Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Canadian Election Update

Stephen Harper is still the Prime Minster of Canada... for like, 10 more days. Then Justin Trudeau will be sworn in and become the 23rd Prime Minister.

Harper will still be called 'The Right Honourable' for the rest of his days. I throw up a little in my mouth when I say that, but them's the breaks. Even John Turner, Prime Minister for 79 days, has the right to use that title.*

Trudeau, son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of fuddle-duddle fame, is leader of the Liberal Party and has successfully formed a majority government. It wasn't what I wanted vote-wise, but for now I'm focusing on the positives: the Conservatives are no longer in power, and while Harper will still represent his riding of Calgary-Heritage, he has stepped down as party leader.

I thought about posting an update last night except I had a few drinks because it was election night and I'm a political junkie. Instead of posting an update, I channelled my energy into singing about Harper's demise and sending What's App updates to my stepmom who is currently out of the country. These updates became less and less coherent as the night went on. I'm sure she was thrilled.

I also couldn't post earlier today because after work, I went out for dinner and a movie with a friend. What better way to celebrate Harper being booted than to watch Matt Damon being brought home? Which, coincidentally, is part of the defense I'm going to use when the cops finally find Mr. Damon tied up in my living room. But officer, the poster said "Bring Him Home" so I did!

This concludes the political interlude of my blogging.


Until the next election.

Unless Justin does something really stupid before then.

*Turner was not the shortest serving Prime Minister. That distinction is held by Charles Tupper but he died in 1915 so no one is calling him anything these days.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Poll Dancing in Canada

Today, Canadians go to the polls and elect our next government. For those of you who are not Canadian – all one of you – here’s a crash course in Canadian politics.

The Canadian Election was called on August 2nd, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper dropped the writ. I kid you not, we call elections in Canada with what sounds like an old-fashioned mic drop. He set our election date for October 19th. Canada does not have set election dates although we do have laws that govern both how short and how long the country can go without calling an election.

Canadian law also dictates that no election should be shorter than 36 days. This is a fairly new law – mid-60s, I believe – so we do have elections that have been shorter than that. Our shortest campaign period was 12 days (but this was prior to one day voting so the election wasn't actually that short). Generally, most elections since the law passed have clocked in at around 40 days and change. At 78 days, this is our longest election ever.

Canada has multiple parties and each party has a leader, even when they’re not the party in power. Canada uses a First Past the Post voting system and the party with the most seats forms the government. If they win at least 170 seats, they form a majority government and can pretty much rule as they please. If they win less than that, they form a minority government and will have to do more wheeling and dealing to get bills passed.

The other parties that won at least one seat form the opposition, with the largest of those parties being called the Official Opposition. Meh, they’re the first losers so we’ll give them a fancy title to soften the blow.

I used to follow a rule of limiting my political talk on Facebook (or any social media, really). When elections rolled around – federal, provincial, or municipal – I’d encourage people to vote and leave it at that. I’d share the occasional story that interested me but I didn’t really get into my personal politics.

That changed this time around because I hate Stephen Harper. Not dislike. HATE.

And I want everyone to know it.

I want them to know that in 8 years, we have not had a balanced budget and despite all the Conservatives claims to the opposite, our 2015 budget also won't be balanced.

I want them to know that Canada is the only G7 country currently in a recession. Even though Harper continues to claim that it's a global recession, it is not.

I want them to know that under Bill C-51 being arrested at a peaceful protest could be deemed a terrorist act by the government. The language is vague on purpose because that's the way the Harper government wants it.

I want them to know that under Bill C-24, if convicted of terrorism or other serious specific serious crimes, Canadian immigrants who have received Canadian citizenship or people born in Canada who are eligible for dual citizenship can be stripped of their citizenship. 

I want them to know that Harper claims his government's attempts to outlaw the niqab at a citizenship ceremonies is about the rights of women but this same government says that the 1200 indigenous women that have have gone missing or have been murdered since 1980 are not worth an inquiry. 

I could go on and on, but mostly I want them to know that this man and his government do not represent the Canada I want to live in.*

Because I don't want to end this post on a downer, here's a clip of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight:

Here’s hoping that tomorrow, Canada wakes up to a government that looks much different than our current one.

*All these facts can be found in an easy Google search. Sorry, too lazy to do it myself right now. There are election results to watch!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Switching It Up

My beloved trainer of gym days past is officially out of commission until, well, we don’t know. Best estimate: Christmas. Worst estimate: forever. I liked her and am sad that I won’t be returning to her even if she does return soon-ish just because three months with someone else, yada, yada, yada.

After the last attempt to switch trainers, I was a wee bit apprehensive about who I was going to be set up with this time. The fall down the stairs just before the wedding kept me out of the gym for the first two weeks of the month but I wasn’t exactly chasing down the gym manager to get a replacement once I was back.

I had nothing to fear as I really like this trainer. She’s from Brazil and has only been in Canada for four months. Her English is fantastic but she’s never had to be a personal trainer in English so she mimes a lot of movements or things I’m doing wrong. I purposely guess them wrong to make her laugh. I’ve ensured that she will never be on my team for Pictionary.

It’s good to be back into a rhythm with going to the gym. I really tried to get there on my own while I was between trainers but if I could do it on my own, I wouldn’t need a trainer. It is so easy to just say ‘fuck it’ when the alarm goes off at 5:30 and there’s no one waiting for you at the gym.

Pretty much anytime my alarm goes off, really.

I also started overusing the GoodLife Fitness hashtag #makeithappen on Instagram. To be honest, I use it mostly to complain about how early I work out. I voluntarily chose ass o'clock in the morning for my training times but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I'm off work this coming week so my trainer has happily agreed to have slightly later starts to the day. No point is getting up at 5:30 when you don't have work to go to!

And if anyone cares, Eccleston is my favourite Doctor. Forever and always.

I should rewatch the first series of New Who...