Blogging and Traditional Politics
Blogging is an irreverent format where any citizen can say what they want. We bloggers and blog commenters say what is on our minds and have a tendency to speak the truth to power. This may sometimes create a culture shock when bloggers interact with politicians that are new to the format. We welcome and encourage politicians to come to blogs and engage in a discussion with voters. Blogs provide a great opportunity for politicians to side step traditional filters in the media and interest groups and engage voters directly. This opportunity to directly communicate to voters is something politicians all over the country have been taking advantage of to get their message out and get input on their ideas, but it is very new to our candidates in Howard County. In my irreverent blogging manner I added the line "(Remember we can search your financial reports and it looks worse to lie and get catch. If you want to be on the safe side you can answer for each of your biggest contributors.)" to question 5 of the County Council/County Exec questions of the Bloggers Candidate Forum. My fellow bloggers thought I didn't need to say this because it was stating something the candidates already new and frankly I should have listened to them, but I went ahead and included it anyway. I have decided that they were right and am going to take the line "Remember we can search your financial reports and it looks worse to lie and get catch." out of the questions listed below. It does not change the question and I hope it removes an excuse that at least one candidate wanted to use not to participate. The pluses for candidates to participate and engage directly with voters without their words being filtered far outweigh the culture clash of bloggers irreverent words and traditional politics.