I'm very excited finally to join the wonderful world of fixed-gear cycling. I got a sick deal on my sweet wheels, and so far my heart's all set aflutter. It's light, responsive and nimble. It's awesome for climbing; it just blew me away how it darts up hills. I'm not super impressed with the saddle or the wheels, so I may swap those out soon, but otherwise I'm a very happy fixie newbie.
Wow. I just found out that 9 of the 15 main actors in Battlestar Galactica are at least partly Canadian. With the show filmed in Vancouver, you can bet that most of the minor actors and extras are Canadian as well. It's a wonder I haven't bumped into any of them. Then again, I'm so unobservant that I very well may have already.
Representative democracy is a simple concept. Citizens elect their representatives. The majority win the right to make decisions.
But do Canadians actually have representative democracy?
In the 2006 federal election, more than 650,000 Green Party voters across the country elected no one. Meanwhile, fewer than a half-million Liberal voters in Atlantic Canada alone elected 20 MPs. In the prairie provinces, Conservatives won three times as many votes as the Liberals, but were given nearly ten times as many seats. But more than 400,000 Conservative voters in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver couldn't elect a single MP. The NDP attracted a million more votes than the Bloc, but the voting system gave the Bloc 51 seats and the NDP 29.
What about majority rule? Canadians are usually ruled by majority governments that the majority voted against. In some provincial elections, parties coming in second in the popular vote have won majority control of the legislature. In other cases, the opposition is sometimes reduced to a seat or two (and in one case, none at all) despite representing forty percent of the electorate.
A young fellow from Newfoundland moves to Calgary and goes to a big everything-under-one-roof department store looking for a job.
The manager says, "Do you have any sales experience?"
The kid says, "Yeah, I was a salesman back home in Newfoundland."
Well, the boss liked the kid so he gave him the job. "You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did."
His first day on the job was rough but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down. "How many sales did you make today?"
The kid says, "One."
The boss says, "Just one? Our sales people average 20 or 30 sales a day. You're going to have to improve considerably or look for another job! How much was the sale for?"
The kid says, "$112,237.64."
The boss says, "$112,237.64! What the hell did you sell?"
Kid says, "First I sold him a small fish hook. Then I sold him a medium fish hook. Then I sold him a larger fish hook. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said out at the lake in BC, so I told him he was gonna need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him a new bass boat. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that new Ford pick-up. I asked him how long he was going to be out at the lake and after he said 5 or 6 days I took him down to the RV department and sold him a slide-in camper for the truck."
The boss says, "A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a boat, a truck and a camper?"
Kid says, "No, he came in here to buy a box of tampons for his wife and I said, 'Well, your weekend's shot, you might as well go fishing.'"