Tag Archives: politics

where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

Did anyone catch Harper’s and Dion’s addresses tonight?  I felt it a weak move and not just because it was Harper’s idea.  Honestly, he needs more grass-roots support and is using the wrong medium to reach his intended audience.  Harper made an ass of himself in insisting that this coalition involves a deal with the devil in the form of a ‘separatist party’. First, no such deal exists.  Please remember the Bloc’s signing on at Harper’s request back in oh four when they were questioning Martin’s effectiveness.  Secondly, I don’t see how his choice in wording – …ahem…’separatist’ comes immediately to mind – can be seen as anything other than vitriolic and two-faced at this point.  When you’re up against a community and political party of and backed by heritage/language proud citizens one had best not use the nicer word to its face then turn around and use the nastier word behind its back.  Hello, Mr. Harper, there are far more English speaking Francos than there are French speaking Anglos per capita.  Please also remember that Harper, at one point, pleaded with our then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, to side with the same ideas he and his supporters are now referring to as ‘undemocratic’ even ‘communist’.

Dion’s follow-up was less aenemic but kind of sad in that he felt the need to be reactionary in this.  He could have done a better job and made a stronger statement simply addressing questions from the hacks.  He’s so much better in an impromptu arena.  Plus the whole late tape fiasco was stunningly idiotic.  Someone had better get a stern talking to for that one.

This is a nation built on a socialist-capitalist hybrid platform and the truth of the matter is that we’ve been leaning a lot more heavily on the capitalist side than we have the socialist side for a great many years.  The foundation is starting to buckle.  My hunch, and I’m a pretty intuitive person so I think it’s a good one, is that we’re a people yearning to look after our own.  Harper’s government is not out to look after its people.  Harper has proven time and time again that his government is ready to buckle in the name of its own perverse idea of victory.  They’re already buckling.  They have been for a long time. Now they’re being called on it.

Though this is an exciting (terrifying?) time in Canadian political history, I don’t like what’s going on in parliament right now.  It’s not pretty.  It’s not the ideal…not mine or anyone else’s…even those of the parties most likely to benefit from it.  It makes me sick and anxious.  I want something dependable.  I want something which stands for me.  I do support the coalition but I want this to be fast and efficient.  A clean kill.  I want the coalition to act like Vulcans until it’s over.  I want something from which we can quickly move on from in order to address and act upon other, more, MUCH more pressing needs.  I think we’re all in the same boat and will just be happy when it’s over.

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denial is no longer an acceptable response

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

When are we going to hear similar words of commitment from you?  Are you aware of the fact that our country is host to a major portion of the world’s natural resources.  Resources which other nations are dependent upon?  Are you aware that with that comes great responsibility?  When are you going to do us proud and proclaim your commitment to environmental rehabilitation and resource management?

Your lack of action is an embarrassment.  Your ignorance is shameful.  Just because you have the power to be apathetic doesn’t mean you should be…ever.

Yours in resigned bliss,

Melanie

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peterborough craft mafia

At my post election internal pow wow I came up with some pretty startlingly clear realizations about the Peterborough arts scene and think it’s high time we get a craft mafia (or whatever) together.  We do have a great scene here and many organizations accessible to us to support it but which are also caught up in the standard issue bureaucratic red tape which comes with government funding on any level.  At some point depending on those organizations becomes a crutch and things get stagnant, boring, a little incestuous, elitist and inaccessible to the people whose stories we’re supposed to be telling.  None of these things does a healthy, vibrant arts community make.  We have an MP in office who believes we’re already there and my response is this call to action to create opportunities to prove him wrong.

My vision begins and ends in community.  Here are the things I want to see come of this, some of them are a little more crystallized than others but bear with me:

– random acts of kindness through guerilla art.  One cause that’s near and dear to my heart is Community Living’s ‘Our Space’ project.  We could hold a sew-in.  Base it out of the halls of Peterborough Square or Lansdowne Place.  Get donations of fabrics together and charge $10 for shoppers to sew their own tote bag.  Patrons will be engaged & learn a new skill, proceeds will go to the Our Space project, plastic bags will be kept out of landfills, and we get our names & faces out there.

– skills sharing.  I’m sure many of us engage in this already but can we really get enough?  I know how to install a zipper, edit code and create a mean marketing plan and I really want to learn to crochet.  Got some advice on getting your website noticed?  Need to get the word out about a workshop you’re hosting? Informal workshops/exchanges in kitchens and living rooms and coffee shops can be held.

– resource sharing.  When are you putting your next wholesale order in and can I have some?  Who needs postering done in my ‘hood?  We can all save money & time if we pool together.

– awareness & hype.  Like I said, this is about creating opportunities.  We can get our own events together instead of waiting for them to come around.  It’s a little late for this year but we could band together to get a tree into the festival of trees for next year.  We could have a dragon boat race team.  We could have bowling shirts with our names on them!

-feeding our compulsions.  I craft therefore I am.  Pretty sure we all get that but some of us find it hard to get up the motivation, clear the space, and dig in.  How about craft nights/days?  Creating atmospheres in which it’s ok to muck up and get messy?

I have loads of ideas and I’m sure you all do too being the creative bods that you are.  I want to keep this informal, ever-evolving and changing, constantly breathing new life into itself.  I want us to work together with established organizations to take some of the pressure off their doling out of the trickle of funds they get and make our community aware of their presence.  I want to see us going out into the community as a united front encouraging buying local, buying handmade and getting people engaged in the act of art itself.  I want those of us who make our livings with our crafts to embrace (literally and/or figuratively – good thing we don’t have an HR department, eh?) our competition and take a vested interest in their success knowing they’re doing the same for us.  I want our dabblers to dabble more and create, create, create.

