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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

Inspiring Words From an Inspiring Man

August 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ll begin this post with the obligatory apology for the lack of posts recently.

The truth is I just got a promotion at work so I’m quite busy with new responsibilities. I’ve also gotten engaged! Hooray! (read more at my girlfriend’s fiancee’s blog here)

But the main reason I’m writing today is to share the sad news that one of Canada’s top politicians, Jack Layton, has passed away.

 

File:Jack Layton-cr bl.jpg

Jack Layton in 2008. Photo: Matt Jiggins

For my non-Canadian readers, Layton was the leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, a left-leaning political party.

Layton was charismatic, funny, and very likable. Even those who did not agree with his politics could not argue with his enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, Layton passed away last night after a battle with cancer. He did, however, leave a final note to Canadians, written just 2 days ago, when it became clear that he may not be around much longer.

The full text is available here, but I wanted to share an excerpt with all of you.

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change…

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,
Jack Layton

It is unfortunate that people need to die before such words garner much attention, but hopefully Layton’s fight for better lives for working Canadians will not have been in vain.

 

My Favourite Blog Right Now

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment

It is election time in Canada (again), which means a plethora of poll data is just waiting to be analyzed by journalists, pundits and, well me.

So since I like numbers and statistics, my favourite blog for the rest of the month will be TheeHundredEight.com

ThreeHundredEight.com

This site amalgamates poll data and gives a projection of the next parliament. It is also updated every day so you can obsess over stats every single morning!

Now, I know Canadian politics does not have the animosity, craziness, stupidity or entertainment value of American politics, but that is something we Canadians should be proud of; even if its less fun to watch on TV.

While this site may only be interesting to my readers who occupy the intersection of this Venn diagram:

which should be what? Like, 8 people? 12? Meh, whatever. The site also gives poll data by province and even by riding, so even if you don’t like stats you may be interested in seeing which way the wind is blowing in your area.

Since I live in Alberta, and I am a bleeding heart left-wing hippy (which is how conservatives try to paint anyone who is not conservative), my vote will pretty much be useless. But I will still vote for poops and giggles.

Actually, The Globe and Mail also has a nice summary of the party platforms on its website. It is being continually updated as well, so keep an eye on that if you want a nice summary of the different platforms.

Hurray for democracy! And statistics!

Hey Canada, Who Should You Vote For?

March 28, 2011 5 comments

I know, I know. This is a science blog, not a political blog! But elections are quite important to the world of science as well and deserve attention.

Canada is headed for its 4th election in the last 7 years! It is getting a bit ridiculous, but then, so is the world of politics.

No matter what country you are from, when an election comes up people inevitably ask who you are going to vote for. The political diehards will urge you to “get informed!” and read up on the issues before making a decision.

If you are like me though, you leave this kinda stuff to the last-minute, maybe watch the debates and then vote for the same party you have the last few times. Admittedly, this is probably not the most, well, scientific way to go about things.

So if you need a bit of help deciding who you should vote for, you should try the ‘Vote Compass’ on CBC’s website.

The Vote Compass is a questionnaire of about 30 questions which ask you things like

Should Canada pull all of its troops out of Afghanistan immediately?

and then you simply answer using radio buttons for options like “Strongly Agree”, “Agree”, etc.

While certainly not rigorous, it is a good jumping off point to learn about the issues and get a sense of what political party’s views match up with your own.

My results, you ask?

My 'Vote Compass' Results

Taking into account the issues I find most important, my results (not surprisingly) put me closes to the NDP. If all issues were weighted equally, I would be closest to the Liberal party.

So in deciding who you will vote for, learn about the issues; you should also try to ignore the one thing Canadians hate most about election season. (Warning: You may only get this video if you from Canada. Enjoy!)