Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's not easy being green...

The green party gets a lot of flack. Sometimes, it's even from themselves.

Martin Hyde is my riding's Green Party candidate and I already know that I'm not going to vote for him. Not because I think that he doesn't have a chance in hell of winning or that I don't like the Green Party, but because he's already convinced himself that he won't win.

"While I stand little chance of winning a seat in this election, that isn’t stopping me from running Green."

This defeatist mentality is not a very good way to inspire confidence in a population. Especially when you're trying to get them to like you.

When I first looked at his website, Hyde had written something to the extent of "I'm not a political person..." Why in the world would anyone then enter politics?

He might say that he's in it to support his party. More likely he'd say that he's in it to make the world a better place. But the real reason he's running for the Green Party is because, hell... someone's got to. Why not Martin Hyde?

This lame attitude of running a local campaign by promoting a federal party's entire platform is not the way things should work. If I vote for a Green representative, I don't want him to think of Kyoto. I want him to tell me what he will do to make my neighbourhood more green and what we as individual citizens can do to help out based on the party platform.

I want my representative to be involved in my community and not be just another hack.

I want a person who's ultimate reason for running is more than just a shrug and a sigh.

"[Martin Hyde] is running in this election so that those in his riding who are concerned about environmental issues have a Green candidate to vote for. Currently in Ontario, because we are not able to vote directly for a party but are only able to do so by voting for a local candidate, a party must run a candidate in every riding if all voters across the province are to be heard."

So please, just throw me whoever works for you, Green Party. It doesn't matter if they give a fuck or not. They stand little chance of winning anyway, right?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Clearer answers...

Things are never explained as good as they should be. Especially when it's a politician trying to explain it. Hope this helps people to make a decision.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wherefore art thou, Lynn Hamilton...

I'm disappointed in you, Lynn.

You said you'd give the other candidates a "run for their money." But you're late for the race! I know, I know. It was a hell of a party, wasn't it. You need some time to recuperate from all that celebrating. But this great team you put together can't make a basic website?

I don't need anything fancy, Lynn.

No one cares to watch you mingle with kids and old folks to sway a vote. Or try to bash anybody. I just want to know what you're about. What makes you tick. And why I should give a shit that you're running (or napping, whichever.)

Don't get me wrong, Lynn. I grew up on the NDP. I've voted NDP a few times. And I have a soft spot in my heart for Jackie-Boy's cute little mustache. I won't ignore the NDP like most people will. I appreciate you.

But they'll keep ignoring you if you don't start moving your ass!

I had the hardest time tracking you down. Are you avoiding me? The NDP homepage had no contact info for you and I was forced to contact some stranger to get your e-mail address. To think, Lynn. A stranger at NDP HQ is between us. This shouldn't be happening.

He told me you were busy setting up your campaign office. You don't have to clean house for me, Lynn. I don't need a red carpet. I just want to know what matters to you. Maybe those same things will matter to me too.

We don't have long, Lynn. Less than a month before I have to choose who I'm taking to the prom and I'm narrowing it down.

Don't let me down.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


One of my favourite fantasies as a kid was to think about waking up and finding no one else on Earth. I could do anything I wanted, and even though it was a scary dream (and a little morbid in retrospect) I never thought about the dangers of living in a world alone. Never thought about how I would survive. I'd just wander around watching vines grow over neighbourhoods and read and hang out.

Alan Weisman has released a book called The World Without Us which explores just this idea. What if people disappeared spontaneously, leaving everything behind? I find the basics of this idea fascinating and a little bit solemn. But I'm glad to see my fantasy is still alive and well for some people.

The scarier dream for me was the bomb, but that was more of a distant reality. I grew up afraid of the bomb because my mother was afraid of it too. She would tell me the story of the time she was in Florida with my grandfather when the Cuban Missile Crisis started. They were trying to get back to Canada as fast as they could and she watched the pleasant, rolling hills along the American highway slide open revealing the military silos and their nuclear payloads.

I think that's when the bomb became real for my mother.

It became real for me when the front page of the Windsor Star printed a map from a declassified government document created during the Cold War. It showed what could happen if Detroit (which I knew was a nuclear target) were bombed in two situations. One, a nuclear explosion of a relatively high yield. The other situation was a bombing by three tactical nukes of lower yield.

I believe that if I were at home during the large nuclear strike, I would have had a 40% chance of survival. Well, as long as I didn't burn to death, suffocate, starve or shit my liver out. If I were downtown during a strike I'd likely die instantly. ("Instantly" was used rather vaguely, it sounded more like a goal than a likelihood).

The reason why these are both so drilled into my head is that the reality of the bomb killed my fantasy of a humanless Earth.

I remember hearing a story years ago about what would happen to the planet if people just disappeared, and it became apparent that we're here to stay. At least for the time being.

Inside a United States government installation is a key (at least there used to be). And this key wasn't turned to launch the bombs, it was turned to stop them from launching. Every 12 or 24 hours, this key had to be turned.

The way it worked was that if the Soviets, or anyone else bombed the states to the point where no one was alive (or at least alive enough to give the order to turn the key), then the rockets would launch on their own, destroying the Soviets. If someone were alive to turn the key, then there was still peace.

If people suddenly disappeared, then every country with nuclear capabilities could potentially release their payloads simultaneously. It was estimated that within a week of humanity's departure, all the oceans would be vaporized and the Earth would be a molten, bubbling lava pit.

We can't leave this planet, Mr. Weisman.

We're holding it hostage.