What will I blog about? I want to talk about that interesting and almost indefinable area where politics and media and communications crash into each other and shape public perceptions of how we are governed, how we understand and frame the issues we are faced with and how the political system frequently creates the means to degrade its own reputation and credibility with the governed.

Why start a blog? I must use the word conversation here, because this is really taking one of my favourite conversation topics and moving it into a bigger and better space. For me, the best, juiciest and most intense conversations I have these days are about how political and public policy issues are communicated through government and the political systems, the media, digital and social media, organisations, association interest groups and the public. The blog is called Unsolicited Advice since none of you actually asked for my opinion.

I also have opinions that might be interesting to share, and also because my existing audiences (family and a few close friends – and a dog) seem a bit tired. These opinions, built on the slightly wobbly foundation of years in media, politics and communications, are tired of being heard only by my wife, the TV and a few walls. It’s time for them to be free.

Just the other day, I got into a 90-minute chat with two friends about how Kathleen Wynne is first Ontario Liberal leader to come from Toronto in ages (45 years since the last one, Andrew Thompson), what her victory means to the city and its big issues such as transit and affordable housing, how this point might be communicated from the new Premier and through media and political observers and how it might – or might not – engage voters in Toronto. It was the most engaging and compelling conversation I had all day, so I thought I should stick it on a blog and see what happens.

The other reason I want to blog about this is because this stuff is important. I still think that well-informed citizens, participating in discussion on public issues, make better decisions and get better outcomes when it comes to how they are represented and governed.

I am also blogging because of who I am: I worked in journalism, politics and communications (go here, for the fascinating details) for many years. Late last year, I have returned to Canada after several years abroad, where I was honestly paid more attention to German and European renewable energy policy, the performance of Hamburg’s St. Pauli football club and where to find cheap places to drink in Copenhagen.

Now, I have to catch up on what’s going on here, but I’m doing so with the eagerness of a child and the passion of a guy who perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. I also feel like I’m a bit of an outsider. This gives me lots of motivation to take a fresh look at issues or to discuss something that might have passed relatively unnoticed.

So I will blog within this broad topic area, but – since this is my space – I will also throw in a few posts on favourite topics such as cheese, soccer and wind energy. And perhaps I will add a few gripes about how law-abiding urban cyclists need to be treated with more respect by policy makers (grumble mumble).

Enjoy – and please join the conversation.

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