I’ve started a facebook group to get this going.  If anyone has ideas on when and where to meet I would love to hear them.  Spread the word!  Let’s make this ball roll!

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58%

I can’t say I blame the other 42%.

The following excerpt from this document prettily sums up how I feel in the aftermath of our federal election so that’s all I will say on the matter.

Three wolves and six goats are discussing what
to have for dinner. One courageous goat makes
an impassioned case: “We should put it to a vote!” The
other goats fear for his life, but surprisingly, the wolves
acquiesce. But when everyone is preparing to vote, the
wolves take three of the goats aside.
“Vote with us to make the other three goats dinner,”
they threaten. “Otherwise, vote or no vote, we’ll eat you.”
The other three goats are shocked by the outcome of
the election: a majority, including their comrades, has
voted for them to be killed and eaten. They protest in
outrage and terror, but the goat who first suggested the
vote rebukes them: “Be thankful you live in a democracy!
At least we got to have a say in this!”

via CrimethInc.

In other news, keep your eyes pealed here early next week (I hope!) for a little gift to the three of you who read this blog.  A thank you, if you will, for putting up with my political rantings.

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disgruntled puggle says GO VOTE!

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on my soap box

Me and the mister sat down and started watching Michael Moore’s Slacker Uprising before going out last night and it made me sad and angry.  Sad and angry because, for all his effort and good intentions, he fails to touch upon the fundamental reason why his nation’s president did not get voted into power but took it by default and why he’s come up snake eyes in increasing voter turn out.  He comes so close.  The answer is always right in front of him throughout his appearances, but he just didn’t catch it and his words and appeals are not going to make a difference if he doesn’t.  Under 50% voter turn-out does not a slacker voter generation indicate.  What it does indicate is a nation whose government is inaccessible to 50% of its population.  Theirs is a government created and maintained by rich white boys for rich white boys and fails again and again to bridge the gap to engage and create representation the formidable portion of their population who does not fit that demographic.  Canadian government is no different and we’re quickly approaching the United States’ levels of apathy and blindness on this matter.

This is where my voting vs. non-voting soap box comes into play; I know that there really and truly are individuals and entire groups of people so entirely disenfranchised and unrepresented by our government and the system it works to maintain. People the political machine can’t reach because they don’t speak the right language.  Because they don’t have a TV or a computer.  Because they work 3 jobs and still can’t afford a roof under which to read a newspaper.  Because our governments’ policies are so alien to the way they live and breathe on the same soil as the rest of us.  Because they live in communities so far removed culturally or geographically that our governments’ have written them off.  Because they’re ex-pats and students and soldiers and travelers in other countries who don’t receive their ballots until weeks after election and are not informed that their vote still counts. I can’t reach these people.  Michael Moore can’t reach these people.  It’s our governments’ job to reach these people and our nations’ abilities to thrive, I would even go so far as to say survive, depend on reaching these people.  That our governments’ don’t reach out is indicative of the weakness of the governments we have (or have not, as the case may be) voted into power above and below the 49th parallel.

Then there are those of you who choose not to vote because you feel unrepresented and disenfranchised, but you aren’t.  If you look deep down, can find something valid to relate to in at least one party’s platform you really should go out and cast your vote based on that no matter how futile you feel your contribution is.  If you’re reading this and considering not voting, you’re not one of the people I listed above.  You are the person Michael Moore has tried to reach.  You are the person I can reach.   You are not one of the actually disenfranchised bodies and I implore you; vote.  If only for those who are actually, really and truly unrepresented.  Vote for a government which will empower all of us through grassroots changes and bring the rest into the fold and foster undivided nations.  Vote for a government which makes itself accessible to all citizens and not just those of us who are privileged enough to bear witness to its propaganda and false promises.

If you really really feel the need to not vote, go cast a ballot anyway – don’t check off the name of the candidate simply write that you’re choosing not to vote and write down one reason why.  Do this knowing that there are also us in-betweens who have thrown all of our support at our more grass roots politicians but who will turn up to the polls on Tuesday and toss in a vote against the party we don’t want to have in power.  We don’t necessarily condone your choice, but we kinda get where you’re coming from and we might be able to sway your decision if we get you face to face =)

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ch-ch-ch-changes

Enough politics.  Let’s examine some cute for a moment, shall we?

‘Zzini’s all like, ‘it’s ok, Matt.  I will not let the scary, hairy woman interrupt your beauty sleep.’

The mister is so going to kill me for posting that.  Well, maybe not ‘kill’ me.  Perhaps just maim me a little.

So I finally bit the bullet and imported the food blog into this one.  I thought it might entice me to update with more foody posts if I came at it with a less formal stance than what I have been.  Weird how internal pressures cause us to not do things, eh?  Plus it’s sort of more fitting with my here and there and everywhere content anyway.  I’ll keep the original food blog up for a bit until I’ve decided to commit to the change, but I think I’m hip to this jive so it will likely go down soon enough.

Alright.  Back to politics.

It was brought to my attention via Ann’s blog that local teacher, author, ornithologist and environmental activist, Drew Monkman has had a rather compelling letter to the editor published in today’s Examiner.  With his message, I couldn not agree more…and I’m not just saying that because he was my grade 4 teacher, or because he was my son’s grades 4,5 & 6 teacher, not even because he’s been my daughter’s teacher for the last two years.  His letter is passionate and expresses all of the embarassment I feel at our government’s lack of commitment to reducing emmissions & my hopes for the future of our stance on that globally and he does it as a real guy with real concerns for the generations of Canadians he has helped educate and engage with the natural world as he sees it.  He’s paying attention.  Are we?

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