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All In Hand

Successor speculation

Miss Vicky Fri Feb 3, 2006

Forget the Liberal Leadership. The real burning question on the minds of many here in the nation's capital is: who's going to replace Anthony Germain? The quick-witted host of CBC's Ottawa Morning (not to mention The House) has abandoned us for Shanghai, leaving a massive gap in our morning ritual. Sure, we still tune in (what else are you going to do while you're trying to wake up?), but it's not the same, is it?

The last time a host left Ottawa Morning (then CBO Morning, if I recall correctly), it took a while to find a suitable replacement. Anthony was a bit of a surprise - as a host of the rather wonkish show on national politics, would he be a good fit for a more free-wheeling morning show? I remember the first few months listening to him as I was driving to early-morning swim practices and laughing at his rather stiff and awkward references to popular culture. But he made the nerdiness work for him, and as he grew more comfortable in the job and with the morning team, the show really clicked. I guess that combination of wonkiness, passion for community, dry humour and heightened sense of irony really works for the Ottawa audience. Well, it worked for THIS Ottawa audience, at least. That dynamic is going to be awfully hard to replace.

So. Forget Brison, Stronach, Ignatieff and the other possible contenders for the tarnished throne of the Liberal Party. There is more than enough of that nonsense on the blogosphere already. Who's got what it takes to host Ottawa Morning?

Let's look at some of the possible candidates....

Lucy van Oldenbarneveld: Funny, likeable, puts interviewees at ease (I know this from personal experience), and not afraid to inject a little silliness into CBC programming. Her piece on Pot Lucks for Go was one of the funniest things I've heard on radio. She's been the Friday host for a while, and a frequent vacation replacement for Anthony. She's done her time, and wouldn't it be nice to have a woman as frontman for the show for once? Possible complication: she's started doing TV, so perhaps her career is heading elsewhere.

Alan Neal: Host of Ontario Today. Has the dry humour thing down, for sure. Was a onetime part of the morning crew, so it shouldn't be much of a transition for him. Likes the night life, though - would he want to do the morning scene again? And what would happen to his plants without gardening guru Ed Lawrence's weekly phone-in advice?

Rob Clipperton: Host of In Town and Out, the early Saturday morning show. Considerably more mellow than the younger set, Rob would definitely set a different tone for morning listeners. Maybe too mellow. He's hosting the drive-home show now (no one has been identified to replace Brent Bambury yet).

Hallie Cotnam: Currently filling in, and doing a pretty good job. Smart. Excellent grammar and precise enunciation. Could grow into the job.

Of course, the powers-that-be may look beyond the current radio scene at CBC HQ here in Ottawa for potential hosts. A lot of folks from TV seem to be doing double duty or shifting their time to radio (Anna Maria Tremonti, for example).

The search is on, folks.... who do you think would make a good host for our morning news fix?

Miss Vicky's Anniversary YOWblog get-together!

Miss Vicky Wed Feb 1, 2006


WebGeek here. We just noticed that this happens to coincide with Superbowl Sunday.

Kind of a big conflict there. Considering the bar will likely be packed and some of you might already have plans, would people rather
a) say "Screw you Superbowl!!!" and go ahead with it anyway?
b) re-schedule YOWblog to another night. (please specify in the comments)
c) skip YOWblog altogether.

If we get zero replies, we'll go with the old standby: "When in doubt, pick C"

It's been a year since we started this blog. And what a year! We've grown from a trickle of readers (family and friends, mostly) to a steady stream of regulars and passers-by. I've met some great people through the site, learned a few things, and had a lot of fun putting my ramblings about politics, pop culture and life in the 'hood out into cyberspace.

To celebrate, I will try to dig out some of what I consider to be the highlights of the last year and I'll post some links to the archives over the next few days. Members of the Faithful Legion are most welcome to make their own suggestions.

My first post was a description of the Wellington Shuffle - something I've written about quite a bit, which is no suprise given its status as one of Miss Vicky's favourite rituals. And of course this post launched the site in fine fashion, cocktails, feather boas and all.

