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For BC bloggers, 2011 will be a banner year!

What a year it has been in B.C.--but that’s nothing, compared to the year that lies ahead! We’ve watched a Premier win a third consecutive election and then lose it all and announce, following months of public rejection and derision, that he will step down;  we’ve seen the Official Opposition, with its best opportunity in a decade to achieve victory, turn on itself and slice and dice its own leader.

We’ve witnessed Vancouver’s most popular civic party in years turn on, and turn off, so many of those who elected it; and, we’ve, once again, shaken our collective heads in disbelief and disappointment as all three of our elected federal parties promised new respect and true proportional representation and power for BC and the West but then excluded us even more from Cabinet positions of real power in the nation’s capital to and cater, as usual, to central and eastern Canadian provinces and power blocs. 

Will 2011 be different?  On the national scene, not likely.  But in BC…. WOW!!  What a year ahead!

For starters, the Liberals and NDP will both choose their new chief standard bearers. Just the lead up to that should make great fodder for those of us in the Blogosphere. Heightened by all the drama, conspiracies and battling at the conventions themselves.

Then the real fun will begin.

 British Columbians will be subjected to the biggest sales campaign and pre-election positioning in a decade. Not only will the new leaders have to impress four million people with their own character, their credibility and their integrity, they will also have to convince us they have a vision different from their predecessors AND a promise to actually listen to and react to the public will and then, we’re going to have a full provincial election, in which the vox populi will rule.

And whoever and whichever party wins that tumultuous war--and it will be a war--they will always know for the first time in an actual election campaign that, if they let us down as their predecessors did,  they too will face a very real possibility of petition campaigns and recalls. Make no mistake about that: once people realize they can mobilize and be empowered, they don’t easily forget.

Enough for one year?  No! There will be more, more, more.

In 2011,  BC municipalities will also hold their civic elections. And if they are all half as exciting and hard-fought as I expect the Vancouver election will be, we’re in for a lot of fun right around the province.

Add to all that the likelihood of another federal election. What a great year political junkies and citizens alike are about to face.

And I’d bet the disgraceful BC Rail  story and the Paramedics fight for justice (we must NOT forget them!)  will come to the fore again in 2011. We may even see real justice finally achieved in both.

So what a year ahead: the Blogosphere will be humming!  And hopefully we’ll all be Keeping them Real!

Meanwhile, time to enjoy the holiday break and rest up: we’ll need it! I’ll be back blogging mid-January.

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

Harv Oberfeld is a retired journalist. This column originally appeared in his blog, Keeping it Real. Reprinted with his kind permission.