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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
One left her sweater sitting on the train / and the other lost three fingers at the Cannery
— Neko Case, Margaret vs. Pauline
May 8, 2011

Slip Sliding Away

Rain on a ferry window Friday was stressful this week, for reasons that I won’t go into. A trip had been planned—an escape from the city to an island paradise of sorts—and I couldn’t wait for it to start. As the minutes ticked down towards the end of the work day I did my best to let the stress wash away and get ready.

Ferry hopping is fun, but time consuming. My trip involves a train, a bus, a big boat and a little boat. When I left work it was raining but everything went well for making connections and I found myself on the big boat sitting indoors watching the Pacific Ocean slide past as I made my way westward. There’s something very calming about it. Watching the rain slide down the plexiglass windows of the Skeena Queen was a soothing way to end the trip.

The forecast called for rain all weekend, but as it turns out our little island was warm and sunny and sheltered somehow from those rains. They certainly hit the city, but over in our world we saw as much blue sky as grey, and probably less than an hour of actual rain all weekend. It’s funny how so little distance can make such a huge difference.

So the weekend was on: good food was made and eaten, modest amounts of wine and spirits were consumed, the beginnings of a garden were planted, afternoon naps were taken and books were read. A good time was had by all.

The trip home was harder, as leaving a warm and wonderful place always is, but the city beckoned and with it life. Tomorrow is Monday, and that marks a return to life as normal, whatever that means. My normal routine of working, cycling, swimming and reading I suppose. I quite like it, and next weekend I won’t be slipping away but instead spending it here with company. It’s just as nice really: both lives have their charms. It’s the times in between that aren’t as much fun.

Posted by skooter at 11:17 PM This entry is filed under Travel, Vancouver.
Tags: BC Ferries, Salt Spring Island, Travel

May 3, 2011

My Orange Wardrobe was Ahead of Its Time

I haven’t written about an election in a while. There’s a reason for that: after being heavily involved, I’ve sat a few out for a variety of reasons. Primarily, I needed to focus on work and not be distracted. It’s not a decision I regret at all.

I’ve been disillusioned by the party system for some time. There was a time when politics wasn’t run by focus groups, when politicians had personalities and ideas. Party discipline and toeing the party line has always been a reality but not to the degree that it is now.

Pierre Trudeau certainly ran a tight ship, but dissent was tolerated and probably—given the passion with which he pursued his ideals—expected. Chretien was less tolerant, but that Little Guy from Shawinigan schtick played well enough that he could shrug off internal problems pretty effectively (though they did rear their head at times.)

Paul Martin was a different breed. Paul Martin took over the Liberal Party in a palace coup. Those latter years questions about Chretien’s leadership? Those were the workings of a Paul Martin tired of waiting. He decided to take his own leader down from within.

This coincided with the rise of a reunited Conservative Party of Canada (note the lack of a Progressive title) under Stephen Harper, a man whose tolerance for dissent is low enough that even his cabinet ministers are rarely allowed to speak on behalf of their portfolios.

These two things marked the start of the current era of Canadian politics, and it’s an era that will end with the death of the Liberal Party of Canada and the rise of a new centre, probably in the form of a modified NDP.

Here’s why.

Continue reading "My Orange Wardrobe was Ahead of Its Time"