Tuesday, January 24, 2006

View from the Gates of of Frogmore Estates

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Fredericton Court House Taken from Gillan Hall Stairs

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The Church Spire

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Winter Dawn

Albert St. the day after the election - 8:30 am Posted by Picasa

Canada Today

I wish to add to my first post, expanding my response to the election.

The first thing I would like to do is to refer you to the coast of Araska, where my brother has done and outstanding job of responding to the election. (Please see the links in the margin) Having spent several hours this morning reading the news online, encountering the same voices comments posted on the Toronto Star web page, it was neat to see Geoff's responses to them (as I largely agreed). I would like to note that surprisingly the Globe and Mail readers responses to some of the stories about the election were far more pro-liberal, longer and more thoughtful.

Over the past few months my opinion of the media has taken a turn for the worse. During the Kashechewan evacution, I saw first hand, how the media skews the story and reports incorrect information. I was able to observe this, partly because I had more background knowledge than the average reader, and partly because I read every story I could get my hands on and noted glaring contridictions in technical facts published. I was also disappointed at the media's failure to tackle the story at any depth or include research. There has been a lot of evolution in the relationship between the federal government and the First Nation's People, and the media did not give much credit for the progress that has been made. The emphassis on pointing fingers and attacking the government in power, may have helped Kashechewan directly and put Native issues into the consciousness, but overall I think the shallowness of it hurt the First Nation's cause by focusing on their weaknesses rather than their strengths.

I was also unimpressed at the media coverage of the election in gereral. Perhaps I have unfair expectations for journalists, but I think they should put more effort into telling both sides of the story in a researched context. I know that there is a bottom line, but news should be more than sensationalist entertainment - it should be a reliable source of information.

In terms of the election coverage, I think that the media tended to shift the focus towards sensational aspects of the campaign. I would have liked to have seen more articles comparing the parties stances on different issues. I wonder if the media's tendancy to cover sensational stories, changes how politicians campaign?

At any rate, I seemed to have slid away from discussing the election. The truth is that the results are neither good or bad, just the sum total of Canada's voting. I think that it is a result that I reassures me about my fellow Canadians. We aren't becoming an uncaring, right wing country, nor a stagnant one. Even though the Conservative's won, they had to stick to the middle road to win a "shaky minority". No one won big, no one lost big . . . and the story should have a most interesting plot line.

My title to the previous post relates to the fact that I don't like how Harper played the game. I felt he was too busy trying to topple Martin to do his job as a politician. I think think this is sort of devine Karma that he will have to "put himself in Martin's shoes" and see what it feels like to be the leader of a minority. I think it will be a good growing experience for him.



Stephen Harper may have won, but he's in for a taste of his own medicine

Well, the election results are interesting. I think that Stephen Harper is going to to find out that running a weak minority government makes it hard to keep your promises. While I doubt the folks in oposition will be quite as bent on toppling the government and sabatoging any efforts to go forward, I think he'll find he's on a short leash. The other 3 parties have more social views than Harper and should be able to keep him from dismantling our social programs wholesale.

I think that its going to be an interesting few months.


Monday, January 23, 2006

He Got Me!!!

Election day is here . . . and I finally voted which means I did eventually make a choice which I don't plan to reveal here. Not that I did anything shocking, but its information I don't necessarily want public.

About the picture, taken in December at the McMichael Art Gallary, one of my favorite places, I'm not in quite as much pain as I appear to be. The photo credit should go to Gabriel Jacques, btw.

So, I'm preparing for an evening of watching the election coverage on live feed CBC.ca and having a beer. . . maybe digging into the hard liquor if the result call for that kind of amnesia.

I think our riding should go liberal. The incumbant was a fairly high ranking cabinet minister. I think the NDP guy had the most lawn signs up though. My parents home riding is predicted to go conservative, but it is a pretty tight race. I have no idea how the results will come out, predictions are great, but I still think there is a lot of play in the results. People don't have as clear an idea of the results, and I think that will make them vote differently and change at the last minute.

So, I guess the results are out of my hands, but I'm itching to see what they turn out to be in the end. I should, in the mean time, tackle some school.


Jennith Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday Night's Alright


It is a miracle I'm still awake, given how little sleep I've had in the last day. I meant to include the Briggs and Little website in my last post, so here it is:


Tommorrow is market day. I get to go to the market and have a yummy smoothy and pick up our Briggs and Little wool order. I haven't been since before christmas. Its a nice atmosphere and you always run into people you know. Oh, and it smells good!!!


I seem to be too tired to write much usualful, having exhausted my considerable political angst having a lovely chat with my brother. I am still undecided, but I can figure it out by Monday.