And speaking of festive occasions, I figure a year in the blogosphere is worth celebrating, so I'd like to invite readers and fellow bloggers to a YOWBlog get-together at the Tartan Pub, 1325 Wellington Street West this Sunday, February 5 at 7pm. It would be great to meet some of you Ottawa blogging types, not to mention the folks who participate in the Offhand Remarks discussions!

Jazz at the Carleton this Saturday

Miss Vicky Wed Feb 1, 2006

bisquit43 wrote this comment in another thread, but I thought I'd give it a Ringing Endorsement:

Any plans for Saturday night, Feb 4th?
A local Hintonburg jazz band called the "Veronakatz" are playing at the Carleton Tavern, located at the corner of Parkdale Avenue and Armstrong Street, from 9:30pm until 1pm. This is their debut in Hintonburg and they are hoping to see a good crowd. Its a great dance venue and the beer is cheap!

Here is the website, hope to see you there!


Party politics in Ottawa?

Miss Vicky Wed Feb 1, 2006

Yesterday's Citizen had a rather speculative article about the possible incursion of party politics into our municipal system. The piece suggests that Conservatives are seeking a candidate to run for Mayor, since prominent Liberal Bob Chiarelli is running, and Alex Munter, who has been affiliated with the NDP, is likely to announce. It seems to me a fairly simplistic and limited way of looking at our city's electoral sysytem, and a misrepresentation of what kind of work goes on to put together a municipal campaign.

In my view, municipal politics in Ottawa offers a unique opportunty to work across and beyond party lines on issues that really matter to people. Councillors and mayors are elected, presumably, because of who they are and what they can offer their community. An effective municipal campaign (especially a campaign for mayor) needs to mobilize people from all political stripes. Candidates who share values and perspectives can align with each other, sure, but does this make a political party - or even a slate? Does a particular candidate's present or past association with a political party at the federal or provincial level mean they will only be looking to that party for support during a campaign? Hardly.

This issue strikes an intensely-personal chord with me, since the party issue figured in some of my soul-searching about whether to run for Council. Most people who know me know that I have done a lot of work with the NDP in the past, including some fairly high profile roles. When you've been on national television and radio representing an organization, there's no point in trying to deny, conceal or erase that fact. I've done lots of other stuff in the community, to be sure, but as a municipal candidate I do risk being placed in that convenient political box that people in this town like to use (would it be as much of an issue in a city other than the nation's capital, I wonder?). I call it a risk because a successful campaign requires a broad-based network of supporters and volunteers. Some of them may be involved in party politics, others may spend more of their time working on particular issues or in particular neighbourhoods.

And that's one of the really exciting things about municipal politics - forging new alliances and partnerships, working with different kinds of people and groups, building coalitions and expanding networks. It's about finding common ground and exploring shared values and goals for our community. And there is a lot there to work on - revitalizing our mainstreets, protecting green spaces, strengthening our neighbourhoods. Where I may differ from my opponent has little to do with party affiliation and more to do with how we view our community and the role of councillor. So far my campaign has allowed me to meet and work with people who carry different party membership cards (indeed, I've had some challenging, frank and useful discussions with some of them about partisan activity and municipal politics), and I'm kind of excited about the diverse team that we are bringing together.

From what I understand about mayoral politics, it is wrong to assume that the addition of, say, Walter Robinson, to the race means the various campaigns would divide along party lines. Any mayoral candidate worth her or his salt would be working all the connections they can, building a team from those affiliated with different parties and with no party whatsoever.

In fact, the ability to build coalitions and find common ground among differing perspectives is an important quality in any municipal politician. Much has been made of our "divided" council and the difficulty it seems to have making decisions and finding compromise. Partisan politics has nothing to do with the paralysis that seems to have struck our council, nor will it help relieve it. What I hope voters will look for in mayoral and council candidates is a commitment to problem-solving, to collaboration, and to making decisions with the health of our city at heart.

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