stresskitten: (Default)
I should be sleeping.

Instead I'm watching the neck-and-neck results from my electoral district trickle in.

No, I'm serious... neck and neck. The two leaders are at 42.40% of the vote (Liberal) vs. 42.24% of the vote (Independent). Total difference in votes between them... 29.

A couple of poll results ago, the total difference between them was... 1.


NDP is currently coming in third at 12.64% of the vote, Green is at 2.43%, and the other Independent is sitting at 0.31% of the vote... 55 votes in total. :-D

It's kinda like watching an hour-and-a-half long overtime. :-D

I'm betting they do a recount of this riding.
stresskitten: (Default)
We currently have a minority government. The conservatives have the most seats, but not a majority. The remaining seat are split between the liberals, the NDP (socialist), and the Bloc Quebecois (an odd party that's federal, but really only represents Quebec and has some seperatist leanings, but in recent years has mostly been pushing for special status benefits for french canadians).

This means that, because it has the most seats, the defacto leadership is the conservatives. They have to be careful, though, because they need to keep at least one other party onside to pass any legislation (to get their 50% + 1 needed to pass a measure).

Because of a) the economy and b) it being so close to an election so they thought they could get away with it they were trying to pass a bill that did a number of things. One, it removed the federal funding of political parties (currently, for every vote a party gets, they get x dollars from the gov't towards funding the party... I like this system because it means they aren't completely funded by contributors, giving them a little less reliance on large contributors and thereby lowering special interest group leverage). Two, it basically stripped all salary increases from already negotiated civil service contracts. Three, it removed the right for women to sue for equal pay status. Four, it temporarily removed the right to strike for three years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is an extremely unpopular measure. I think it's abhorrent, personally. And if it had gone to the table as was, the other three parties would have voted against it. Which wouldn't have been a problem, except it would have been a vote of "non-confidence", meaning that it would symbolise that too many people didn't believe that the conservatives were ruling in the best interest of the Canadian people.

Another bone of contention is that the conservatives have not offered any form of "economic stimulus package", taking a wait and see approach. The other parties think that's irresponsible. I have no real opinion on that... my understanding of economics isn't good enough to comment.

In the event of a vote of non-confidence, the alternatives are:

1) A new election is called... less than 2 months after the last one. This would be what is known as a "bad idea".

2) The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois get together and agree to rule as one group, as a coalition. These tend to be unstable and rather awkward. It would either disintegrate quickly, in which case there would be an election and the three groups would likely take a hit at the polls as "punishment". Or they succeed and last out the term... at which point they're unlikely to go into a second term as such.

3) Harper dissolves parliment kinda unofficially by putting it on a hiatus to avoid the issue. Which probably isn't a good idea either, as it means that nothing really gets done, although it does give him time to try and regain support from the other parties and apologise for trying to cram an ideology driven piece of legislation down our throats.

Now, to add a twist, the PM and parliament does not have final say over this. The person who will finally make the decision on which route is taken is the Governor General, Michaelle Jean.

I think I covered everything... in short and brief anyways.
stresskitten: (Default)
I am being a good citizen and a cruel mother. :-/

Got a call a while ago from the hospital where Rhys was born. They are doing a study on the influenza vaccine and babies and wanted to know if I was willing to have Rhys participate. I, after talking with Frazer, said yes. Interestingly, the woman who called up asked me to talk it over with Rhys' father and let her know... I think it's the first person contacting me about Rhys who automatically included Frazer in the discussion.

So tomorrow we go to the hospital. Rhys will be measured, weighed, and given a general check-up. Then they will take blood, then give him a dose of the influenza vaccine. I will be getting my vaccination at the same time. I take him home, take his temperature for the next week and document any side effects, then bring him back several weeks later when they will take some more of his blood to measure the level of antibodies there. A few weeks after that, he gets his second dose of vaccine, and a few weeks after that he gets another set of blood tests and his 18 month vaccinations (which we have delayed a little longer in order to take part in this study).

