Monday, November 28, 2005

No Province is an Island

The big news is the government falling today, but we all knew that was going to happen. I was more interested to see how the vote for electoral reform would go in PEI.

Answer: Bad. If you favour electoral reform, that is.

And why should they bother fixing their system anyway? The entire island has the population of Belleville, so it makes no difference who their elected officials are. All they really have to decide is how to distribute their time between digging up taters, reading Anne of Green Gables and trying to convince themselves that they are a province.

Unfortunately, those of us in the rest of the country could have used the precedent.

Ontario gets our chance in 2007. (maybe) Bring it on!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ad it up

I just found out today that a friend of mine has been hired to do a bit of work on Harper's ad campaign. Normally I would be horrified at this, but I actually kind of wish the Tories (reasonably) well this time around. It's the wrong end of the spectrum from where I'm sitting, but sometimes things just need shaking up. The Liberal forest is full of dead wood, and a if we need a Tory fire to clean it up, so be it. We just don't want the fire to get out of control and land us a Harper majority government. That's why we need lots of Dippers. Harper's the fire, Jack's the water.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

So it begins (again)

So the campaign will most likely be officially underway come Monday. I'm sort of on the fence about helping out with it this time around. I already gave a bit of $$$ to the Gord Perks campaign here in Davenport, but part of me feels like I'm not really worth my salt unless I get out and knock on a few doors. On the other hand, I really have my doubts about the winnability of this riding, and knocking on doors is a DRAG.
It should be an interesting challenge for all the parties to get the volunteers mobilized over the holidays. I'm sure most people really don't feel like it right about now. Put that together with the potential for E-day to be a nasty winter day, and the commitment of the base could really be a factor.
Oh, hell, I guess I'd better get off my ass!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

...and for some, a corrupt and arrogant governing party may be their El Guapo.

So the 3 opposition parties have finally gotten 2gether to see if they can box PM in2 a corner, calling on the Liberals to drop the writ in early January...

This should be interesting. I really have no idea what the Liberals best move is in this situation, but you can bet that they do. Jack has been light on his feet lately, deftly playing politics while managing to come across as calm and reasonable. But the Liberals are just so damn good at this game, it's hard to see how they will let the 3 Amigos get the best of them.

The Liberals are kind of like the Republicans in the U.S. They stink at actually running the country, the majority don't like them, but they are maddenly good at surviving.

Interesting days ahead.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Amusing ourselves to death

I'm going into full curmudgeon mode today after seeing some info on HD for Indies about downloadable TV shows for your iPod. I don't think this is available in Canada yet, but you can be sure it's coming. 99cents to download Law & Order or countless other shows. (Didn't TV shows used to be free?-now we pay for them on DVD and iPod)

Are we really so pathologically unable to enjoy the world around us that we need to watch TV on a 1 inch screen everywhere we go?

Meanwhile, everyone makes a big fuss over the possibility of an Xmas election, like we couldn't possibly deal with the distraction of having to take 10 minutes out of our holiday season to vote. I don't think it's the time involved. I think people just object to having to do all that pesky thinking. Maybe people won't mind voting so much now that they can watch TV in line.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Greg at Sinister Thoughts has posted a couple things about the upcoming PEI vote on Proportional Representation over the past few days. The powers that be are doing whatever they can, it seems, to stop proportional representation. The goverment is limiting the publicity and number of polling places, and now a group of Grits & Tories are mounting an official "No" campaign.

This is a shame, but unlike the tactics of the government I don't think it is scandalous. The fact is that any system that allows appointed members into an elected parliament is problematic. Not that anybody's asked me, but I posted a far more elegant solution a few months ago. It was about the federal parliament, but you can apply the same idea provincially, although it might be slightly trickier with a tiny jurisdiction like PEI. Oh, what the heck, I'll spare you a click and just repost it right here:

The first change I would make is eliminate the local ridings for the party leaders. Instead, any party that gets 1% of the vote should have their leader automatically sent to Parliament, but without representing any particular riding. The rest of the MP's should be elected as they are now but each party caucus should get a weighted vote in the house for all votes along party lines. Thus if the Liberals got 60% of the seats but only 30% of the votes, each members vote would only count as half a vote. Conversely if the NDP got only 8% of the seats but 20% of the votes, each NDP's vote in the House would be worth 2.5 votes. If smaller parties such as the Greens got say, 5% of the vote but no MPs, at least the leader would be in the House with 5% of the votes in the Commons. For free votes, each MP would get 1 vote.

(As I said the first time I posted this, I freely admit that I am a nerd.)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Circus Fever: Catch It

My wife and I took our daughter to see the Moscow Cat Theatre today. It started about 40 minutes late which just killed it for us. Maja was reasonably excited to see the cats when we got there, but after waiting so long to get in she was pretty restless. Half an hour in she had had enough and demanded to go home.

As for the show itself, I can't say we were too upset at having to leave early. It was basically a clown act, with some cats and dogs thrown in. Most of the cats just sat on big colourful things that moved around. There was one cat that could stand on its front legs, but for the most part it was not apparent that the cats were actually even alive.

Um, good though.

The moral of the story? Apparently NDP meetings are more entertaining that Cat Circuses.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rick's Schtick

I see on the TV sked that Rick Merceris back, now on Tuesdays. About time. Last season he managed to miss the election and filled his episodes with lame segments like Canada's worst pothole. I don't know what happened to the sharp satirist of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, but his Monday Report was limp and weak. Let's hope he's learned a few things from the dissappointing first season. If I see Daryn Jones again, I'm tuning out!

In other news, The Colbert Report is coming to Canada next week. Yay!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thinking Outside the Block

We had a stressful weekend due to some, um, friction with my wife's family. This is pretty common for us, but it's starting to feel like it's not going to blow over as easily this time.

For the past year my wife and I have been working fulltime and shipping our daughter to her grandparents as needed. While my wife's parents do a great job of looking after our daughter, the personal family conflicts that take place under their roof are a source of constant tension. Furthermore, we're starting to feel like she's just spending too much time with them, regardless. She spends about 4-5 hours a day over there most weekdays, and we don't want to deligate our parenting duties that much anymore.


It's time for a change. We're trying to think outside the box and break out of the traps of conservative thinking regarding how to live our lives. We are very lucky to have a house that's paid for and money in the bank. We don't have to both work 9-5 jobs. We don't have to waste energy trying to "educate" family members who are never going to wake up and smell the coffee. We don't have to live one street away from my wife's family. We don't even have to live in Toronto. OK, my wife might take issue with that last one. But anyway, we're trying.

And in political news, uh, the Liberals suck.