Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The two most revolutionary things a man can say is, "I'm Staying."

It's not often that I get riled up about political things... but with the recent topsy-turvy results in Canadian federal politics and the tragic death of Jack Layton, I've been keeping an eye on the media and what they've been saying about Parliament Hill.

One of my favourite sources for the down-low on Canadian politics is actually Rick Mercer... because really, I could watch the House of Commons on Channel 200-and-something but frankly those whining, unprofessional louses make me want to crash down the door and demand better representation - while at least Rick makes me laugh by poking fun at them and keeping me in the loop at the same time.

So, it came as a surprise when Rick Mercer recently posted "Urge to Merge" advocating for a merger between the Liberals and the NDP. So much so, that I was inspired to send in a response, which I thought I'd also post here:

Rick Mercer,

I've been a long-time fan of yours but was really quite surprised to see your latest rant proposing that the Liberals and NDP merge parties to provide better competition to the Conservatives. I feel quite strongly that this is not the solution to the flaws in our current political situation- and no, I'm not one of the soap-box-standing-lawn-sign-picketing political idealists you referred to in the rant, I'm an average joe citizen (at the age of twenty-something) who has a vested interest in politics because I choose to exercise my right to vote.

During the last several federal elections, I wanted to know how to spend my vote wisely, so I started doing some research into how our voting system runs and what other kinds of democratic systems exist. A great video is available on youtube that describes the problem with first past the post (fptp) voting and shows exactly why the two-party system you're advocating for isn't the right solution. A good solution would be to change the way we vote! I don't want my choices limited to conservative or not conservative - that's what got us into this pickle jar in the first place. I realize that an electoral referendum was held in Ontario in 2007 and failed to make waves... but perhaps that was because the general public wasn't sufficiently educated on what exactly fptp voting is and why the current system sucks.

Now I know that your primary objective is to provide comedic commentary on the Canadian political scene but I think your greatest attraction is the accessible and evocative insight into politics that you offer the average Canadian citizen. For this reason, I found it surprising - and admittedly disappointing - that you advocated for the status quo in "Urge to Merge". Please consider using your considerable influence to show Canadians that they don't have to be stuck with a two-party system, forcing them to be divided into groups of "for" or "against" the current party-in-power. Our goal as a Canadian and democratic society should not be to protect a minority rule (the breeding ground for the political apathy you covered so well during the election) when we have the option to empower all Canadians to participate in politics through offering a diversity of parties that can identify and advocate for individuals' unique values and interests.

Thank you and keep up the good work. 


So what do you think about all this?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekly Update: We must be willing to give up the life we have planned so as to pursue the life that is waiting for us

  • Getting the Squeeze out of Life
    • Whew! That last 2 weekends have been quite the whirlwind! Sorry about missing last week's blog update... hopefully, this will serve to get you caught up.
    • Last weekend, we went canoe camping over labor day. This was particularly exciting for me since it has been a tradition to do the Baron Canyon loop in Algonquin for the last 4 years on the Sept long weekend. It was very reassuring to know that just because I've moved to Manitoba, the paddling tradition can continue!
    • We aimed to do a loop through several lakes up by Jones, ON by way of a meandering river. However, when we finally hacked and bushwacked our way into the backcountry, we found that the river had dried up due to late season low water. Consequently, we hiked (read: portaged) about 4km from the river bed to a road. Along the road were our cars - about 10km away. Fortunately, we happened upon some ATV riders who let me hitch a ride back to the cars to come rescue the group. Despite this, and crap weather, we had an absolute blast and still managed some sweet, peaceful nights, stargazing, and lake swimming in some of the cleanest water I've ever seen.
    • This weekend, I've been busy at a variety of social functions. Friday night was the PhD + birthday celebration for one of Penguin's best friends, last night we had our first Gen Surg potluck, and tonight was the wedding reception/BBQ for some friends who recently got married out West. Whew! To top all that off, Carpe and I did a 73km ride today in just under 2 hours. Needless to say, I'm expecting to sleep well tonight. :)
    • Anatomy continues to progress well. We're nearing the end of our dissecting phase and still have 2 weeks left to go over the thorax, head, and neck - which will all be covered through prosected (ie. previously dissected specimens). This will be new territory for me, so I expect I'll be hitting the books pretty hard. But, it's also exciting to learn and is definitely going to help me be more confident and comfortable in the OR.

  • Recipe I've Been Drooling Over
    • We had the first Gen Surg PGY1 potluck this past Saturday. It was a great success, except one of my peers inadvertently tried to poison me with some almonds. All was well in the end, though, and the conversation, food, and wine were all terrific.
    • Since I was hosting, I provided the main dish and made the infamous Keller Chicken from Simply Recipes. It turns out beautifully every single time. I've even made it for when we introduced my parents to Penguin's parents (seriously, that's how good it is!)
Keller's Roast Chicken
  • Favourite Thing on Etsy this Week
    • I have a long established love for buttons. Here's a great one from Etsy that's funny in more ways than one (not only am I a secret member of the grammar police but I'm also a gen surg resident, nuff said!)
now let's have a look
  • What I'm Reading Right Now
    • Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I've decided to pursue some tougher reading (rather than my usual non-scholastic fluff) by way of Neitzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra. So far so good, it's much more of a narrative than Neitzsche's other books although I'd agree with the intro that he is quite verbose here but his passion more than makes up for it. I'll let you know how it goes!

  • TED Talk I Watched This Week
    • Once again, it's not a TED talk this week but rather a movie trailer for Finding Joe. The movie refers to the life and works of Joseph Campbell - a giant in the academic sphere for mythology (so much so that George Lucas based the Starwars trilogy off Campbell's theories). Campbell is best known for his motto, "Follow your Bliss"... a concept that he first came across when reading the Upanisads:
      • "Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence:Sat-Chit-Ananda. The word "Sat" means being. "Chit" means consciousness. "Ananda" means bliss or rapture. I thought, "I don't know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don't know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being." I think it worked."
    • And lest you misinterpret bliss for hedonism, Campbell is also quoted to have said, "I should have said, follow your blisters"
    • Anyway, it promises to be a really great movie, so here's the trailer for your enjoyment:
Finding Joe - Trailer V.7 from pat solomon on Vimeo.

  • Song of the Week
    • If you listened to the last playlist I posted, you'll have heard the song Welcome Home by Radical Face. I first heard this song while watching a movie clip of the Swiss Machine. It's a pretty awesome clip and a really stellar song, so I'm glad to be able to share both with you here.

  • Thing I'm Most Grateful for This Week
    • The total genuine awesomeness of my gen surg peers!

  • Thing I'm Most Looking Forward to This Week
    • Only 10 sleeps until I get to see Penguin and a month's vacation!!!

  • Bunny Photo of the Week
    • Here's the Jazz bunny during her favourite time of day: DINNER TIME!
Nom. Nom. Nom.
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