Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Six bits of IP trivia

I've been tagged for the "six unimportant/trivial things about me" meme by both Candace and Ben. I kind of already did this one once with personal stuff, though, and I'm reluctant to fill the world with still more irrelevant personal trivia about me. So rather than be a killjoy and just ignore their tags, I'm going to compromise by making this about IP-related trivia that's political or bloggy.

1. I get ridiculously annoyed when other bloggers refer to me or my blog as anything but "Idealistic Pragmatist" or "IP," even if it's an honest mistake (so now you know how to annoy me if you want to!). Thankfully, though, most people do in fact call me one or the other of those...and oddly enough, that even extends to face-to-face interaction. In fact, I attended a blogstravaganza in Ontario once where I introduced myself to everyone by my real first name, and they spent the rest of the evening calling me "IP." This still amuses me today.

2. Speaking of blogstravaganzas in Ontario: I spend a month out of every summer in Waterloo for work-related reasons, and every year when I'm there, I manage to get together with other bloggers. We always have a great time, and our colourful mixture of political stripes always produces some really interesting conversations. Strangely enough, though, the Edmonton bloggers have never done this, even though we seem to get along well enough online. I have no idea why that is, but it seems like a crazy oversight.

3. I am a lot more partisan than I've been told I come across in this blog. There are three main reasons why this doesn't shine through here: one, I want this blog to always reflect my personal opinions rather than those of my party, so I don't let myself use it to score cheap political points (even when I desperately want to). Two, I think people are more likely to take what I say here seriously if I can distance myself from the blind partisanship of a lot of political blogging. Three, I think maintaining that slight distance makes for better persuasive writing.

4. Despite my own personal partisanship, I've never been able to bring myself to unequivocally tell random strangers that they should vote for my party. I believe strongly that people should vote for the party whose policies they like best, see, and that conviction is stronger than my partisanship. At times, in fact, I have been known to tell people: "well, if you think that, then you should vote for [x party that is not the NDP]"--a tendency that annoys a lot of my NDP friends in real life! I can't help it, though. I really do think having a diversity of choice is more important than everybody agreeing with me, and I'm glad when people who don't agree with me have choices they can support, too. Everybody should have that.

5. When I lived in the U.S., I used to wake up on election day with a sick sense of dread in my stomach. Part of it was the inevitable long lines at the polls and the overworked-rudeness of the people in charge, but most of it was the severe limitation on my choice that always made voting feel like some sort of bad medicine. In Canada, though, I've actually gotten tears in my eyes each of the three times I've voted (once federally, once municipally, once provincially) due to just how different the whole thing feels. I'm sure that someday it will seem completely banal to be able to go behind the screen and check an "x" in the box of a candidate I actually can believe in, but I'm not there yet.

6. If I could change only one thing about the Canadian political scene, it would be the near-complete inability of public servants to put the fortunes of their parties aside long enough to admit that there are areas where they agree enough to work together. I hate this so much, words can't even express it. In fact, when the Conservatives and the Liberals reached their agreement on Afghanistan, I found myself caught between profoundly disagreeing with what they came up with and wanting to applaud them for actually being able to admit that they had common ground. This country has such blinders on when it comes to political cooperation, it's appalling. It's a huge, huge cultural blind spot, and it's the most destructive thing about our politics.

Tag, you're it:
1. Mushroom
2. Gauntlet
3. skdadl from pogge
4. We Move to Canada
5. ALW
6. Blogging for Democracy


laura k said...

This is excellent!

Or, I thought it was excellent until I saw myself tagged. I usually ignore memes, but perhaps I'll do what you did, and write some wmtc-trivia. I'll think on it for a bit.

But thanks for including me. :)

Dirk Buchholz said...

IP said..."Strangely enough, though, the Edmonton bloggers have never done this, even though we seem to get along well enough online"...

well look where you live,Alberta,Edmonton there's your answer ;0

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


I know, I know, I'm no fan of tagging memes, either. Feel free to ignore. But I'm curious about your responses, if you felt like making some.


You seem to be making a joke about my city, but I'm not quite understanding it, sorry. In any case, I suspect the actual reason why we don't meet up is that there's no out-of-town person to be the impetus for it. (The Waterloo area bloggers don't get together when I'm not there, either.)

Mark Greenan said...

I'm no tagging meme fan either, but since it's coming from my fave blogger, I'll have to oblige.

But not until Wednesday, have a thesis draft to finish tonight and then a meeting tomorrow.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


Aw, you're sweet. No rush. Good luck with the draft! Let us know when we can read it. *g*

Anonymous said...

I will reveal more about me in the link below. Was tagged once and very little has changed obviously

My blogpost on the Spanish elections has been completed. Please check it out.