Canadian Politics


2017 arrived on a sleigh of smoking turds pulled by the four horseman of biblical fame, and still, we made it to 2018. Don’t ask me how. Last year was a blur. The world reeled, staggering from one shallow foxhole to the next with the various status quo in flames all around.

It reminded me of my favorite scene from that stink bomb of a psycho-drama The Birds.

Crows have just attacked the school, and the adults are huddled in a bar (kinda fitting) discussing a complete and terrifying turn of the table by Mother Nature (well played by the way) as though there was something rational to be found, if they just used their indoor voices, with town drunk – the only rational voice in the room – punctuating the discussion with occasional “It’s the end of the world”.

Is it though? Really? The end of the world.

Probably more reasonable to take our cultural reference cue from REM. It’s the end of the world … as we know it.

Because that happens throughout history, and if we are really ready to be honest, it’s happened more than once in living memory.

Someone on Twitter today had a list of all things that didn’t exist in 2003. On that list was pretty much the entirety of the internet as we use it today. Certainly most of our communication devices. The way we interact socially has been completely altered by social media.

Generation Zed knows nothing about an existence before hand held devices. They’ve literally been born and grown along with them. Our world is basically a teenager entering the end stages of puberty. And that, explains a lot.

So it makes sense that a political and economic world that our great-grandparents would still recognize and feel comfortable with simply can’t adapt. Things are giving way. It’s not like there are other options.

And okay, I will grant that the nuclear code rattling by America and North Korea could maybe sort of bring about an Armageddonish crisis, but I am going to throw caution to the wind and bet on us still being here in a year. What I will not claim is that the world will have settled down much. The current version of Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it won’t transform itself in a couple of years anymore than the last Rome did. Change takes time even when it feels like the exact opposite.

Happy New Year then. Congratulate yourself if you aren’t a Nazi or one of their enablers, yet, and remind yourself that whatever is coming, you are not the only one going through it. Look around your neighborhood, workplace, gym, school, community and find those like-minded, who are out there, and connect a bit more than you currently are. There is safety in numbers, but also laughs, joys and fiendish plots to thwart those bags of dicks who thrive in the chaos of change.

Bring it 2018. If the world could survive 2017, it’s ready for you.


Under the previous Canadian government, the long form census was abolished in the name of freedom because letting the government know your phone number, email address and the number of rooms in your house was too much intrusion and could lead to internment camps. Or so goes the hysterical objections.

The reality is that were it not for the census, civilization as we know it would probably not exist. It was the Romans, after all, who first came up with the idea of counting and sorting people, which lead to their empire and eventually the world as we know it.

Sure, that’s a simplification, but a pretty straight-forward one.

Counting, sorting, and lumping is how our governments go about trying to decide where tax dollars will be spent. Some of it for the greater good even.

And the spirits of censuses long past is one of the treasure troves historians seek out and use to enlighten us about our collective pasts and maybe clue us in on overlap among all the groups of people who make up our communities, provinces, regions and countries.

As a lover of all things geek and history, I am totally in favor of the census.

In my opinion, the arguments about what an invasion of privacy the census can be is nonsense when we remember how much personal information we thoughtlessly, and happily even, hand over to financial institutions to obtain funding or to social media outlets to obtain entertainment and connectivity.

It amuses me a bit when anonymous social media folks rail about government intrusion when I know they had to share quite a bit of personal information with an Internet connect provider, whose discretion and reliability are far less sure, in order to obtain the account they are ranting from in the first place.

Our workplaces, banks and healthcare providers have more pertinent information about us, and we barely blink about it, but inform the federal government about how many hours a week you work? Massive violation of the sacred trust.

People are funny.

And while I am not arguing that we shouldn’t wonder and be wary about the uses our government will put our information to, it’s worth noting the hypocrisy and contradiction in the rationales against the census.

The husband and I completed the census together. We got the long form, so it was a bit detail picky in a few places.

There was a glitch with the “save for later” function due to the high traffic volume on the website.

Canadians are such data nerds that they crashed the census website in their zeal to replenish the dried up information well created by the previous government.

Really, how many other countries in the world can boast that their population is highly in favor of data driven policy decision-making to the point that they take selfies with their census forms?

That’s right. Just Canada.

I love the idea that 92 years from now, some historian will discover that my house had nine rooms – not counting hallways, bathrooms and closets – and that I was a stay at home mom. How delightfully dull I will seem. My real self – and this blog – long gone and forgotten.

Perhaps what really bothers people about the census is that it strips our existences down to bare, boring fact. Nothing but checkmarks in sterile columns.

The Romans used the census to build an empire. Canada will use it to decide on more mundane things like infrastructure and social programming needs, but I giggle a bit at the thought that the rabid nay-sayers are correct, and the current government might be up to nefarious business with our cell phones numbers or ethnic backgrounds.

I can just picture the Prime Minister sitting in his office. Gleefully rubbing his hands together in the classic pose of a cartoon villain and saying,

“World domination. One census at a time.”

and then he cackles while his cabinet nods solemnly, wondering what they have done.


I follow Jezebel on Facebook. It’s my version of reading a “women’s magazine”.

Generally I ignore the celebrity stuff and the under-35 version of feminism, and I roll my eyes, a lot, but it’s not all tripe or overwrought op-ed. Sometimes they discuss pertinent current events and social issues that are dear to me, and sometimes they just express truisms I can relate to.

The most recent example of the latter was this article:

Too old for shit

I was like – “fuck yeah”.

And I don’t know when precisely it happened. Was it a moment of “A-ha!” or just a gradual realization as I shed the last vestiges of worrying about what others thought or caring that people would judge my disinterest or disagreement with their causes, hysterics, manias or general need to be dissatisfied and in people’s faces about it?

What I know for certain is that where I sit now in life is a place that allows me the luxury (and yes it absolutely is) of being able to say, “I am just too old for (fill in the blank).”

I’m not at all sorry to be here even though I realize that it’s not comfortable for those who have to interact with me sometimes. Because even though I attempt to curb the abrasive aspects, I know that I don’t always succeed. It’s difficult to be true to oneself and simultaneously cater to the needs of those around you to not be whether that is by choice or circumstance.

I never imagined myself as the little old lady who calls it as she sees it and I still don’t.

For all my candidness, I hold a lot back. If you only knew what I didn’t say (or write or tweet), you’d pay more than a pretty penny for those thoughts, I assure you.

So I am not one of those who uses age and experience to lay waste, either out of ignorance or disingenuous intentions, but I do believe we’d all benefit more from a world where – at some point – we can lay down the facades “polite” society forces on us and be a bit more real and practical.

The article went on to list all the things that you might eventually out-grow the need to pretend about.

For me the chief thing about coming to the realization that I needn’t bother anymore was that the people who liked, respected, and/or loved me, did so regardless of whether I was myself or a sanitized version of myself for polite public purposes.

I also learned that recognizing you’ve out-grown the need to have a facade of force-field strength meant I could dispense with the trappings that are still required of women in terms of appearance, and I could just please myself without apologies or explanations.

My mother has always said – and it continues to be true – that what others think of you is not your business.

This, to me, fits in well with the “too old for this” idea because the truth is we were always too old once we left high school. It just takes a while for many of us to figure that out.

Finally, the chief thing I am too old for is the idea that there is “only one”. Side of a story or issue. That there is only one solution to a problem. Only one religious point of view. Only one political party with the best plan or policy. Etc.

The adage that “there can be only one” is bullshit I am too old for by many, many years.

And that makes me happy.