Monthly Archives: June 2004

Ensemble! Canadian election

I'm going to very quickly explain how the Canadian federal election process works since I'm assuming most people reading this have no idea. We don't vote for a Prime Minister (“President”). We only vote for our local representatives, who then get together and choose a leader. You do vote for a political party though (because those representatives are members of those parties) which has a known leader, although they do have the right to elect a new leader during a term. Oh, and the local ridings the MPs (Members of Parliament) represent are about 1/10th the size of ones in the US, so politicians are still able to know the people voting for them personally.

There are four major parties in Canada. On the far right is the Conservative party. Centrally (although still far more leftist than the US's Democrats for example) we have the Liberal party who have been in power since the early 90s, and on the far left we have the NDP. Finally, there's also the Bloc Quebecois, a pro-Quebec separtist party. The Liberals made a few mistakes (getting wishy-washy on some of their new policies), which drove a lot of votes to the NDP, and in Quebec they had a corruption scandal that drove almost all those ridings to the Bloc.

The end result though of Canada shifting farther left was a splitting of the vote, meaning that a lot more Conservatives were elected even though their support didn't grow that much. Because of this, we now have what is known as a minority government (the first time in my conscious lifetime). Since the Liberals only got 135 seats, they are 20 seats short of what is required to control the government. Which means that they're going to have to strike a deal with the NDP (and others) to work together to make it work. If they don't do so, the other parties could basically sink the government and force a new election.

Above is a link to a WMV file (13.8 meg, 16 minutes long) of Paul Martin's acceptance speech as the continuing Prime Minister of Canada. I thought people might find it interesting to see how the politicians interact in different countries since we really only ever get to see our own nation (whatever that may be), and American speeches (although usually edited down).

On the whole I think it's a good result for Canada. The Liberals were sent a strong message both that they're going to have to work harder for Quebec, and that the heart of Canada leads far more to the left than our own neo-cons would have you believe as the NDP developed far, far more new support than the Conservatives did when you look at the overall numbers.

Fahrenheit 9/11

Rachel and I along with Phil and Jen went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 today. I'm not going to write a full review now, but I really recommend going to see it. I wasn't sure what it was going to be. I don't think I really cared for Bowling for Columbine, and I think it somewhat manipulated the evidence to draw its own conclusions rather than the truth, so I was afraid it was going to be like that. But it wasn't. F9/11 is a very different film: an incredibly patriotic pro-American anti-war film who's real subplot is class war. It's a look into the international power elite of ultra-wealthy individuals profiting at the expense of poor people around the world… I don't believe it's a right vs. left movie… it's a rich vs. poor movie.

Watch out for bad jewelry

I see a lot of bad jewelry when I'm doing updates to BME, but this one really blew me away. It's a 6ga tongue bar. As you can see, there appears to be no countersink on the bead (although the bar sort of looks like it might have one), and the threading is wildly exposed with a huge gap. Anyway, if your piercer tries to install jewelry like this in you, or doesn't warn you of the problems if you bring in such jewelry, then you've found a shop that you shouldn't be getting pierced in.

Please don't shop for piercings on the basis of price alone. High quality jewelry is going to cost more, and running a high-end studio is more expensive than running one that cuts corners. By seeking out quality shops and supporting them, you are helping keep this industry top-notch.

Oh, Canada!

I just got back from voting in the federal election. I hope everyone of age in Canada goes and does the same. If you have not registered yet, head on over to and find where you have to vote. Then head on down and bring your Canadian ID and proof of residence (ie. showing that you live in that district), like your driver's license or other addressed ID. Worst case bring your lease or even mail that's addressed to you in that district.


If I've learned one thing from watching Saturday Night Live it's that when you've got a good skit you need to keep performing it over and over and over until people are so sick of it that you have to fire the people that came up with it in the first place. On that note I give you the BMEFEST 2004 staff shirts. If you see someone wearing one of these at the event, you'll know that they're either security, general staff, or bartending staff, with the specifics noted on the back (huh?).

“New Yorker by birth, Raynutz by Grace of God”