Provincial Elections & Stuff…

4 03 2008

Well I did my civic duty and voted yesterday in the Alberta provincial elections.  The candidate I voted for did not win (yet ANOTHER Conservative majority in Alberta… do people ever learn.. but I digress).

The turnout was absolutely shambolic.  I read today the turnout rate was about 41% of eligible voters in the province, down from the poor 44% of the previous elections.  I left work about 20 minutes early to get there that much earlier and, hopefully, avoid the queues.  When I got to my polling station I was the *ONLY* one in it (bar voting officers).  I’ve never seen that before in any election I’ve voted in.  I guess the virtually empty car park should have tipped me off (here was my worried about having to park on the street somewhere).  A bit worrying… I dont particularly like our current provincial government so I tried to do something about it (and if I did like the government I’d turn up anyway to support them).

Makes you wonder what the reasons for the low turnout is?  Disenfranchised with the system?  Don’t care?  Satisfied with status-quo?  Why?

Very disappointing regardless of the outcome.  You may not like the outcome but at least participate and make your voice heard.

On the plus side I played soccer on Sunday and I had my first clean sheet in I don’t know how long!  Yay!

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Oh Dear… Ann Coulter at it again…

12 10 2007

The semi famous conservative writer had another great blunder I just saw highlighted in an CNN news article.  Apparently Jews should convert to Christianity as Christians consider themselves ‘Perfected Jews’…

View the full article here.

I can’t believe somebody with the profile she has would say something so completely clueless.  Candidate for a clue sale?





Burma Posting, Podcasts, Views…

11 10 2007

I have to admit I have been following the events in Burma for awhile with some interest.  I came across a posting in some of my blog crawling/reading adventures and thought I would post it here (see previous post).  It is a bit like email spam (which I normally can’t stand) that you try to get 10 of your friends to send for good luck but the message in this is far more serious…

Try searching google on the number listed in the post below.  An amazing amount of hits (and not just in English). 

On a related note the BBC does some excellent podcasts on current/world events as well as other topics that I’d encourage people to take a look at.  Specifically the documentary archive (found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/docarchive/ if you want to subscribe to it with iTunes, RSS or whatever) is very good including a piece on Burma recently (and I woudl expect more to be appearing as time goes on).  I’d also recommend the daily newspod download.  This is usually how I while away the time on the LRT going to and from work every day and it’s educational!! 





Help the People of Burma

11 10 2007

Help the People of Burma — Post this on Your Blog!

Note: This is a new kind of online protest that uses blogs to spread a petition globally. To participate, just add your blog by following the instructions in this blog post.

This not an issue of partisan politics, this is an issue of basic human rights and democracy. Please help to prevent a human tragedy in Burma by adding your blog and asking others to do the same.

By passing this meme on through the blogosphere hopefully we can generate more awareness and avert a serious tragedy. As concerned world-citizens this something we bloggers can do to help.

How to participate:

1. Copy this entire post to your blog, including this special number: 1081081081234

2. After a few days, you can search Google for the number 1081081081234 to find all blogs that are participating in this protest and petition. Note: Google indexes blogs at different rates, so it could take longer for your blog to show up in the results.

THE SITUATION IN BURMA AND WHY IT MATTERS TO ALL OF US

There is no press freedom in Burma and the government has started turning off the Internet and other means of communication, so it is difficult to get news out. Individuals on the ground have been sending their day-by-day reports to the BBC, and they are heartbreaking. I encourage you to read these accounts to see for yourself what is really going on in Burma. Please include this link in your own blog post.

The situation in Burma is increasingly dangerous. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed peaceful protesters, including monks and nuns, are risking their lives to march for democracy against an unpopular but well-armed military dictatorship that will stop at nothing to continue its repressive rule. While the generals in power and their families are literally dripping in gold and diamonds, the people of Burma are impoverished, deprived of basic human rights, cut off from the rest of the world, and increasingly under threat of violence.

This week the people of Burma have risen up collectively in the largest public demonstrations against the ruling Junta in decades. It’s an amazing show of bravery, decency, and democracy in action. But although these protests are peaceful, the military rulers are starting to crack down with violence. Already there have been at least several reported deaths, and hundreds of critical injuries from soldiers beating unarmed civilians to the point of death.

The actual fatalities and injuries are probably far worse, but the only news we have is coming from individuals who are sneaking reports past the authorities. Unfortunately it looks like a large-scale blood-bath may ensue ­ and the victims will be mostly women, children, the elderly and unarmed monks and nuns.

Contrary to what the Burmese, Chinese and Russian governments have stated, this is not merely a local internal political issue, it is an issue of global importance and it affects the global community. As concerned citizens, we cannot allow any government anywhere in the world to use its military to attack and kill peacefully demonstrating, unarmed citizens.

In this modern day and age violence against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and if it is allowed to happen, without serious consequences for the perpetrators, it creates a precedent for it to happen again somewhere else. If we want a more peaceful world, it is up to each of us to make a personal stand on these fundamental issues whenever they arise.

Please join me in calling on the Burmese government to negotiate peacefully with its citizens, and on China to intervene to prevent further violence. And please help to raise awareness of the developing situation in Burma so that hopefully we can avert a large-scale human disaster there.