Well, it looks like I've made a rather big mistake here. I really caused a mess with the now infamous Time To Fire Brad Lavigne, NDP Communications Director post.
It started a great firestorm on the Blogging Dippers, caused people to create blogs, and resulted in a negative article on Macleans.
And when James Laxer, a Liberal apologist that is still angry at the NDP for clamping down his 1970's ultra-left "party-within-a-party", agreed with me, I knew I just made a major mistake.
So, I'm doing to analyze just what happened here.
Apology to Brad Lavigne
First of all, I'd like to apologize to Brad Lavinge. First of all, I was working off of faulty information; being that Lavinge was the Director of Communications for Canada's NDP. That information, of course, came straight to me from the NDP Website; I'll talk more about that later.
So, while I'm still not really that impressed with Lavinge and his attitude towards the media, some of the evidence that I thought could be used as justification for his firing actually occurred under Joanne Deer's watch.
Breakdown of, or Selective, Communications
Some of what happened in the past couple of days can be attributed to a break down of communication. Before this, who knew that Joanne Deer was Director of Communications for Canada's NDP since October? While, certainly, not I, because the website still said that Lavinge was the Director of Communications under media contacts.
But that leaves me wondering: what if somebody from the media phoned expecting Lavinge and got Deer instead? Wouldn't that indicate disrespect for the media, or the the very least, incompetence?
Another thing that really inflamed the situation and made it worse was Deer's selective communications. When she issued the correction, there was only one blogger who received it: Devin Johnston. The thing is, every blogger that was involved tended to have public e-mails. My e-mail is public under my profile, and it would have taken a few more seconds to send an email.
The Power of Blogs
Another thing that this situation really showed was how powerful blogs are. I mean look at what happened. I wrote a short criticism of the NDP, as I tend to do every once in a while, to the purpose of improving its operation. Bloggers in the other parties do this too; it shows that they are human and not partisan machines. Anyways, that criticism spread all over the Blogging Dippers and finally into the Macleans website.
And, I have to say, the Macleans article was fair. It represented mine and other positions perfectly, and ensured that the change of Communications Directors was noted. It is really ironic, that a message by part time bloggers was more clear in the media than one released to the NDP by the professionals.
I didn't think that news of my post would go that far. I mean, who thought that many people even read my blog. I honestly didn't mean for it to go this far.
Still A Communications Problem
However, I'm not going to give up on my contention that the NDP Communications Department should be reorganized. There still remains the fact that Communications, as of late, have been terrible. Afghanistan should not have been made a major communications plank in the first place, as foreign affairs issues don't really attract many votes, but certainly stop people from taking a second look. When the Afghanistan issue was released, it should have been done with more clarity. The NDP's position on Afghanistan is still vague to many people, due to a failure in communications. These problems will not go away, and should be corrected.
Well, there are a few positive notes here.
If the NDP had any doubts about the power of bloggers , they should be gone now. I hope that they are beginning to create new strategy over this, and suggestions from bloggers like Devin Johnston will be invaluable.
Secondly, this didn't happen during an election. Hopefully, people will forget about it in weeks.
Finally, I need to be careful on what I say. I know now that things can reach a bigger audience.