Wednesday, December 22, 2004


(UPDATED slightly, re: politics & policy)

Robert McClelland is hosting the 2004 Canadian Weblog AwardsMyrick). I was surprised to find myself nominated as "Best Non-Political Weblog", for 2 reasons:

1) As Robert noted of the nomination, this blog may not fit the category
2) I don't think this blog is particularly great or well-read (Thanks "Paul" by the way, now I know 5 people who read this thing regularly).

So I went back through a few of my posts, and found myself surprised - the majority of my entries aren't political, in any sense. It didn't start out that way; like many, I started this blog after spending a couple of months commenting at Coyne's blog, and writing e-mails to Cosh. Plus, it was about 2 weeks before the federal election, so I felt like I had a lot to say.

I think the biggest reason for the slow change in tone is probably (A) the time and (B) the mental effort inherent in posting anything original about politics. My disillusionment with the CPC is a factor too, no doubt.

This raises a somewhat interesting question, though, that I started thinking about after former fellow comments-lurker SD spilled her guts out last week. It's regarding the difference between policy and politics, and specifically I would like to throw this out there: if you hold a policy position that is shared by exactly zero federal and provincial parties, is it really a political position?

Regular visitors here know that the biggest "issue" I write about (aside from maybe campaign finance and speech restrictions) is the health care system. I happen to believe that the first and most important step towards improving health care for all Canadians is to allow privately financed alternatives, entirely outside the government-insured system. So, which party, exactly, does that align me with? Where would I volunteer to help make this happen?

Is this even necessarily a right-wing position (not that I'm inclined to protest that characterization)? I would imagine that an argument could be constructed, from the left, that public health care would be best served by abandoning the upper income brackets to fend for themselves.

Comments are of course welcome. I'm pretty indifferent to the resolution, or non-resolution, of whether this is a political blog. However, this question needs addressing: if you're a wonk, are you also a hack? Assuming the short answer is "No", what's the ", But..."?



At 10:50 a.m., Blogger The Hack said...

One of the rules I've learned in my political life is this: "A wonk is almost inheirently a hack, but far too few hacks could be considered a wonk."

Merry Christmas. And thanks for the link.


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