The majority have spoken - sort of

So here we are, a couple of weeks after The Unnecessary Election ™, dust has settled, and the world hasn't ended. A Conservative majority, an NDP Official opposition, a decimated Liberal party, and one Green member. The count now stands at Cons 166, NDP 103, Lib 34. There was an overwhelming run to the NDP, especially in Quebec - possibly just to get away from the Bloq. That suprise success meant all those candidates the NDP traditionally stuffs into non-winnable ridings - the young, the students, women - most of them got elected! So of course the media attention has shifted from how do we engage the youth to how young and inexperienced and "unqualified" many new members are.

As for the public, I think many are trading the worries of possible Conservative demons with the relief of not having to read or worry about an election for five years now. And therein lies the problem. I have no doubt that Harper and the Conservatives will now use their power to gradually shift Canadian society to the right of centre. Even more Conservative Senators, a quick passage of a tough on crime package, subtle pressures by the right to life groups. Replacing empty Supreme Court slots with justices that support a more conservative program in general, as well as an unfettered Parliament and less reliance on the Charter of Rights. The NDP assures us they will hold Harper accountable, a nice phrase that many are exhorting Canadians with, but with no real power or consequence, as they have no veto on this. Other than a re-alignment in the next election in five years, the only hope now is that the Conservatives will be sensitive to public opinion.

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Day ? - don't know, but at least healthier

Sorry, I just realized I'd last posted several days ago about being sick and the search for remedies - with an analogy to the body politic here in Canada. 

I'm better than before, looks like my choice of remedies and/or time got rid of whatever was ailing me. I do wish that I could say the same for this "unnecessary and reckless" election. I've been still following #elxn41 online, on TV, in the papers, with friends - but not nearly as closely as before. Tired already of promises,  some valid, some quickly deflated wih logic and economics, all targeted to pull in specific votes, most to be changed anyways or forgotten after this election is done. I'm worried too that people will just tune out and stay home, as the Conservatives have shown they can get the vote out better than any others. Maybe some voters are even thinking that a Conservative majority, while it might mean not the government they would prefer, would at least mean no elections for a while.

And to be honest, for many of us, there are just many more interesting and sparkly things out there to grab our attention. Spring is here, patios are opening, bike paths clear, gardens starting to grow, Easter weekend coming up. I'm back into more reading and editing - when I'm not out and about. I did a photoshoot for a friend of my daughter's on the weekend, the friend has a long distance romance and a wedding website being done - with no photos of her and fieance just hanging out together on their rare face to face encounters. We did a bunch of indoor and outdoor shots, with costume changes to pretend was not just a 3 hour period, trying everything from formal to casual, from heavy coats to tank-tops. After that, hung out at the local pub with my daughter too, for some beers and fries - and was even her turn to buy!

Then I edited the pics, most were in very high contrast lighting outdoors so had do tweak more than I would have liked. Used D90 matrix metering, so I could see how well the Active D-Lighting (also referred to as ADR). It's supposed to change the exposure curve to preserve highlights and shadows when in high contrast lighting. Still had too many blown highlights for my taste. I have subsequently found out that Matrix metering can be thrown off by whatever the light level is at the current single focus point - that would have been an issue in some of my shots. The subjects were relatively static, so a solution I think might have been to manually focus - I'll browse online to see if Matrix metering still works then. 

I also checked out the Tech wall again, some new productions going up on the weekend that I need to get back to. Mural programs are starting up again, the City's official Paint It Up!program as well as individual commissions - lots of photo ops.  


Day 6 - more choices, more solutions

Still not in great health today, still looking for solutions.

There are groups out there pushing their remedies, some with the fervour of a born again evangelist, promising that if you just select them, trust them, you'll get healthier. You maybe do some research, listen to friends and neighbour's opinions, you figure you can't make it any worse, you do know you want a change from where you are now. So you make your choices and try some of them and sure enough, you do get healthier. But there are many factors at play here of course: how healthy were you at the start, how serious was the the infection that hit you, what other things happened around you in your life at the same time. You would have improved anyways, as usual, trouble is you can't run this as an experiment, just to doublecheck the remedies. You can't go back in time  and repeat it all again, but with different choices to see whether you'd ended up the same, or better or worse. Maybe the choices you made, related to everything else, didn't really have much impact in the longer term, in the overall state of your health. Maybe it's more the lifestyle you choose.

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Election Day 35?? - NOT

Don't get your hopes up, it's only Day 5. And a sneezy sniffly one it's been for me, I'm coming down with something again. Hopefully Vitamin C and Cold-FX will at least make it pass faster and easier. It turned out to be a warm and sunny spring day here, so I shuffled off to sit in the sun on my local pub's patio, drank plenty of fluids, and talked politics. I'm in an NDP riding, many around the table were supporters. Some are retired like me, so had been sitting at home following all the drama on TV - and like me had decided to turn it off and get out. Comments from some were that it was nice to be in a riding where you could vote NDP and actually elect an NDP. And comments from some were that they were already bored with all the hype and mud-slinging, the personal attacks, and the media hype over everything. One of them is scheduled for a CAT scan tomorrow, for a possible tumour, after a long wait and many conflicting opinions. It seemed all had a related medical story so there was a lot of discussion about wait times and health care in general. Nothing about fighter jets or prisons. I did ask some about the leader's debates, and the exclusion of May by the broadcast coalition- some were concerned, some were unaware. I do find it amusing that some of the media complain about how unfair this is, yet they are part of the coalition. Ignatief did say he'd be willing to debate all, or just one, willing to debate with Harper one on one. Harper heard of it and accepted right away. I does help Harper polarize the vote into a two person choices- so even if you would vote Green or NDP you should pick either the red door or the blue door. But with only two on stage there is only one winner and one loser, it's harder to shift it around, harder to deflect and distract. Plus, Harper would prefer to be faced with Ignatief as part of the evil coalition, rather than just Ignatief on the same level as him. At any rate, this broadcast coalition will not likely want more than an English and a French debate - it's a couple of hours of prime time each night they have to give up.

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