Back full tilt to school work tomorrow.



Thursday, January 19, 2006

Goodness me!!! Is that a casarole made of leftovers?

Allright - I suppose putting pictures of Shepard's pie as filler on my blog is a bit desparate... but it did taste pretty good considering that I did damaging things to the potatoes on 2 seperate occasions :D


JEnn Posted by Picasa

A Woolen Rainbow

Here are Gabe's Briggs and Little Wool samples. Knitting knight was quiet. I finished my second "pair" of mittens, but may have to knit at least one more mitten before they actually make a pair as they are vastly differing in size and shape. Sigh . . .

Another thing I learned this week is that an elipse has spaces between the periods! Oh, and in other grammar news - i also learned about restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

I have started reading delivered from distraction. I'm not sure I love the book. So far, it seems to be building a case that people with ADD are better than others. While I realize that his intent is to bolster the self esteem of people who suffer greatly and keep an optomistic tone, I find that I have trouble taking it as seriously as I might. I haven't gotten to the more technical bits though.

I have tonnes to do and a headache, so I'd best get to work... sorry i mean . . .


Jennith Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

And the band plays on


I find that I haven't taken the time to post anything on either of my blog's lately, owing partly to my instense efforts not to get behind this term and partly due to the fact that as a result I haven't taken or painted any pictures.

Well, actually I did paint some pictures, but they really didn't turn out that good and I'm getting close to finishing my second pair of mittens, but otherwise I've been imersing myself in first year economics for engineers.

Economics, at the level that I'm studying, have a seductive logic. It is certaintly a different way of looking at government policies and there effects and side effects. It is interesting as this study also coincides with a rabid election campaign. This imersion has not swayed me to Harper's side or any side for that matter. I'm still rather undecided about who to vote for and what to do. I am planning on voting and I am spending time researching my options.

My boyfriend and I have a friendly disagreement on the subject of strategic voting. I suppose there are many strategies. The one that come to mind for me is voting for the party with the greatest chance to win against the party you can't stand. Having had the misfortune of being a teacher under Mike Harris's regieme, I had no choice but to vote against him because his policies made me crazy. Unlike many people, I don't have a specific party loyalty. Considering how similar the platforms of the 3 federal parties are (I would say they all fall withing the liberal range of things ) it really comes down to capabitily of the politicians in the party.

Another strategdy I've heard of is in BC where they vote for whoever did poorest in Ontario. Being from Ontario, I don't really see us as a national threat, as we've never threatened to seperate, but then I probably count as biased.

Back to individual competency and honesty of politicians, I think this is hard to gauge. It appears that all three parties have had their share of corruption and scandal (Even the NDP in BC, whose record outdoes the liberals at present.) I don't have a lot of background knowledge on how politicians are selected or the kind of contract they have with the people of Canada. Oddly, this was never discussed in my years of public school. What qualifications do you need to be a representitive or a cabinet minister? Not a lot of formal ones if you consider Mike Harris. How do you screen for people who might jeapordize the party's repuation? How are candidates educated about the ethics around political issues? I think one problem is that local representives have so little impact on the outcome. A few rare and hard working idividuals can sway the support of their riding in spite of the leaders platform, but by in large we vote for the leaders and the party platform and few of us know anything about our local representive. So perhaps the voter is as much at fault for the failure of the political process.

Many voters certaintaintly don't take the time or effort to research the Party leader or their policies, nevermind follow national debates, news or pay any mind to the abilities, qualitifications or merit of their local politicians. Even though their local representitives are the ones who will be bringing the issues of your community to Ottawa. A lot of people simply decide when they are young that they are affiliated with this party or that and thus there is no point in worrying about he details.

An election campaign is a job interview, we are hiring (as a collective hiring committee) the men and women who will be running our country and making policy decisions. They will be instrumental in developing our representation on an international stage. So, what should your voting strategy be? (Even voting for the party you believe in regardless of their chance of winning is a strategy, one that has important benefits for that party in terms of status even if they lose.) I want to hire a competent leader backed by a competent team. I want my local representive to be someone committed to bringing my communities issues to Ottawa in an effective way. I want to hire someone that I trust to share my values of country that looks after its people and its environment. How shall I cast my vote most effectively?

At any rate, there are 6 days until election day for me to figure it all out. I encourage everyone to vote thoughtfully.



Sunday, January 08, 2006

My First Mitts

Hello Everyone,

These are the first pair of mittens I ever knit myself. They have many loveable imperfections (including that they aren't quite the same size and the pattern on one is a bit offset) But they are warm and finished and I love the colours. I've also started a pair for my mom, not quite as fancy.. but pink - so there we go.

Jenn Posted by Picasa