"Inter-not" -- Has a Canadian right-wing "blogosphere" had an impact on politics, society, and culture in Canada? (Part One)
By Mark Wegierski
Partially based on research done with Mike Krupa, M.A., for a paper accepted for the August 28-August 31 2014 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting and Exhibition (110th APSA Annual Meeting)(Politics after the Digital Revolution) (Washington, D.C.), from which we had to withdraw because of unforeseen personal circumstances.
The emergence of the Internet, where social, political, and cultural commentary could supposedly be freer of so-called "gatekeepers", is said to have introduced a greater and more genuine pluralism of outlooks to societies.
Considering that it could be argued that much of Canada ideologically resembles the "bluest" of the "Blue" (Democratic) American states, the emergence of right-leaning counter-tendencies would arguably be a step toward greater pluralism. However, despite close to two decades of Internet development, it could be argued – as far as the author of this article can ascertain -- that a Canadian right-wing "blogosphere" barely exists.
Looking at some of the conservative Canadian websites and major bloggers, it's easy to see there wasn't any point in recent Canadian political developments where they might have made an impact comparable to the blogger impact in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election. That was when right-wing bloggers turned back an attempt by the "main stream media" to undermine George W. Bush's Presidential campaign. The MSM was questioning Bush's National Guard service record, based on what were ultimately proved to be forged documents. (It is, of course, an entirely separate issue, that Dubya's two terms have ended up as an almost unmitigated disaster for any more seriously defined conservatism in America.)
The author finds that, in Canadian society, which, unlike the U.S., does not have solid social bases, groups, or publications for a more substantive conservatism, the presence of a few websites and bloggers has had decidedly minimal impact.
The impact of the so-called right-wing blogosphere is certainly far less in Canada than in the United States. The impact of various personal blogs (such as those of Kate McMillan, Kathy Shaidle, or Richard Klagsbrun) is difficult to accurately gauge. There are as well the party-based Blogging Tories. The website conservativeforum.org is only an archive site. Free Dominion could be called a "self-posting forum" where commentary is not formally structured.
Unfortunately, Free Dominion has been recently subjected to vicious "lawfare" and its situation is highly tenuous. Enter Stage Right is still the only independent, formally structured, consistently-edited, frequently updated, conservative Canadian e-zine, that the author of this article is aware of (apart from Judi McLeod's Canada Free Press).
In July 2013, there arose with great fanfare, the daily webzine, Freedom Press Canada Journal, but it was forced to greatly reduce the frequency of its postings as of November 30, 2013, and, in subsequent months, appears to have been completely removed from the Internet. From mid-2014 onward, short article postings began to very sporadically appear on the website (freedompress.ca).
There is also c2cjournal.ca – a prestigious quarterly online publication.
Canada also has one of the most prominent pro-life, pro-family news websites in the world (lifesite.net).
There are, as well, some right-leaning individual blogs associated with major newspapers and magazines (such as, most prominently, The National Post, and Maclean's), and with the one right-leaning news channel, Sun News Network. There are, as well, the blogs associated with some far smaller publications, notably Convivium and Comment (by the social conservative think-tank, CARDUS); Catholic Insight; and The Interim: Canada's Life and Family Newspaper.
There is a social conservative journal in Quebec, called Égards.
To be continued.
Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.