Monday, November 3, 2008

Who's Got Time to Write?

As I write this, I am listening to "The Current" a CBC morning news show that covers interesting current events and newsworthy topics. Typically, one day before the American election, they are discussing it in depth, including the local (Montreal) radio show that "pranked" Sarah Palin:

A political junkie, I can't keep away from this election, checking Google every now and then,
I am full of hope for a change in government that will affect the world profoundly, and envision myself walking through the streets of NDG, looking at smiling faces, happy to see the end of both Republican and white hegemony in American politics. I am trying not to be subsumed by paranoia and fear, knowing that political abnormalities appeared in the 2000 and 2004 election results. I am also trying to get a grip, knowing how elections can be compromised. I remember voting in the Quebec referendum in 1995, watching as voters in my federalist riding waited in line for hours as poll clerks took their sweet time stuffing ballots, finding a loophole (speed) that was not mandated by their job descriptions or electoral law. I am glad at least that many Americans - canny voters used to intimidation and inefficiency - have voted early. Let's hope it works and regardless of the result, it was a real consensus. I also hope the percentage of those who vote increases, as more people feel that their voice can count.

On the weekend I saw "Scorched" a play about the horrific results of civil war and how lives are destroyed for generations. It was riveting, so much so that many sublime, grey haired patrons of the Centaur Theatre left at the end of the first act. This was not a play to be celebrated with tea and a sandwich at a quaint Old Montreal cafe afterwards. My wife and I drove home somewhat relived that our son will hopefully never raise a machine gun in anger, or commit acts on a woman or child unbearable horiffic to contemplate. We also felt eternally grateful that circumstances led our respective families to settle in Canada, where we enjoy the democratic freedoms of our neighbours in the US. Many aspects of true democracy have been compromised no doubt, as there are voices in both countries that are condemned to the silence that comes with a lack of political or economic power. Still, there is much to appreciate and one hopes tomorrow's results will be a testimonial to that. I can't wait.

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