Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for June 2008


Posted on: June 7, 2008

(Idea shamelessly stolen from Citymama)


Many, many years ago, I was on vacation in Hawaii with my parents; I couldn’t have been more than 11 or 12. I had brought a new tape along that I’d bought at A&B Sound in Vancouver. I didn’t know what it was – I just liked the cover:


It was purple. It was cool. And it was called “Doubt”. It was by these guys who called themselves Jesus Jones (they ended up being one-or two-hit wonders).

I had just gotten back from a snorkeling session with my dad and was laying on the beach listening to that tape on my walkman. and this song came on:

And I loved it.

Fast forward about 6 or 8 years and I started taking Political Science courses, and becoming aware of the oppression that continues to exist, even in democratic, equal-rights bearing societies like Canada and the United States.

In 2001, I entered grad school – political science yet. One of the core books in the program was The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn. It’s a fairly short book, but somewhat difficult to read. His basic thesis boils down to the idea that, at any given point, there are people who have ideas that are outside the norm of what is acceptable. Using the examples of Copernicus and Galileo, Kuhn argues that over time these “non-norm ideas” start to become acceptable.

About a week after I started, the twin towers fell and the Pentagon was attacked. An irrational act, by North American standards and we went into lockdown. There were two routes the Bush Administration could take: revenge (currently acceptable norm) or compassion (outside the norm). Right there, right now, they chose the norm.

In November 2006, Nancy Pelosi was appointed Speaker for the House of Representatives. I cried tears of joy. Never before had a woman come so close to the Presidency – third in line, to be exact. The alarm was sounding for us to wake up from history.

When Hillary Clinton started her run for the Democratic nominee for President, I supported her – as a woman, what choice did I have? Although I don’t have a say in the US election, I saw this as a chance for the US and North America in general to wake up from history. Then, a funny thing happened – a young Senator of African descent from Illinois made his pitch for nomination as well. He spoke of hope, equality and fairness – echoes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. And he won me over – especially when I realized one of my friends, a woman of African descent – was rooting for him. I realized that whichever candidate won, they could wake us up from history through mere symbolism.

Who knew that at the same moment in history a woman and a black man would make the run for the Presidency and either would have a good chance at winning?

Today, I’m having problems holding it together as I watch CNN. Hillary Clinton is going to make a speech in a few minutes where she is anticipated to step down and endorse Barack Obama. As a woman, I am sad that she didn’t make it. As a Canadian Citizen, however, I believe Obama is the best chance, right here, right now for both of our countries.

So wake up – the revolution is passing you by.

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I just turned on the furnace! Because its 10 degrees out (50F)!

I am so ready for summer.


When you get up in the morning and have to clean up cat puke right away? Not a good start to the day. Especially when you don’t feel like getting out of bed anyways. So I came home early, cleaned up more cat puke (oh. Joy) and am now flaked out on the sofa watching the all brainwashing all the time channel CNN, because today, friends, history is being made. Honestly, even if I had work to do at work, I’d have a hard time concentrating. 

As I write this, Barack Obama is 12 delegates away from winning the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Hillary Clinton has said she’s open to running as Vice-President.

Today history is being made. Neighbours to the south, make it again on November 4.


On Thursday, the BC Liberal government forced the adoption of 7 or 8 bills prior to the prorogue of the Spring session of the legislature, among them, the carbon tax and the election gag laws.

According to the Canadian Press:

The Liberals came to an agreement about three weeks ago with the Opposition NDP regarding the passage of 15 remaining bills, but there was no deal on eight others which the government has said will be passed “no matter what.”

So how can they do this? Well, in legislative procedure, there’s a little motion called “closure” which shuts down debate and forces a vote. Its designed to prevent prolonged sessions of the legislature (so that, you know, elected officials can have a summer vacation), while allowing government to take action as necessary. Its quite controversial as it limits any sort of meaningful representation in the legislature. In other words, using closure has a direct impact on your democratic rights. Closure effectively limits your MLA’s ability to advocate on your behalf. When a motion to close debate is moved and approved, all the opposition can do is vote against the item of debate.

I wrote earlier about the budget and the carbon tax (which is now recovered, minus comments) and how it’s a great big fuck you very much to BC citizens.

Apparently, the Liberal government has decided to fuck us a second time. Mike Farnworth (leader of the opposition in the House) said it quite well:

 “The government is ramming through eight bills, two of them particularly controversial,” he said, referring to the carbon tax bill and the so-called election gag law that places spending limits on third party advertising for the 28-day campaign period and for 60 days prior to the writ being dropped.

“That is just wrong, it is undemocratic,” he complained.

And it is unprecedented for a budget bill to be rammed through by the use of closure by any government in the history of this province,” said Farnworth. (emphasis added)

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a particular fan of Mike Farnworth. In fact, I find him generally annoying. But he hit the nail on the head with this one.

In our rather messed up, toe the party line (or is that tow?) system, budgets are supposed to be free votes – this is a time for debate and to use knowledge and effective arguments to try to sway people to what you believe. By limiting debate, this isn’t allowed to happen. Whichever way you look at it, your rights are being eroded. And you should be angry about this.

Vaughn Palmer, in Saturday’s Vancouver Sun (page A3, Saturday May 31) has a couple of lines at the end of his column about this*

Gratuitous insults notwithstanding, the Liberals are surely guilty of reckless disregard for due process.

They set a precedent Thursday that could readily be abused by future governments of any political stripe.

Palmer’s column also includes a blow-by-blow of how it went down. In one hour and seven minutes, because of the closure motion, the following were passed:

  • Bill 20, Oil and Gas Activities Act (I really have no idea what that one’s about, but it ran over 200 sections and took 8 minutes)
  • Bill 21, Medicare Protection Amendment Act (took 6 minutes; a bit of squabbling here and there)
  • Bill 24, E-Health (15 minutes, due to a series of amendments)
  • Bill 37, Trade Investment & Labour Mobility Amendment Act (10 minutes)
  • Bill 37, Carbon Tax Act (runs 60 pages and 157 sections, 10 minutes or so)
  • Bill 42, Election Amendment Act or “gag law” (about 10 minutes, Minister Oppal had some amendments)

It started at 5pm and ended just after 6pm.

It is apparent this government, or maybe it’s the system, really has no regard for any sort of due process or democratic rights.

*the website is currently down or busy or something, so I can’t link to it.


June 2008
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