing their political end of days. With Ms Clark’s ill-fated and politically disastrous interview with a now infamous dj on the Island, she showed her true colours.Hope you are rested and up to speed to join the fray!

  • 16 Scotty on Denman // Jan 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Welcome back, Harvey. Just realized I haven’t seen or heard a BC Liberal attack ad, which shows how little I’ve been paying attention to MSM. There’s simply better information elsewhere.

    One thing’s sure: the next 15 months is gonna be very interesting in BC (hopefully not like the old Chinese curse.) Then the ‘ifs’ start. If Christy makes it to the election (some say there’s still time to push her out and put in a better leader), if there is an election in May 2013 (some speculate the BC Liberal majority could repeal the fixed-election date law which would constitutionally buy them up to one more year), if Christy doesn’t lose her own seat (her by-election win was close which supposedly prognosticates a loss this time running against the same rival–hopefully Ebby won’t treat us to his singing like he did at the NDP leadership convention, so bad it might have cost the seat), if Christy can stomach being Opposition leader (that’s if the BC Liberals don’t fall to third-party status or worse), if Christy doesn’t introduce an online voting system to confound the process, if undecideds decide (that’s if they bother to vote at all or let somebody else do it for them),…well, then we should have a pretty interesting election.

    I expect the BC Liberals to cultivate the “comeback”, citing dubious stats, Allison Redford, anything they can to stay in power despite their pitiful record. Polarized partisan polemic will heat up further, as much to suppress the apatite to engage with real issues as to persuade undecideds (a kind of gamble.)

    For me it will be holding politicians to their records, making sure the real, not the mythical record like the “lost decade of the 90s”, can be articulated without scaring away the vast number of non-voters who are middle of the roaders, who hate being put on the spot or taking a particular position that might out them around the dinner table or the water cooler at work. Second, I want to work on Green supporters, some of the most decided voters anywhere, to think about how important it is for everyone, including the environmentally conscientious, to get rid of this government; Greens need to understand that their near-fringe support has been enough to elect governments antithetical to environmentalism.

    Now that should be really interesting.

    (Response: I believe your campaign scenario could turn out quite real. h.o)

  • 17 13 // Jan 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Harvey, you pointed out that the whole mess called BC politics can turn on a dime. I am a liberal supporter and here is a senario whereby the NDP could lose the election.

    From a foi someone has pulled a survelance video tape of the day Dix forgot to buy a skytrain ticket. In the video it shows him staring at the ticket machine then looking over his shoulder to see if anyone is watching. When he sees the coast is clear he gives the machine the finger and jumps aboard the skytrain.

    Sadly this probably didnt happen. But it will be interesting to see how many more idiotic moves the liberals can make between now and voting day. Will Dix be able to weather the attack ads? Will NW continue to run the ads in the name of free enterprise? As youve said before it never gets dull.

    I have a slightly different outlook for your blog. I look forward to the next four years after the election. It will be interesting to see how much of the NDP election platform come to pass. I can hardly wait to finaly know the whole truth and nothing but the truth about BCR and Basi and Virk and 6 million dollars of possible hush money

  • 18 project freedom // Jan 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I think everything posted was actually very reasonable.
    But, what about this? suppose you were to write
    a killer post title? I am not suggesting your content is not good.
    , however what if you added something that makes people
    desire more? I mean The Election Campaign is ON ? and Blogs
    Will Play Largest Role EVER! | Keeping it Real… is kinda vanilla.
    You could peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they write news titles to get people to open the links. You might try adding a video or a pic or two to get readers interested about what you’ve written.
    Just my opinion, it could bring your website a little livelier.

  • 19 r // Jan 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Hello
    first a 150 million BC giveaway now this in 2013.?Privatezation of BC forests

    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/01/27/ben-parfitt-sneaky-liberals-are-planning-a-b-c-forest-giveaway/

  • 20 Henri // Jan 27, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    project freedom please note the following site for your info.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Oberfeld

  • 21 CGHZD // Jan 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

    There is a new book out that enlightens one on what a Government can do FOR THE PEOPLE instead of TAKE FROM THE PEOPLE.
    I’m sure you’ve read it Harvey, if you haven’t let some of those moths out of your wallet and liberate some cash for a very good read…..

    The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the
    NDP in Power 1972-1975
    By Geoff Meggs and Rod Mickleburgh
    Harbour Publishing (2012)

    Barrett wasn’t perfect by any means but compared to what BC’s had for Government since pales in comparison.

    (Response: I was THERE ..covering the BC legislature for the Vancouver Sun during Barrett’s entire term … and quite a few years before and after, so I don’t really need to be told about it by those who were not. LOL! In fact, I’m mentioned in the original biographical tome written on Barrett’s term. But if my old friends Meggs and Mickelburgh send this poor, retired, agin (LOL!) pensioner an AUTOGRAPHED copy, I WILL indeed read it. h.o)

  • 22 StandUpforBC // Jan 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Harvey, your understanding of the waning power of the media and the rising power of the blogosphere is invaluable.

    Here’s an example of why the mainstream media are having problems with credibility, and how they pervert social media.

    The other day, I posted a comment to an online CBC story. The CBC did not publish it. I checked their guidelines and my comment met all their rules for posting and posting was still “open”. I also noticed that comments that I had read before posting my comment had disappeared, leaving only 5 comments in total. I posted it again. Still nothing. A day later, I sent CBC a complaint email asking why my comment wasn’t posted. Many days later, I have had no response.

    I can’t understand why the CBC would object to my comment or remove other comments (which I recall were not objectionable at all).

    My email and comment is shown below. Any ideas out there why CBC would not publish it? Is this an example of CBC manipulating public opinion? I’m at a loss to understand this.

    My email to CBC:
    Hello, I put in a comment to the story below several days ago, but it has not been published. I also noticed that a few other comments that had already been posted by other people have since disappeared. Now there are only 5 comments showing.

    Story: Summerland care home problems persist after senior’s death

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/24/bc-summerland-senior-bonaldi-report.html?cmp=rss

    I checked your guidelines to make sure my comment I didn’t break any of your website rules. Then I sent my comment in again. Still nothing posted, even though comments are still welcome.

    Please publish my comment shown below. Thank you.

    My comment:

    Nursing homes run by the government health authorities or charities and societies aren’t any better than commercial ones, they just hide behind their image and the fact that they supposedly don’t have any monetary incentive.

    Nursing homes run by health authorities or by societies are as secretive and unaccountable as the private, commercial ones. Family members are intimidated and threatened when they try to bring concerns to staff’s attention. Authorities won’t help except when the media pays attention. The media pays almost no attention to most of the horror stories from BC nursing homes and even when they do, the attention is gone quickly.

    Investigations by the Health Ministry, the health authorities, and even the ombudswoman are a joke. Just page after page of useless babble. The staff say they are too busy, they didn’t know about the rules, they need more education, don’t make enough money. Staff have often been caught sleeping on the sofas in patient lounges at my mother’s society-run nursing home during their shifts, even in the middle of the day.

    Doctors and nursing staff just keep whining for higher pay for themselves — and more drugging of elderly people to keep residents in a drug stupor. Why do health care unions never come out against the harmful use of antipsychotic medications? Or the doctors? How come watchdog agency reports didn’t include stories like this one from Interior Health Authority?
    http://www.seniorsatrisk.org/2012/08/its-snowing-in-bc-staff-term-for-drugging-of-nursing-home-residents/

    Abuse can and does go on in all kinds of nursing homes, not just private ones, because staff are never held accountable and never ever face punishment for abusive acts.