Category Archives: Politics

Asking all Canadians to vote on October 21, 2019

At the best of times politics can be complicated and there are a lot of reasons to avoid its discussion online these days!

The 43rd Canadian general election will be held on Monday, October 21, 2019. Elections Canada has a very good website dedicated to information on a variety of topics including how to ensure you are registered to vote, what sort of ID is required, and how you can go about casting your ballot.

Frustration with Ottawa’s seeming inability to govern in a unifying manner and the divisive nature of modern politics leads to at lot of less than ideal outcomes. This situation has had the effect of pushing people away from the process instead of engaging the public with the issues that face us in the 21st century. I’ve always felt that one of Canada’s strengths is that collectively we are pretty reasonable people even when the political class and populist politicians engage in pointless and self-serving grand standing. Broad public participation is one form of insurance that our representatives in Ottawa remain engaged in the hard work and compromise required to maintain peace, order, and good government in the immense country, of not insignificant complexity, that is our inheritance and charge.

With this view I ask that you consider voting on October 21st.

Sincerely,
Gabriel

FDT

Aside from their political analysis, I really enjoy FiveThirtyEight’s other coverage.  Their roots are in statistical analysis of sports and they tend to cover a lot of obscure topics from a statistical perspective.  This article by Allison McCann is a great example of a side project, looking at the relationship between hip-hop and politics from a data perspective.

She includes some cool interactive graphics as well as a searchable database for political references in rap and hip-hop lyrics.  Plus the article showcases a pretty cool video which is easily my favourite political song of the 2016 campaign thus far.

Where The Author Pleads With His American Cousins Not to Vote for the Demagogue

This morning I was unfortunate enough to come across the latest abomination Donald Trump has laid on us.

I’ve been thinking about what to say all day and I’m still not certain, but I think it’s important that everybody speaks out when people in positions of leadership act in intolerable ways.

I don’t agree with almost anything that Trump stands for other than perhaps his seemingly enlightened views on homosexuality, but it is my belief that there is a qualitative difference from many of his absurd views about the economy or the international order and publically documented sexually aggressive and misogynistic behaviour.

I even understand on some level his instinct to lash out and attack his victims, I don’t always hold some of his mealy mouthed answers against him either, there is some truth to the fact that when he talks he is not as polished as a professional communicator.  You can’t do a retake on live television or on a debate stage.  I can disagree strongly, but understand.

As a former teenage boy I even understand the concept “locker room banter”, but he crosses a line that can never be rationalized when he jokes about forcing himself sexually on women.

Donald John Trump must not be elected.

This might have been tolerable in 1966, I don’t know.  I wasn’t alive then and I’m fairly happy that I wasn’t if this was normal, but it doesn’t matter because this is 2016.  I’m glad to be part of a generation of men to whom this sort of behaviour is abhorrent.  It’s not acceptable for this sort of behavior to be normative.

If you don’t agree that he is disqualified from the leadership of the Land of Liberty after hearing this audio then you need to listen to it with your daughter or mother or sister or best friend.

Seth Meyers

As a follow-up to: The Atlantic’s Endorsement of Clinton, I thought I’d share the article that drew me to The Atlantic’s website in the first place about the remarkable rise of Seth Meyers to become the foremost progressive comic satirizing this year’s presidential election.

I’ve not been a huge fan of Meyers until now, he’s certainly a good performer but I’ve not been an avid SNL watcher for a long time so I missed most of his heydey.  But this year he has really done an incredibly job mocking Trump in his own unique style.

The Atlantic: Why Seth Meyers Can’t Get Enough of Trump — The Late Night host discusses the pleasures of satirizing the presumptive GOP nominee and the rise of topical humor on his show.