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2008-12-04 - 11:01 a.m.

...lessons in Canadian politics...

Folks, if you haven't turned your radar towards Canadian news recently, now is a great time to do it. As enfinblue aptly points out, you'll have to dig back to pg 20 of the NYTimes (which seems to always be the case for the NYTimes when I'm looking for news that I'm interested in - usually about the environment, though). You'll probably have to look to some equally obscure page of other news services - although perhaps not in the UK given that we are dealing with a Westminster-style parliamentary system...the pommes probably understand it!

It's been a wonderful ride on the news and a great lesson for newbies to parliamentary systems. I found myself sitting next to director of the School of Communications on the bus this morning - it was wonderful to listen to him go on and on about it. I peppered him with questions and he was more than willing to answer. He confirmed most of my opinions, and had a few additional insights. His overarching view was that the Governor-General's choice of prorogation represented "typical Canadian behavior - let's put off inevitable conflict." He also voiced that all of this talk in the press about such coalition-building being "unprecedented" and "undemocratic" is nonsense. K said something similar: coalition-building is what minority governments are about.

I asked the director if he thought that putting off the problem until January was enough to kill the momentum of the opposition parties. He thinks not. He thinks that Harpo has sufficiently alienated the Bloque Q and other opposition parties. And that although he might be able to spend more taxpayer dollars on anti-opposition advertising to rally the support of Canadian citizens before January, he's likely to do something equally alienating that will bring this issue up again. He had a lot more interesting things to say... I was all ears - It's no secret that I'd like to see Harpo go, but it's been fascinating to watch how he appears to be doing it to himself, and to learn how a system works through the process.

Sadly, I had an opportunity to talk in person with "my" NDP representative during the recent election. I like that she stands for peace, love, brotherhood, and equality and housing and money for everything and all that. I'm less impressed by a sense that she had the wits to accomplish these things. I suppose that's the question in the end. Is a majority coalition going to be more effective that this current lot? I don't have the answers to that, of course, but they've got my attention!


Meanwhile, back at the mountain: just dealt with what I hope is my last case of cheating in this class. K is going to give our nanny notice today - we've found a new and hopefully more reliable person to begin in January. My lab machinery has been fixed and is ready and waiting to run samples, after a day of painstaking troubleshooting with a technician yesterday. And I'm way behind on EVERYTHING else.

So off I go.

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