Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oh Canada

Well, Canada succeeded in ousting it's conservative government (led by the insufferable Steven Harper) yesterday. It was pretty fun to watch. Here are some highlights from my perspective (that perspective being one of a non-Canadian living in Canada):

  • The campaign was only 78 days long. That's the longest Canada's ever had, and yet is blissfully short by US standards.
  • Thanks to Canada's parliamentary system no one votes for the party leaders, folks just vote for their local MP. Of course, this year, everyone was so determined to get rid of the Conservatives that lots of people voted for whatever non-conservative party was most likely to win in their riding rather than who they thought was the best representative. This is a bit sad, but had the desired effect.
  • Last night we went to a local bar, had pizza and beer, and listened to people actually cheer and boo the election results as they appeared on television. Each riding lost or won got a reaction. It was pretty fun to see.
  • Everyone was surprised that the liberals actually pulled off a majority government. (This is one of the fun things about watching a multi-party election and a parliamentary system, there are many variations of government that can result from an election and even though people wanted to kick out the conservatives folks were still shocked that the Liberals had enough seats for a majority.) 
  • The new prime minister is young and attractive. This is probably a non-issue politically, but it amuses me for some reason. (Someone on twitter referred to him as a grown up former Hogwarts student. I look forward to more such jokes.)
But it's not all sunshine, beaver tails, maple candies and unicorn farts....

Of course, I didn't get to vote in the election since I'm not a citizen, which is frustrating because of course, since I live here, I care how the country is governed. Meanwhile, I still have to sort out absentee voting for my own country and am unsure if I can get an absentee ballot for the primaries (especially as I'm a registered independent). 

In the meantime, Canada has ushered in a new era of "not conservatives" and I can only hope that the liberals will be willing to listen to some of the other parties and compromise despite their overwhelming majority. Should be interesting to see.

So, that's my very light nod to Canadian politics this week. If you don't know anything about the Canadian system and would like to, I recommend this useful Wikipedia article. And if you'd like more details about the election and a break down on the voting you can find out lots over on CBC.ca. Also, if you'd like more information about why lots of folks in Canada voted strategically this year, and what that meant, I recommend this website. And finally, for a good laugh about the whole thing courtesy of John Oliver I leave you with this:


  1. Huzzah! And yes, he definitely resembles a recent Hogwarth alum.

    1. I know. I hope he dresses up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween. T'would be priceless.

  2. trying again! I love the intro video and will b watching all that follow. I already have a question: how can I get good info about making some of BhB's books into eBooks that are accessible to the visually impaired and blind?

    1. Hey Clarinda! Oooh... That's a great question. The first thing that comes to mind is that when you publish a kindle ebook you can enable it for text to speech so that folks who use kindle (all except the kindle paperwhite) can have the kindle read it to them aloud. (Of course this sounds like a robot, and isn't the best reading experience, but it does allow the author and reader to share this way for free.) Alternatively, you can go through acx to create and sell an audiobook. This is a complicated process that I will address in a future video, but it's the best method to produce a pleasant reading experience for those who are visually impaired or blind (in a digital format - presumably braille is still a nice way to read if one is visually impaired or blind, but to my knowledge there is no digital braille yet).