Canadian Election Blog Betting

They're dropping the writ and we're definitely heading into yet another federal election in Canada (the fourth in the nine years we've lived here, and the second in 18 months - they're election crazy these Canucks!).

So I'm opening the book on when Canada's various party leaders will get their campaign blogging mojo on.

Last time around, if I remember rightly, Paul Martin (incumbent Prime Minister) was the only leader with anything approximating a campaign blog.

The site's locked behind a login wall now, alas, lost to the archives. Singularly clueless and un-bloglike of them.

From what I can recall, Martin's blog was mainly a sequence of bland baby-kissing-in-Moose Jaw stories with the occasional mildly interesting policy rant. But at least he had something approximating a blog - even if someone else was actually writing and posting the pablum for him

We're 18 months deeper into the evolution of the blogosphere now, and I find it hard to imagine how any of the party leaders are going to connect with informed, internetworked voters without committing to blog - and blog properly - this time around.

So let's post some opening odds on which of the main Canadian party leaders will be the first to launch a campaign blog:

Paul Martin (Liberal - Canada's ruling centrist party, in power for most of the last 80 years or so. No one seems to understand why.): - 5/4 favourite

Stephen Harper (Conservative - holds the distinction of being the only party leader who looks like reanimated corpse): - 2/1*

Jack Layton (New Democratic Party - the closest we have to a true left wing here. We love you, Jack - but when was the last time any Western nation elected a leader with a moustache?): - 5/1

Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois - holds the distinction of being the only party leader who really is a reanimated corpse): - 8/1

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets in the comments here. Odds will be updated as and when the management feel it's interesting enough to do so.

BTW, before all you tree-huggers pile on to accuse me of ignoring Canada's fourth national party, I'm afraid the Greens are disqualified from the betting on two counts:

1. Be honest - even in your most intense fluffy-bunny moments of Sting-worshipping, woven-beansprout-trouser-wearing, eco-righteous Green pride, you don't honestly think Canadians would ever elect a Green candidate, do you? Admittedly, one could say the same about the Bloc, but there's another reason;

2. Minor technicality - the Greens already have a blog. A real one. And one in which party leader, the splendid Jim Harris - my local Green candidate - actually writes his own stuff. That's just not fair to the other guys, Jim. Where would be if all our political leaders were as articulate and net savvy as you, eh? Play by the rules, dammit.

*N.B. The Harper site has a leg up on the others in that it already includes a couple of podcasts. Martin still comes in as favourite here for complicated reasons too arcane for you to understand (involves careful application of sophisticated statistical science and chocolate timbits), but I'd say there's a pretty strong chance they'll launch Harper's Army of the Damned Blog soon, so it's going to be a close run thing.

The Conservative Party's "yoof" wing already has a blog, of sorts. You'll find it here. Only one post up so far, and it doesn't augur well for the quality of stuff we're likely to see. Here's the first part of their opening salvo:

"Hey readers, and welcome to C-Blog!

Under news: new and exciting, we here on the C-Blog are pleased to bring to you 5 daily bloggers, diarists working in the internet medium if you will, who will wow you with their wit, their edge, and their diverse perspectives on current events, what’s new on the cpcenergy.ca landscape, and of course with their own thoughts and feelings..."

Right. Well, that's the Conservative youth vote banjaxed then.