04 December 2008

I have always voted Conservative

Here's something that will also shock you: I grew up in Ontario; the heartland of bleeding-heart socialism.

The greatest problem with this liberal socialism is that while it does take care of those who require the help, it also creates an entire class of lazy useless people who ought to be eking out a living through employment, but somehow get convinced that they can do nothing and receive everything. Sadly, off the backs of those who are out there eking that living. It's a Robin Hood nation with a twist: stealing from the moderately wealthy and giving to the lazy to remain in perpetual poverty. The rich? They stay rich.

The only party which best represents my ideology is the "conservative", right-leaning incarnation of the CPC (formerly the Reforms, the Alliance, the Reformed Alliance, etc. etc.).

I came across the following article written by a US correspondent of the CBC, and I feel that it is one of the better articles that I have read about the current political situation in Ottawa. Please read on:

My dear American neighbours,

I see the political crisis in Canada has finally made it into the Washington Post's Foreign Briefs column.

So, anticipating a flood of interest from all of you at the dog run in the morning, let me try to give you some idea of what's happening up there.

A few weeks ago, we had an election in Canada, a couple of weeks before yours, actually. A political party known as the Conservatives won.

Well, sort of. They didn't win in the sense that most of you understand winning. I'll get to that in a second.

They also aren't what most of you would consider conservative.

They support what you call socialized medicine, they believe in protecting a Canadian-controlled banking system, they believe in government as a vehicle for transferring wealth between regions, and they've actually muzzled party members who tried to make abortion a campaign issue.

In fact, instead of making his Sunday trip to church a photo opportunity, our Conservative leader refuses to discuss his faith in public. (Like many Americans, he's an evangelical Christian).

Different kettle of fish

So our Conservatives are a bit different from yours. Down here, you'd probably call them Democrats. And fairly liberal ones at that.

But, as I said, they won our last election, which is a pretty low-key affair compared to yours. The campaign lasted a few weeks instead of two years.

What's more, they won with only 37 per cent of the vote. Now, you can do that in Canada because our Parliament has three other political parties: The Liberals (again, pay no attention to the name, they tend to adapt their worldview as needed), the Bloc Québécois (a Quebec party that says it wants to break up the country, but hasn't actually done much about it for many years), and the NDP.

I'm not quite sure how to explain the NDP. The other parties like to call them socialists.

Some of their more doctrinaire members would like the government to nationalize or take a large financial stake in things like banks and manipulate the national economy by spending huge amounts of public money. You know, the sort of thing President George W. Bush has been doing this year.

I know, I know, it's confusing.

Funny old world, isn't it?

So. The Conservatives won our election and formed something called a minority government.

That means the Conservatives can basically be tossed out of office by the opposition parties whenever they feel like it, which usually happens after a year or two. Then there's an election.

This time, though, the opposition parties decided to throw out the government before it really even started governing. But instead of forcing another election, the opposition parties made a deal: they formed a surprise coalition and now they want to take power without consulting voters again.

Americans might have a hard time understanding this sort of thing, but it happens all the time in places like Israel and Italy. Wait, though. Uh, wake up. We're getting to the really interesting part.

The CBC connection

To take over, the opposition parties have to convince our head of state that they can govern effectively. President Bush is your head of state, at least until Barack Obama moves in.

But our head of state isn't elected. It's the Queen. And she's represented up there by someone called a governor general, who is appointed. Voters don't have anything to do with it.

Except for not being elected, a governor general is a lot like your vice-president. Sort of ceremonial. Our governors general travel a lot, cut ribbons, declare holidays for school kids and try to set a good example.

The current office holder, Michaëlle Jean, used to be a CBC reporter. Like me.

Actually, the one before her was once a CBC reporter, too. So were two others in the recent past. In our country, any CBC reporter can dream of becoming head of state.

Letting a journalist decide

Like your vice-president, sometimes a governor general becomes unbelievably important. Right now, for example. Sooner or later, this former TV reporter is going to have to decide who runs Canada.

Now, the Conservatives aren't taking this state of affairs lying down.

They've been talking about shutting down Parliament for a while until they can think of some way to prevent the opposition parties from throwing them out. But they can't just do that. They'd have to convince the Governor General to let them.

It's all very dramatic, you have to admit. Right? Don't you? Hello?

I mean, we Canadians don't have all those big-mouthed cable anchors that you have, but you can imagine what they'd do with a situation like this.

It's the economy

Wait a second. I forgot to explain why all this is happening. Bear with me.

You see, Canada's economy is in trouble. Just like everybody else's.

So when the Conservatives won, most people expected them to turn on the spending taps, the way every other country in the developed world is doing.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for some reason, decided not to.

In fact, last week he had his finance minister announce that the government intends to run a surplus in its next budget. Meaning the government intends to take more in taxes from Canadians than it needs to run the country.

