thoughts after the 2016 US presidential election

[This text was written on November 11th, 2016. I wanted to flesh out that last point before posting, but nine months later, it’s become clear that I don’t know how to. But the rest is still relevant, I think.]

Although I’m a woman and a person of colour, I have the luxury of not having to fear more than before for my personal safety due to the outcome of the US presidential election since I don’t live in the US. Those who are worried about their safety have every right to be so; their fear has unfortunately been validated by now countless reports of verbal and physical assault by white males who align their attacks with the new US president-elect. But since I don’t have to worry about getting deported, incarcerated, tortured, raped, or being attacked in countless other ways any more than I usually do, my reaction to the election can be cerebral and detached rather than instinctive, emotional or based on survival. For that I am grateful and I acknowledge that others in the US may not have this luxury.Read More »

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on electoral reform, it’s trudeau’s way or the highway

[transcript below]

Wow, his previous job experience as a drama teacher is really paying off right now. I actually believe that he actually believes that Canada is better served with a smaller number of larger political parties instead of a larger number of smaller political parties. He comes from a political dynasty, with a father having served as prime minister. He comes from a party that has governed the country for at least half of all its history, and he believes it’s done quite well, thankyouverymuch.Read More »

i emailed 183 members of parliament. this is how they responded.

On 18 May 2017, I emailed each of Canada’s 183 Liberal members of parliament. The emails addressed the member personally (e.g. “Dear Mr. Aldrag”) but were otherwise identical. The subject line read: “I support ERRE recommendations – please vote YES on May 31st”. The text provided reasons why the member should vote ‘yes’ to concur with the recommendations of the all-party committee on electoral reform that were published on 1 December 2016.

The four charts below summarise their response as of 28 May.

Explanation of response types:Read More »

imagine me and eu

IMG_4509
Midsummer garden party under the auspices of an EU flag | Photo: probably my colleague Thomas

Here’s a secret: I’m obsessed with Facebook’s On This Day blasts to the past. It’s narcissism, but so is reading old diaries, right? So seven years ago last week I was in Germany for the first time and my 20-year-old self was blown away by the ultra-coolness that was Berlin. I’m not going to romanticise it into a “and at that moment I knew I would be back” thing, but it sure was the perfect icing on my exchange semester cake. (Carrot cake. Obviously.)

Many years ago a Canadian friend opined, with innocent gravity after his cliche of a summer trip backpacking through Europe:

Europe changes lives.

The statement itself is a cliche as well but it keeps cropping up, even among my friends now who are 30 rather than 20 years old who are on the continent for the first time. Because it’s true! I don’t know if Europeans can appreciate what a special place this is.Read More »

my canadian politics rap

Beat by Element Productions (at 110% tempo)
Lyrics my own

i wanna be clear: we had ten years full of darkness
that’s a decade of fear to divide, scare and part us
the story of harper’s reign starts in 2006
with a minority of electoral picks
it was a picture of false majority in 2011
thank single member plurality, westminster inheritance
it was a total blow, ranking as a low form of penance
a road to thought control for which we supposedly votedRead More »

[update] but he has promises to keep

[updates on progress, if any, as of Jan 2017]

Top policy promises by Justin Trudeau that I look forward to seeing him keep:

  1. BROKEN: Introduce electoral reform, based on recommendations from an all-party committee, within 18 months
  2. Launch a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women
  3. Bring back the long-form census
  4. Implement all recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  5. End bomb raids in Syria
  6. Scrap the purchase of F-35 fighter jets: however, 18 new jets (Super Hornets) were purchased as an interim solution until the gov’t decides what to actually replace the existing CF-18s with
  7. Repeal Bill C-24: some aspects have been repealed, incl. revocation of citizenship for terrorism/on national security grounds, and a new amending bill C-6 has been introduced, proposing i.a. revocation of citizenship in cases of fraud/misinformation, and to limit language requirement to 18-54 y.o. applicants. More: https://openparliament.ca/bills/42-1/C-6/?tab=mentions
  8. Form a gender-balanced cabinet of 25 members: (30 members, close enough)
  9. Ensure safe drinking water on First Nations reserves within 5 years
  10. Cancel income splitting
  11. Quadruple federal spending in public transit over the next decade
  12. Repeal the “problematic elements” of Bill C-51

I will be striking through these items as he gets ’em done.

wahlplakate

Am 15. Februar fand die Bürgerschaftswahl in Hamburg statt. Da ich auf die lokale Zeitungen und deutsche Nachrichten selten aufpasse, kenne ich die besondere wirtschaftliche, soziale und politische Themen dieser Wahl fast gar nicht. Das heißt, zu der Politik habe ich nichts zu sagen. Trotzdem liebe ich Wahlen, sogar wenn ich keine Stimme habe. Dann kann ich den Wahlkampf objektiver analysieren.

Was interessiert mich sehr sind die Wahlplakate. Ein großer Unterschied zwischen Deutschland und Kanada (mein Heimatland) ist es, hier gibt’s politische Plakate immer und überall, egal ob es eine Wahl gibt! Wenn es keine Wahl gibt, gehen die Plakate zumeist um Bürgerversammlungstermine oder ähnlich.

Also, hier meine grobe Bemerkungen:

1. ‘Hamburg weiter vorn’ mit dem derzeitigen Bürgermeister Olaf Scholz ist mühelos die ‘baller’-ste Wahlplakate aller Zeiten (insbesondere das schwarz-weiß Bild, das ihn nur vom Mund abwärts zeigt):

IMG_7970photoRead More »