Sunday, March 27, 2011

Neutrality

For those of you not in Canada, we've just started a federal election. And since it's set for May 2, it's going to be several weeks of shouting and jockeying for votes. We actually have a vacation planned right in the middle of it, which I'm not sure is a good thing or not. On the one hand, we'll probably enjoying watching TV without political commercials. On the other hand, I'm a political junkie and a federal election is like your World Cup.

However, here's the thing, you won't be reading much about the federal election on this blog.

I haven't advertised the point much on the blog, but I am a member of the federal civil service. Now, I've always been careful about posting opinions on federal politics since getting this job, but now that we're in an election, I think that probably gets ramped up a bit. Members of the civil service, as I understand it, have to remain neutral. Especially during elections. There are very specific rules in place for this - about what happens if you want to run for office, or help someone run for office. Or write opinions that could damage one candidate or party over another.

However, things get a bit dicer when it comes to social media such as Facebook, Blogger and Twitter. I'm willing to bet a whole bunch of people are going to get burned by Twitter in this election. Politicians, political staff, civil servants, Twitter is just a minefield waiting for people to dance through it blindfold.

And yes, I know it was around and used during the last federal election. However, people were still trying to figure out what to do with it. Beyond it being a toy to let people know where you were when you were on your cell phone, people couldn't see a practical use for it. That's changed now. Everyone knows how Twitter can make an impact. Hell, the only way I know what's going on around Iqaluit is by checking my Twitter feed.

But yes, Twitter is going to get a lot of people in trouble the next few weeks. And probably Facebook. And likely Blogger/Wordpress, etc. So I'm going to try and be a very good boy and not get in trouble. I'm not going to stay off these platforms, because I enjoy using them. I'm just going to be a little extra careful on what I say on them.

Because I think the idea of a neutral civil service is a good thing. Not always an easy thing, but it's good that it is neutral. So in public, I shall be in neutral.

Although it occurs to me that the next five weeks or so might be hardest on Cathy. Without the blog to vent on anytime I see something that drives me crazy, I might start walking around the house ranting. There's a good chance I might not come back from Florida. Or, come to think of it, make it to Florida alive.

Last Five
1. Cruel (live) - Tori Amos
2. Christy - Brendan Benson
3. Someone saved my life tonight - Elton John
4. She's always a woman- Billy Joel
5. Tower of song - Jenny Gear*

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

a smart post!

Way Way Up said...

I've been holding back a little too, for a number of reasons namely that I wouldn't want anything to come back and bite me on the ass. Plus, given how popular the oil sands is with some people in this country I'm weary about starting something that would bring a whole bunch of clowns out of the wood work to my blog.

I've never really hidden the fact that I vote Conservative (and if I have I've likely done it badly). This election around, it really is a no-brainer the Conservatives will take our riding here and likely much of Alberta too. Makes me wonder whether voting is even worth the effort, I'm sure I'll be happy with the election result but admit that in terms of democracy, not voting because of an assumption of a particular election outcome is a little sad.

Sigh.....Spring has only just begun and politicians have fouled it already.