Monthly Archives: October 2008

New opportunities

I don’t talk about my work much here. That’s intentional. I don’t think it’s appropriate. Sometimes, though, my work life encroaches on my personal life and I have to at least say something.

Like today.

My (now former) employer of 11 years and I have parted company. Thus, I am unemployed.

The offers of help and support I’ve received so far have helped cushion the blow. I have some time to ponder my next step.

While I liked the work and really wanted to bring my project to completion, it’s also been stressing me out for months. I wasn’t even allowed to take all my vacation this summer, what with all the work. I could really use a break.

Once I’ve given myself a little time to decompress, I’ll be out there looking for new challenges and new opportunities. I have some ideas, but would greatly appreciate help and suggestions.

Brief return to politics

Can’t sleep. Posting this might help.

I wasn’t going to talk about the election results, but given that the results for Kitchener-Waterloo were a tiny bit extraordinary, I felt I should really say something.

Rather than the comfortable Liberal win that most people were expecting, it turns out that Conservative Peter Braid won the riding by a slim 75 votes.

I, for one, blame the Communist party for splitting the vote and allowing this to happen!

No, seriously. The polls utterly failed to predict this. The reason, I think, is that the polls don’t ask one vitally important question: how likely is it that you’ll actually show up on voting day. I can totally buy that people just assumed that Telegdi would win so they didn’t have to bother to vote.

Turns out it doesn’t work that way.

The people who wanted Peter Braid to represent them really wanted Peter Braid to represent them. About 5000 people who said they wanted Telegdi in polls didn’t show up for the only poll that matters. Voter turnout across the country hit an all-time low.

So congratulations, Mr Braid, on a hard-won victory.

Change of topic

Polls close in about an hour. For the record, I’m done with politics until the next election. Unless maybe I feel compelled to comment on the US election, but what more could possibly be said?

I think we’re good.

I’m back from Thanksgiving weekend in Belleville. Technically, today is a vacation day, but I am currently at work futzing around in order to get things working and presentable for my feature presentation tomorrow.

Nice weekend. I got to see Matt and Rin. I spent a whole lot of time working on a WordPress plugin which I may end up finishing at some point. I also wandered around my old neighbourhood with a GPS for the glory of OpenStreetMap. And I got to see family and eat lots of food. All in all, very good.

Endorsement

I’m gonna make this all official and stuff:

This blog endorses Andrew Telegdi for the riding of Kitchener–Waterloo.

Re-elect Andrew Telegdi

This was actually a tough choice. I thought the Liberals in general haven’t been holding up their end as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition the last two years. I do think they have a really good platform this time, but they still have a smug complacency that they really need to get over. I’d be all in favour of smacking them down some more if the alternative wasn’t so dire.

I do actually like Green Party candidate. Cathy MacLellan is really, really good. She’s smart and articulate. She understands the realities of business. She’s just a fantastic candidate. Not only that, my own values and beliefs align much closer to the Green Party platform than any other party. So why am I not endorsing her?

Telegdi has a pretty safe win in the riding, so strategic voting isn’t even that much of a factor. Thing is, I think we desperately need people like Andrew Telegdi on Parliament Hill. He is a stalwart champion of immigration and citizenship, from working to provide sanity for those who seek it to ensuring that it cannot be stripped away without just due process. He is one of the few people in our government who’s had the courage to stand against the abuses of power that our governments have allowed themselves in the wake of the US terrorist attacks in 2001. He has done this even in defiance of his own party. He is, frankly, a kick-ass MP, and we need more like him, not fewer.

So I voted for him. I have no qualms about endorsing him. If for some reason, though, you have a problem voting for a Liberal, however, I think Ms MacLellan is also an excellent choice.

For people not in my riding:

This blog endorses strategic voting

I considered endorsing a party, but I don’t know if that’s my style. I do, however, have an anti-endorsement: the Conservative Party of Canada is not up to dealing with the challenges the next government will face.

Yes, the Canadian financial system is in not nearly the sort of dire situation we see in the US or Europe. This is a good thing. However, I’m pretty sure the only reason this is the case is because Canada has resisted the sort of deregulation of the financial system that has been such the fad elsewhere. Exactly the sort of deregulation that the Conservatives and their predecessors have consistently advocated. Canadians are a very risk-averse people. A lot of the time it slows us down a bit. Sometimes, though, it saves us a whole lot of mess. Like now.

Also, we need to do something about global warming fucking now. Actually, we needed to twenty years ago. Yes, the rest of the world needs to come too, but Canada needs to be ahead of the curve on this. It’s the only way we can come out ahead. Inaction will cost us far more than action. And I’m not just talking about most of Nova Scotia being under water. I’m talking about when the rest of the world gets their act together, there is going to be serious repercussions for those who lag behind. So far, we’re lagging behind.

Oh, and there’s other shit too, like Bill C-10 and censorship in art funding and Bill C-61 on copyright. I really don’t want these jokers in power. They aren’t the old happy, friendly Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney-style Tories. These guys are the bastard children of the Canadian Alliance (Reform without any of the democratic reform stuff that made them compelling) and the Mike Harris Tories. The same guys who fucked up Ontario. And they’ll do it again if given the chance.

But enough bile. This is an endorsement, right? I think people should go to voteforenvironment.ca, find their riding and see what they think of the advice there. It doesn’t say you always have to vote Liberal to keep the Conservatives out. Often it says a strategic vote won’t make a difference, so you can vote neo-Rhino if you really want to.

I really recommend people get to know their local candidates (admittedly, I’m a bit late on that advice). But also pay attention to the bigger picture. I don’t believe that a vote cast for someone who doesn’t win is “lost” or “didn’t count.” I do think, though, that you need to figure out what is the least undesirable of the likely outcomes and let that guide you.

Most of all, though, you really ought to get out and vote. ‘Cuz this one’s important. Really fucking important.

Thanksgiving

I’m in Belleville for Thanksgiving. I think I’m just going to take the time to relax. I’ve got a presentation at work as soon as I get back. I don’t want to think about that. I don’t really want to think about the election either. Or anything else. I just need a break.

I do want to track down Matt and take him out for sushi at some point. Even if it’s Belleville sushi…

Ellen and I went to see [Caesar and Cleopatra](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_and_Cleopatra_(play)) at Stratford on Wednesday. It was… strange. Christopher Plummer was pretty great as Caesar. Seeing attractive young women on stage in minimal or minimally opaque clothing is always a plus. The story was compelling, even if the historical accuracy was a bit questionable. I had an emotional reaction to the play that took me by surprise, and outweighed any intellectual response. Even though it’s not technically a tragedy, it feels tragic. I suppose it is meant to be a prequel of sorts to Antony and Cleopatra. Not that I’ve actually seen that.

We’ve missed a bunch on Stratford plays we wanted to see. Ellen hasn’t been up for it much and I’ve been kinda busy with work and stuff. We’re planning on seeing Emilia Galotti in November, but I think that’s it for the season. We saw All’s Well that Ends Well, which I liked. But we missed Hamlet and Trojan Women and Fuente Ovejuna.