Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Did you know that there's a national Canadian election going on right now? There is indeed. The prime minister of our fine country has called an election for October 14th (we don't have set election dates here). He's currently in a minority government and so I suppose he and his party feel confident enough that they can get a majority this year and really run the country the way they want.

But, did you know it was going on? For my American friends, I would never expect you to know. But Canadian friends, how about you? I barely knew...what with the American election going on and all. Now there's an election. A black man running for president (and an extremely charismatic one at that) and a woman running for vice (a super mom from what I understand). It's all very exciting. It was even exciting back when the democrats were deciding between Obama and Hillary. I mean really, it's cool and I can't even vote and the outcome only effects me indirectly...mostly.

It kept me up the other night. I was just falling into a nice, relaxed sleep when it dawned on me (and why anyone would be thinking about these things as they fall asleep is beyond me) that I knew more about the American election than my own. I know more about their personal lives and I have a pretty good handle on the issues than the Canadians. The Canadian election? Well, I know the prime minister's name: Stephen Harper. The NDP leader's name (because he's been around for about a zillion years): Jack Layton. The Liberal leader, uhm...hmm...what's his name again? He has a french accent and white hair...this is embarrassing, I should know this...oh I'd better Google it: Stephane Dion, oh ya, right. The Green party apparently has something like 10% support now, who's leading that party? Back to Google: Elizabeth May. Oh, you see? We do have a female running, I didn't even know that. Exciting, except that she doesn't have a chance in hell of winning. I'm not saying that to be mean, its just true. You know, I really like her name. Wouldn't it be cool to have a leader named Elizabeth May leading a country that cares more about its environment than it does its economy. But even if I did have that dream, I couldn't vote for her because they don't even have a candidate in my riding.

The reason it kept me up the other night is because I was feeling a wee bit guilty. I mean, it's my responsibility to vote. I'm a Canadian citizen after all. This is my country and while our leaders may not be exactly charismatic and running to be the so called 'leader of the free world', it's still important to me and my family. It's my tax money being spent, I should try to have some input. Even if its boring.

So, I'm making it my business this time around to become an informed voter. I know who I voted for last time and chances are I will vote the same this time, however I want to know the facts first. I will not get discouraged the first time I go online to try to find a comprehensive article on the issues and where each party stands, because there isn't one. Instead, I've started watching the news while I'm on the treadmill. Awfully dull and not perhaps the best way...but it's a start. I've already learned stuff even.

28 days to learn a thing or two about Canadian politics...ready, set, go!

Here's today's food journal:

Breakfast: cereal, milk and coffee (5)
Snack: All Bran Bites (2)
Lunch: chicken & turkey smokie with salad (5)
Snack: apple and animal crackers (3)
Supper: cream of mushroom soup, whole wheat biscuits and my first attempt at chocolate pudding (with avocado in it nonetheless) (8)
Evening: popcorn and licorice and Coke Zero (6)

Total eaten: 29
Total exercise: 3
Flex remaining: 19


  1. Great goal! The general ignorance of most Canadians concerning their own government (and I'm guilty of this as much as anyone) is sad. I would add that while watching and reading about the various parties is a good thing, it's also a good thing to do a little research to see how party members have voted for various issues, as well as what kinds of bills each party has put forward. That kind of thing will give a more accurate view of where a party actually stands on the economic and social spectrum than the rhetoric and political maneuvering you get with even the best TV and print news.

  2. Haha, Colin commented already, nice. I don't know how we ever got interested in Politics...probably from him watching the West Wing all the time (great show). I agree though, we don't know nearly enough about our own country. Though I must say that I like the way they do it down south better...not like here with this 'I'll call an election whenever I want' crap. I think that's lame.
    So kudos (?) to you Manders for learning more...I hope I learn more too!

  3. you go girl!

    I totally have thought the very same things though... I know WAY more about the US candidates than our own!

    I will admit though that 2 elections ago I totally followed everything and learned all I could about our potential leaders and then got COMPLETELY discouraged once the election actually happened. I lived in Ontario at the time and the prime minister was already declared before Sk, AB, and BC poles had even closed. Lame.

    I was also super discouraged over the next year to see just have few election promises came to fruition.

    As a result I have a wee bit of a cynical attitude towards the whole thing. I still vote though but it almost is like "the less I know the less disappointed I'll be" and I kinda choose who I am going to vote for based on how much I can't stand the other candidates. "Oh, I'll choose this clown because he is the lesser of 3 evils".

    Gotta love my bad attitude!