Normally I would simply ignore and move on, but today I received nine emails about the "change" in comments policy.
The whole visual format has changed but, policy? No.
The policy has always been that if you choose to attack the author of a post or you are just some kind of dirt bag prick we don't think offers anything to the discussion, you get deleted. Sometimes, permanently.
We have that power. I kind of like possessing it. This is our free speech arena. You can have one just like it. It's free, by the way, and you'll find that if I cannot regularly agree with your views, I will never leave a comment. I might not even link to you.
More than once we have offered our pages to opposing views. There are times when we are unsure of any position. We welcome those who can offer clarification and I should not have to explain this, but the commenters who debate with clarity, conviction and respect receive the same in return. In that regard we have been reasonably generous in offering a space for reasoned, intelligent and respectful rebuttal of our often one-sided view.
Sometimes that involves protecting the identity of the person presenting that view. Sometimes it means admitting the errors we have made in a, perhaps, snap judgment. And sometimes, we regret rushing to admit an error when our original instincts proved to be correct.
There are those who would like us to tackle the worst element of the Harper propaganda machine and then let the comments flow. That is translated into us reading the Blogging Tories, producing a link back to them and letting them suffer the damage.... and them trying to destroy the persons who contribute here. We've watched that happen and know that the opposition, unable to defend their position in a debate, feels compelled to win by attacking their opponent at a personal level. How courageous.
We all have to face it; that is the only defence they have for their position: Kill off the people who are exposing the truth of their inane scribblings. We all encounter writer's block and fill the page with words; they aren't there yet.
Which suggests, to me anyway, that they are not worth acknowledging. And why would I read them anyway? I view them with a kenspecle disdain.
So, yes, you have to sign in to a "system" to be allowed to comment. And you have to type in a verification. You don't get to be "anonymous".
But you can be "synonymous" if you're willing to go to the effort. I know that means that Stephen Taylor's election machine has to do more work and expose themselves to shit hitting a spinning fan but, hey, that's life.
If you don't like the process for leaving comments I am either playing My Heart Bleeds For You on the world's smallest violin or my heart is pumping purple panther piss for you.
I don't have to make this easy for the lazy narcissists.
So, go ahead. Tell me what you think.