(I know President Bush has never run a surplus. But Canadian governments have, every year for more than a decade, even when the supposedly spendy Liberals were in charge.)

Anyway, in the middle of an economic crisis, Harper's plan didn't go over well with the three opposition parties and they saw their chance.

So that's what's happening.

Actually, if you think about it, our prime minister is doing exactly what President Bush keeps saying he'd like to be doing, instead of authorizing another trillion or so every week in new bailouts.

Maybe it's not such a funny old world after all.


16 October 2008

Presidential Debate

I watched just a few minutes of the opening of the third presidential candidates debate last night, as a rerun on CBC.

I've said it before, and I'm typing it again now, if I were American, I'd be a Democrat (only because there is only one other option, and I would definitely not be Republican).

How old is McCain anyway??? Seriously? And what's with that tumor-like growth on his face? So really, the next Republican presidential candidate is Sarah Palin, because the first intern to toss her hair for McCain is going to kill him instantly!

McCain and Dion must have summered together, even if only metaphorically, because the similarity in on-camera character is striking; can't answer a direct question and can only resort to lambasting the opponent. Those two would do well in reality tv pitted against each other. Or maybe they'd be friends? Two self-consumed people assuming that they ought to lead a country because they belong to the "natural governing party". Pathetic. Or pathétique.

Obama on the other side, I could listen to him for hours! Even when reading an Oprah-rejected book of the month.

If polls are to be trusted, then one could assume that President Obama will be receiving a congratulatory phone call from Prime Minister Harper in a few weeks' time.

Hello Americaland! If there be a god, may she bless you with a Democrat president.

15 October 2008

thoughts on the 40th General Election

  • I am severely disappointed with voter participation and turn out. There are just too many things to say as to why people ought to vote, are obliged to vote. So many seem to take for granted the rights and freedoms we so easily enjoy, while much of the world's population does not have what we have. It's a sad time and a sad day.

  • I am very happy that the Liberals are weakening. I don't like them; I have never liked them. I have never voted Liberal, nor even considered it in the slightest.

  • I live in Alberta, and it's very very blue here. Take all the other votes for all other parties, and in most ridings, those don't even get close to half of the votes which were cast for Conservatives. Note to rest of Canada: the money is moving to Alberta, the jobs are moving to Alberta, the power is shifting to Alberta; you can fight this or deny this, but eventually you'll have to realise that Calgary is the new Ottawa, or new Toronto, or new Montr...no, I won't go that far.

  • Addendum to above: What's up with Edmonton-Strathcona??? Blues on Whyte will have to change its name to Orange on Whyte. How does one pronounce Orange-monton? Not that I liked it any better, Redmonton was quite easy to pronounce. And I'm sad to see Rahim Jaffer leave the Hill; he was quite clearly one of the better dressed MPs in the House.

  • YES! We NEED electoral reform. From an elected senate to proportional representation, there are just too many ways we could improve our democratic process. How about borrowing and improving an idea from south of the 49th, and instead of having an upper and lower house, give them equal standing, and have one seated like it is now (Commons), and the other giving each province and territory equal seats regardless of population (Senate).

  • Isn't it mandatory to vote in Australia? Fine people who don't vote? Let's get that up and running here in Canada. Even if it means adding the box: "I don't care / it doesn't matter" as a valid choice in every riding and on every ballot. With 55 or 56% of voters actually voting, what are those other 44 or 45% doing? Who would they vote for?

  • I like minority governments. Think back to the 90's. Those sweeping majorities were not so good. Minorities can work when coalitions are formed. Put aside the partisan bickering and do something good for Canada, regardless of the colour of your tie (or head scarf).

  • I have growing admiration for May and the Greens. It takes a lot of whatever it is which is required to make yourself known and have a presence in Ottawa without being an MP and without any "money" (in the way that the other parties have our tax dollars). I just don't understand why she chose to run in a riding which was so obviously going to be Conservative.

  • What's with Harper wearing that obviously orange tie for his victory speech??

14 October 2008

40th General Election is today!

Please remember to get out and VOTE today!!

For more information, please visit Elections Canada.

09 October 2008

RIM's amazing new device!

BlackBerry Brick

Yes, too difficult to see, but it's a white screen with black text:
"App Error 205; Reset".
And that's basically all it does.

16 September 2008

the BEST wedding EVER!!

The chosen photos have been posted.

Please enjoy them here -->


06 September 2008

AWOL no more!

Yes, I have been unblogging for some time. And in that time, life got busy and I neglected my loyal audience (all three of you!). My apologies for that. However, you've all likely kept up through facebook, SMS, or BB Messenger.

Anyway, since I have a Mac, facebook photos are just too slow for me.

Check out my California Family Vacation photos in my gallery.

13 May 2008

Roméo Dallaire (Lib.) = village idiot

As I am watching the National, I notice Senator Roméo Dallaire (Liberal) spewing off all sorts of idiocy.

