28 April 2011

This is probably the last I'm going to write about the elections. At least, until next Monday night when I rend my garments, lament how my country is FUBAR, and plan my move to Ireland where I will vote for Bono in every election until the day I die. 

Avaaz has a strategic voting guide, check it out. There aren't really that many races where a non-conservative party has a chance to take back a seat, but it's worth checking out.

Weeks ago I went to see Elizabeth May. I never wrote about it. She's a really good speaker, and everything she says just sounds so rational and she's not afraid to talk about the things the other parties seem to have forgotten about, like climate change and women's rights.

A local Green party member spoke. I forget his name, and his riding. He's young. I'd say he's at least 5 years younger than me, if not more. He gave a speech about the youth vote and how young people are ignored by the other parties. I accept that he's new at this, but his public speaking style was, to me at least, offensive. Instead of writing out cue cards with his speech on it, he saved it to his smart phone and read it off that. However, by holding his phone out in front of him and scrolling down thoughtout the entire speech, it looked like he was texting or checking his email and couldn't be bothered to devote his full attention to the audience.  I hope someone corrects him of this soon.

25 April 2011

...cold, a little painful, but just so incredibly, stupidly, awesomely fun

Hey y'all. Remember that time I went to Chile and said I'd write about it, then weeks passed and I didn't really write much about it? Yeah. Good times. Now, to make up for that, I'm going to write a lot about what was arguably the best and most memorable part of my trip: climbing the Volcano Villarrica.

23 April 2011

Space is airing a Doctor Who marathon this weekend. Tonight the new season starts, so they're re-airing the awesome last season. I'm writing about this because there are a surprising number of election commercials during the breaks. I assume that advertising time on Space on a Saturday morning is super cheap, which is why they're advertising there. I can't imagine their actively courting the Space viewing audience. 'Cause those geeks won't vote for just anybody.

Anyway, the new season is looking really good.

17 April 2011

This year, I'm voting Natural Law

My new favourite pasttime is looking at the previous election results in my friends' ridings and telling them whom to vote for. I don't know, you tell me, is that annoying?

Ultimately I'm happy as long as people vote, and doubly happy if they vote smartly or strategically. Less happy if they vote for a party I don't necessarily support, but at least they're voting, which is more than we can say for almost half of our country. (Aside to all my immigrant friends on their way to becoming Canadian: hurry it up. The rational parties need your votes).

I was looking at the history in my riding, which has a Liberal incumbent. This year's ballot is the standard 4 parties. In 2006 there was a Marxist option, and 56 people voted for that. Alej - here's your riding. You get a Marxist option, lucky girl.
In my riding, there have been two parties I've never heard of: "Christian Heritage" and "Natural Law."

08 April 2011

Planes, Trains, and Party Leaders

My mom went on a train ride with Elizabeth May this morning. I told her I thought it was incredible that the leader of a Federal party would give so much time to small town press. Mom said it wasn't an interview so much as everyone sitting around and listening to May catch-up with her good friend Farley Mowat. I wonder if her only reason for stopping in Cobourg was to pick up Mowat.

My mom did learn this awesome tidbit of information: among the volunteers in May's riding in BC is one of my favourite authors, and one of the smartest people ever, Ronald Wright. That makes me so happy.

So, read the article and see if you can spot my mom in the pictures. Hint: she looks like me.

04 April 2011


This relationship is hard to deny, even if it is technically untested. My mother reacts like this towards any mammalian animal, not just cats. I thought about this comic when I was in Pucon, because all of us conference goers were really excited by the dogs.  Why, you ask, were we excited about the dogs? Because the dogs run wild in Pucon. There are dogs everywhere. I suppose you would call them feral. The interesting thing was how they behaved - they were so calm and submissive to people. I saw a few of them bark at cars, but generally they just followed you around and sat quietly by while you ate. They didn't even actively beg.

01 April 2011

Spanish. Food.

Have I mentioned that I don’t speak Spanish? Before I left, Alej taught me some key phrases and words, and the most useful was the vocabulary for meat and seafood. I don’t remember if she taught me “sin” (without) or if I picked up on that one on my own, but it came in handy (“sin carne” was something I said a few times). The first person I really interacted with was one clerk at my hotel and he didn’t speak any English, but I managed to get from him that breakfast started at 8, because I knew the words for breakfast and 8. My room number was written on the key, so I didn’t have to try the key in every lock, or anything. (Aside: both hotels I stayed at had massive keychains on the room keys. Their policy was that you leave the key at the front desk when you leave the hotel, you don’t take it with you. Then, when you return from outside the building, you get your key back from them. That was totally new to me. Someone said they do that in Spain too).

It's a bad day for things I hold sacred.

Insult number one, some magazine has ranked Canadian cities and put Edmonton at #8 and Halifax at #21. Not much of a step-up from my almost-hometown of Cobourg which was #28. My mother sent me this information, to which I replied "Edmonton would beat Hali in level of miserableness felt by left-leaning people after every municipal and provincial election." And she wrote back, "I agree that Halifax would beat Edmonton if there was an index called "minimal human sensitivity" but [MoneySense] didn't think that was important!" Ahh, Edmonton. Why do I love to hate you? You're like PEI, except my hatred of you is rational. I would like to point out that these ratings included weather and crime. I supposed the index is more weighted towards economic factors, though. 

The second bitch slap comes from the Fraser Institute, that paragon of Canadian Conservative thinking. They graded schools in Canada and the Catholic school in my actual-hometown got a perfect 10, and the beloved  public school that I went to got a 2.8. I hope they're not using a log scale. Kimm- isn't that Eddie's future school?. That's Grafton Public School's lowest score ever. I didn't really look at the criteria, but I suspect that GPS lost points for teaching evolution.