The Real Change that Canadians* want

We’ve just had an election in Canada. You probably didn’t know.

The (now) majority Liberal Party of Canada ran a set of 106 issues pages, and their stance on each. Visitors could vote on how they felt on these issues. The overall results aren’t tabulated there yet, so I took the liberty of scraping the data (harder than it looked) and ranked it.

Here are the top ten issues from the website, ranked by popularity:

  1. Marijuana
  2. Guns
  3. Electoral reform
  4. International students and temporary residents
  5. Middle class tax cut
  6. Helping families
  7. Ending unfair tax breaks
  8. Canada Post
  9. Science and scientists
  10. Post-secondary education

I have no idea how objective this information is. I suspect some attempts were made to game the system, looking at the vote counts for the top two.

Here’s the data: liberaldotca-realchange-poll-data-2015-10-20-183923. All the columns after Five Stars were derived by me.

I’m very disappointed that the issue of Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls wasn’t even in the top twenty. C’mon Canada; for once, don’t let me down.

*: english-speaking Canadians who visited» Real Change and voted on issues there before 2015-10-20 18:39:23 EDT, that is.

Why I didn’t vote for George Smitherman

I didn’t vote for George Smitherman because the secret deal he initiated with the Korean Consortium is anti-competitive and utterly counter to the spirit of any feed-in tariff. Pantalone, despite a rather weak platform, was closer to my ideals. There was no way I’d vote for that glistening oaf Rob Ford.

I didn’t vote for George Smitherman because I fundamentally disagree with the secret deal he initiated with the Korean consortium (including Samsung and Kepco). A feed-in tariff is all about equal access to the right to connect. The consortium, with its guaranteed grid capacity, sidesteps this equal access.

To make things worse, the consortium may have access to a price adder on top of the FiT prices. This is supposed to recognize the consortium’s expertise in the supply chain, and its consequential creation of jobs through local manufacturing.  There are many other companies — some of which actually have supply chain experience in the renewable energy sector — who would bring the same number of jobs for the same number of megawatts.

So, ixnay on the Ithermansmay for that. There’s no way I’d vote for the glistening oaf (a phrase coined by Catherine after seeing this picture), so Joe Pantalone it was.  Joey Pants’ campaign was, well, a bit pants, but he was the most appropriate of the candidates.

but at least I didn’t jump up and down like Reese did in “Election”

Last night at the banquet and annual awards ceremony, I was elected onto the board of directors of The Canadian Wind Energy Association (L’Association canadienne de l’énergie éolienne). The other new directors are:

I’d like to thank everyone who helped me, and look forward to a busy three years on the board.

Goodbye, Star Wars Tree

burnt-out mini mall, Kennedy & Eglinton
The mini-mall burned last night. Looks like the centre of the fire was the gift shop in the middle of the block. The rest of the block is pretty badly damaged, though. It looks like the place will have to be rebuilt — or replaced with a condo block, which seems to be the fate of shops in Scarborough.

I hope that noone was hurt.

So, goodbye Yoga’s, with your selection of teas and Sri Lankan groceries. Goodbye Star Milk, the mom, pop and smiley baby store with your VLT in back and dodgy videos over the drinks cooler. Goodbye Poondy Bread, purveyors of that which has paneity. Goodbye Amma, ace Sri Lankan takeout food shop, the place where I developed a taste for really spicy food.

But most of all, godbye to the gift shop. Even though I never went in there, I’ll miss the sun-yellowed unsold toys in the window; the almost-Transformers and plastic racing cars.

One toy, unsold through two summers, perplexed me most. It was a cardboard tube wrapped in tinsel. Cardboard tags with pictures of Star Wars characters were attached to it with those nylon annoyances you get on new clothes. It resembled more a christmas decoration than a space weapon, which I think it was supposed to be. We called it the Star Wars Tree, and I’m guessing it wasn’t officially licensed from Lucasfilm.

It’s all gone now, washed away by the fire hoses.

how did those losers win again?

three heids
It looks like New Labour are going to win, again. Sigh. I voted for them in ’97 ‘cos they appeared to be an alternative to the truly appalling Tories. And for about a year, I thought I’d made the right choice. But no, they’re just the Tories, remixed.

I voted Scottish Liberal Democrat. Yes, they didn’t get in in my constituency. They did take nearby East Dunbartonshire, though.

(images from the scary Election Nite Party Pack, from the BBC.)

Getting (Not Very) Political

Canada goes to the polls soon. For the last month, the papers have been filled with the minutiae of the candidates and their policies. As a Canadian Without A Vote™, I feel strangely detached from this. Having an opinion on the candidates would be like me judging a beauty contest for slugs.

But people keep asking for my opinion, so here it is: Anyone but Harper. Stephen Harper reminds me a lot of George W. Bush, minus the intelligence and charisma of the southern leader. I’ve seen sharper hockey pucks than Harper, who always seems to be photographed with that glaikit (see extended entry for definition) open-mouthed expression on his face.

Martin looks like he’s got terrible halitosis, and is permanently worried that we’re on the verge of finding him out for some nefarious act. Layton’s a bit full-on for a successful leader. And that green party guy just looks uncomfortable in a suit.

None of the parties have innovative sustainable agendas, so I can’t recommend any of them. But if Harper wins in June, all those friends of ours in the US who want to inhabit our basement should Bush win in November might as well stay home.
Continue reading “Getting (Not Very) Political”

everyone else is voting, why can’t I?

It’s municipal election day here in Toronto. I’m a Toronto resident, homeowner, and taxpayer. Yet I can’t vote, because I’m not a Canadian citizen.

I can understand not being able to vote in federal or provincial elections, but I’m as much of a citizen as anyone else living in Toronto. Toronto has such a vast immigrant population that many people are disenfranchised. Perhaps that’s why the city is failing to provide for its citizens.