Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Falling Way Behind

I've been derelict in my upkeep of this space lately, and I apologize for that. With preparations for my upcoming move and catching up on things after the cruise, I haven't spent as much time on current events as I should, so I feel like a fish out of water.

Over the last day or so I've been reading through some blogs and sites that I used to check out regularly, to put my finger on the pulse of cyber-opinion. There is lots to talk about with the recent election victory of Hamas, the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, the Oscar nominations for Brokeback Mountain and Bush's SOTU address. And I may or may not get to discussing any or all of those over the next several days. But tonight I want to talk about the aftermath of the Conservative minority victory.

Surprisingly, conservative Canadians commenting on blogs haven't been celebrating the Harper win as much as they've been bellyaching over the fact that they didn't win more seats, particularly in the big three cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Talk about sore winners. While I sympathize with the sentiment that the Liberals didn't deserve the amount of support they got, some of the commentary has been downright mean. The fact that voters who selected the NDP or Greens are lumped in with those who voted Liberal is just plain ignorant. There has been much discussion about immigrants voting as a bloc for the Liberals, which brought to mind Jacques Parizeau's lament about "money and the ethnic vote" after the 1995 referendum. One of my favourite posts was from this intellectual giant. The best part was this nugget: "Generally, Ontario displayed a collective mindset that they no longer embrace an inclusive equitable democratic multi party state." Really? Three different parties won significant numbers of seats in Ontario. Meanwhile, in the author's beloved Alberta, the Conservatives ran the table in the federal election, and occupy three quarters of the seats in their provincial legislature. So which is the monolithic province again? I have a feeling that the most uncomfortable place in Canada to have a dissenting voice isn't Ontario.

That is the kind of stuff that gets the hamster wheel turning again. But there's a big blogosphere out there that deserves attention. And I'll try to highlight a post or site from time to time that isn't necessarily on my topic of discussion. Today, I urge you to visit Open Letter to Chris Matthews. That site will help dispel any myth that Matthews is a serious journalist, or worse yet, the myth that he's some kind of liberal Democrat because of his past ties to Democratic politicians. As the site proprietor stated, "Chris Matthews is as much a Democrat as Ronald Reagan. Both men were Democrats years ago, but that had no bearing on their politics since that time." (For more on Matthews, see here too.)

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