And these are my thoughts:

  • Omar comes from a well-known family: the Kadhrs

  • the Kadhr family is not well known for being outstanding citizens espousing the values of Canada

  • he would not be in Guantanamo Bay if he had not been in Afghanistan fighting for al Qaeda

Additionally: I disagree with our current immigration policies. I do not believe that citizenship in Canada should be given out willy-nilly to anyone who comes begging for it. I believe that children born in Canada of contributing landed immigrants can become citizens.

Therefore, refugees who achieve little more than welfare are not contributing members of our society.

Therefore, Omar would not be a "citizen", and in my view is not one.

Meanwhile, Jack Babcock finally becomes a citizen....again.

03 April 2008

Now that is irony!

I'm currently vacationing in the most beautiful place on earth: British Columbia.

Exact location:

View Larger Map

Yes, go figure, I'm in a Starbucks. I had to come here to use the wifi, as my host merely surfs off of her condo neighbours not smart enough to lock their signals. For some reason, my PowerBook G4 is unable to get a reliable signal in similar locations where my host's MacBook does.

As I was rummaging / foraging for food this morning, I found about a dozen pounds of unopened Starbucks coffee beans.

This makes sense, as my host's second job is part-time at the very Starbucks in which I am now sitting, sipping and surfing.

However, my host also does not have a coffee maker; no drip, no perc, no press!!!

Severe irony.

28 March 2008

Twilight Radio Zone

Jesse: "Led Zeppelin is booking more shows for a comeback tour."

Me: "They only did the one off show to decide if profit margins were high enough to warrant a tour."

J: "Led Zeppelin could get on stage and fart Stairway to Heaven and people would buy tickets."

J: "Hey! Deanna Troy turns 53 today."

Brooksie: "Who?"

J: "Deanna Troy.....Star Trek Next Generation."

B: "Sorry, I don't have as much time as I once had to sit in front of the tv and masturbate to Star Trek characters."

M: [laughter]

B: "How many Star Treks are there?"

J: "Original, Next Generation, DS9, Enterprise, and Voyager."

M: "How about 'Star Trek: Voyeur'; no plot, no story, just attractive aliens wearing almost nothing for nerds to masturbate to?"

[afterthought] : isn't that what the original Star Trek was?

20 March 2008


McDonald's has recently brought back the McRib; an apparently pork based product of congealed "meat", no less no doubt also including mulched hair, hooves, and hide.

And as I saw the television advertisement, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Simpsons episode (and I don't know which one) where Homer joins a Ribwich travelling freak show of dedicated Krusty Burger fans following the cross country staggering limited release of this fine porcine sandwich delight.

And it was this memory which caused me to subconsciously, nay unwillingly, divert myself to the nearest McDonald's haven of harbingers of heart clogging, fat building, diabetic coma inducing "food".

Now, I'm no sucker for gimmicks; I never order a drink (other than tap water), and I never order those nasty once-a-potato american fries. I order my McRib, without onions (who knows where Quique's hands were before picking that onion from a sweat-field in Mexico), and decide that it's not going to be enough to satiate the hunger within, I also order two double cheeze-burgers from the value menu, without onions.

Of course that goo resembling meat tasted great. I was hungry. As I chewed and swallowed my way to an earlier grave, I was transmogrified back to a time and place somewhere in my childhood when my imaginary friend would eat at McDonald's with me.

And I would like to end on a happy note right here. But I cannot.

Along with the McRib came the McGas and now the McPoo.


18 March 2008

use a satellite?

Then today is your day to mourn.

Arthur C. Clarke has died.

I won't spend much time regurgitating what you can already find; just take a minute to think about the impact on culture, science and technology that Clarke has had.

I would have to say that the Clarke Belt, the geosynchronous orbit place around the earth, was by far the coolest thing, as it was only hypothesis back in 1945, and now it basically allows satellites to run our lives (think GPS, think telecoms, think Sirius).

29 February 2008

Larry Norman, b. 8 April 1947, d. 24 February 2008

In all the years of listening to music, which has been a constant soundtrack to my own life, regardless of the current theme, I could always count on, and indeed did return to, something from Larry Norman. There would always be some tune, or song, or lyric, which would meet my need, in my place, at that time.

Though I know that it's not, never was never will be, "Larry-worship". Larry's music (and life!) was always a reflection of God; something beautiful, sad, mad, lonely, lovely, purposeful, graceful, to point to God from whatever that place was. Most of all, Larry's music was always REAL.

Thank you, Larry Norman, for the years of dedication, and for your love.

Check out:


Larry on wikipedia

05 February 2008

I'm not American

But if I was, I would be a democrat (though I would likely fit in to "independent" more easily).

And as a democrat, I would support Barack Obama.

There! I've said it.

I may suggest "why" later. I did type something, but it was too witty and racy for most readers. I would be like Fox News, but the opposite.