So I haven't been on too much lately, not because I don't enjoy LJ but just because I've been rather blue lately. So this is more me forcing myself to say something, so here goes. Here's some odd things in the news up here in Canada and what my thoughts are on them. Feel free to skip if it doesn't sound too interesting:
1. Doug Ford (Rob Ford's brother) has been criticized by some of his fellow Toronto councillors for giving poor people in his ward $20 bills for Christmas. Unlike them I personally don't see this as vote buying per se, just an opportunity for Councillor Ford to show how trickle-down economics will work in Ontario if he does manage to become Premier of Ontario someday.
Personally as far as the Brothers Ford go this is nothing. Barely worth reporting, really. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/doug-ford-sorry-for-handing-out-cash-will-stick-to-gift-cards-1.2461797
2. Politicians calling members of the society they wish to lead "infidels" is sadly nothing new but never has it been done with such honest, heartfelt kindness and generosity of spirit. So with that in mind Mr. Pallister, while I certainly can't speak for my fellow agnostic and atheist infidels out there I unconditionally accept the best wishes you gave and wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas with joy, cheer and all the trimmings.
Just two minor suggestions though. First, next time Mr. Pallister, just go with the prepared statement. As an agnostic who doesn't want to risk offending anyone I find "Merry Christmas, everyone!" usually works pretty well, as well as "Seasons Greetings!" or "Happy Holidays!". Secondly, if you're not sure what someone believes in you can always ask them. Most Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Jains, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Wiccans, Agnostics, and even Atheists I've been fortunate to meet and learn from have been quite happy to take the time to explain the exact version of nothing that they believe in. If you take the time you might even find something there that you can use to build the bridges you need to make people want to vote for you.
3. Now I know I pile on Prime Minister Stephen Harper every chance I get, and to be honest between the illegal voter suppression tactics, the use of massive bills that change hundreds of pieces of legislation in a single vote, the questionable purchasing decisions, the dodging non-confidence motions and his desire to send Canadian troops to invade Iraq, well, its so old it almost feels like a second job. Which I guess it will be when the election gets called since I can't in good conscience NOT work to punish voter suppression*. I just need to figure out which party I'll be using to vote against him.
But in the spirit of the holidays I do want to talk about something he does pretty well, and that's sing and play piano. No kidding or sarcasm here, the guy's not bad, especially when you goes for stuff like Neil Diamond and The Beatles. Personally I find he doesn't quite have the necessary "snarl" in his voice to pull off the Rolling Stones or the Who covers, but that's not a hack at his abilities. Lots of excellent singers can't cover certain artists. Now while I go look to see if he's covered any Bob Dylan here's him singing "With a Little Help from my Friends" with Yo-Yo Ma.*It doesn't bother me that he made enough of a case to his backers that he finally won a majority government, its that someone who most likely had access to the Conservative Party's voter database bombarded people who were identified as likely non-Conservative voters with robo calls telling them that the location of their polling stations had been changed by Elections Canada, when Elections Canada had made no such changes. That is dirty, that is illegal, and that is something third rate dictatorships do. The vote is the one time the little nobodies of the nation, like me, get to have an actual and immediate impact on the running of the country, and no party that would take steps to deny that can have my vote.