The purpose of the study is to see if there is a significant difference in the immunity imparted by the standard 1/2 dose of vaccine that they give babies and a 1/4 dose of the vaccine. It is a blind study, so I will not know which dose Rhys is getting, since they won't either.

I think vaccination is important... and while this is for the flu vaccine, the results might well inform all vaccination efforts, so I will gladly participate. This does mean poking my son full of holes, but I will find some way to make this up to him. Much movie-watching and waving and kisses and saying hi to Ysabelle.
stresskitten: (Default)
I'm pleased to see President Obama. I think it's a much better choice for the US right now than McCain would have been. I just hope that the huge levels of faith people have put in him, and the high expectations they hold for him are not going to dissolve into bitterness and anger when some of those lofty campaign ideals run head-long into the political process and die.

That said... he has inspired more hope inside and outside the US than I've seen for a long time. A belief that the US might actually have a chance at being the world leader it likes to think of itself as. For all our sakes, I hope things move in that direction. Otherwise, I really think the US empire is poised to start to collapse, like so many other empires before it.

I was sad to see that the bans on gay marriage and gay adoption appear to have passed in all the states that brought them to the ballot. On the positive end of things, all attempts to limit abortion were shot down. And physician-assisted suicide was passed in Washington... as was medicinal marijuana in Michigan.

I really hope there isn't too much bitterness in the wake of this debacle... although there's bound to be some. It was too hotly contested not to leave a nasty taste in people's mouths. But every "in your FACE, Republicans!" and "just you wait to see how badly he screws it up!" runs head-first into the problem that every one who lives in the US is a citizen there. Reactions like that do nothing more than widen the divide... those who voted Republican frequently did so with forethought and having examined the issues and made the choice they felt was best, for them and for the country. Many who voted Democrat are no doubt brainless idiots, just as prejudiced as the yokel-voters who voted for McCain, though neither group would see themselves as such. Neither side has a monopoly on stupid... and I'd rather see a presidency that can bring the country together, preferably away from any theocratic tendencies, rather than see it driven farther apart.

Good luck, America. You're going to need it. I will be observing the next four years with interest.
stresskitten: (Default)
While I think Obama would make a better president in 5 years time when he's got a little more experience under his belt, as far as I can see he's a WAY better choice than the opposition. o.O

I have trouble believing this is still such an issue. I guess Vancouver is SO much more liberal in terms of the treatment and acknowledgment of same-sex pairings that I tend to forget that that's not really the climate in most of the rest of the world.

Personally, I just don't see how it's an issue. *shrugs* It's a long-term relationship. It's with another person. What does whether they can procreate or what their sex is matter to society as a whole? I can understand being against it on a religious front, but that's why church and state are separate. A friend of mine went to a gay rally the other day and saw a t-shirt he loved. "Would Jesus discriminate?"

I'm inclined to think that if Jesus was around now, he'd be appalled at what people do in his and his Father's name. From what I remember of my bible studies, I'd also be inclined to think that Jesus would have been flexible and adapted to modern society and might well be advocating for recognizing same-sex partnerships. I think he'd be inclined to say that if you love God, and try to live well and in charity with your neighbours, God could care less what you do in the bedroom as long as it's consensual.


Oct. 13th, 2008 11:39 pm
stresskitten: (Default)
Just a reminder to all my Canadian friends to get your asses out to the polls and VOTE!

Remember... if you don't vote, you don't have the right to complain! *grins*

Go, political process!

*is predicting another conservative minority*

*also realises that the people on her friends list tend to not need voting reminders, but is doing so anyways* :-P
stresskitten: (Default)
Y'know... I don't think people have been taking this one seriously. If you think about the social and economic effects of it, in terms of people being removed from the work force to care for the afflicted and the familial consequences of that care, not to mention the mental anguish of those who are suffering from it, the effects are pretty staggering. And attention will shift to it now, because the boomers are getting to the age where it will be directly affecting them (and there's more of them). The problem, of course, is that the research should have been started 10 years ago.

Terry's Speech )


stresskitten: (Default)

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