Wednesday, June 16, 2004

election issues and apple blossoms

Today I...

--walked to Dad's house, via the roadways. It was sunny today and a stiff breeze blew, and I took my time and strolled. I let myself in his house using the hidden key, and read various books and magazine articles (dabbled in, really) and then went exploring Robin's renovation efforts on Mom's old goat barn. Robin undertook this project last summer and fall, but then got discouraged around November, as her and my father's relationship wasn't doing so well. So, now they are broken up and she lives in North Sydney, and the old barn is stuck in half-metamorphose, with a woodstove inside and an electrical fuse box but no running water (although a well was dug) and no electricity. Dad plans to finish it off and have it as a spare house, maybe a retreat cabin or housing for guests. Who knows. All I know is it was lovely and sunny in there and when finished will be a great space.

--I picked Dad a bouquet of a crabapple branch with pink and white blossoms, red tulips, and white narcissus, and left them in a mason jar with water on his sunlit hardwood floor along with a note. I hope he appreciates it after his long day of treeplanting.

--Walked home, took in the laundry, put out a new load. The stiff breeze continued to blow. I made orange zest muffins and then an apple spice cake with cardamom syrup, the latter suggested by Catherine from Tasmania. Mat got home from school, I had a glass of water with a bit of lemon juice waiting for him in the fridge. I wrote a letter to Julia King, the woman who lives at Blackfellows Gully, where I stayed in Walcha, NSW. (I would link to these writings but I'm not sure quite how yet.) I shall post it this week, perhaps. It costs $1.40 to mail to overseas.

--Later, this evening, I began research on the election coming up here in Canada. For those of you interested, the 4 parties I'm reading up on are: the Liberals (already in power, a sort of middle-of-the-road party and not my first choice, nor my second); the Conservatives (last in line for my vote, these guys want to make abortion illegal again and abolish same-sex marriage, although not officially, of course); the NDP (left-wing, gaining in popularity and a contender for Leah's X); and the Green Party (new, they don't have the political heft the first two do and the third dreams of, but they are idealistic and perhaps realistic and should be given a chance). I want to make an informed choice on June 28, and since this is really the only time Canadians get to be democratic (our democracy, I feel, is more of a sham than most people think) I think it has a lot of weight. Unfortunately, a lot of people see it only as one more vote in a long-standing tradition of voting how your father voted, or for who your friends are. It seems to me a lot of the time parties are evaluated not on what they want for the future but on how well they can tear down their opponents. And that isn't creative or constructive, is it?

--I learned the other day that 75% of Canadian youth don't vote. As Donnie Calabreze put it today, we have a strong voice but we're the ones who are getting screwed over the most! We joked and blamed Nirvana, TV and basement rec rooms, but honestly...who is responsible for this new generation of apathetic citizens? Who were we watching when we learned that no matter how we vote, it doesn't matter, and why have most young Canadians come to believe there are no alternatives to Tweedle-dee or Tweedle-dum? Not voting isn't the same as having a say, I think. For one thing it doesn't explain your motives. You're not marked down as spoiling your ballot, you're just marked as one of the masses who didn't bother to turn out to the polls. A better way to truly challenge the power hold of traditional politicians is to get into the system yourself, and enter live debate on real issues, run for office, get on the soapbox. Otherwise, you've no-one to blame for yourself that your voice and your vote is being mis-used.

--With that, I'm off to bed.

PS...I don't know why the archives and links tables have decided to self-edit their code and change widths, all of a sudden. I'll fix it up as soon as I can get around to it.

PPS...this evening I changed the time zone on here back to Canadian Atlantic time, which may or may not revert the whole blog (the whole year and a half) back to this time. Which may make the time and dating on the Australian archives a little inaccurate. We shall see.

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