Crawl Across the Ocean

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Blogging is a Gift

So I've been out of my normal routine for the last few weeks and haven't really had either the time or the inclination to do a lot of blogging, and looking around I see I'm not the only one. But now that I'm back to the grind, I find that random thoughts from the back of my head are once again making themselves noticed.

True, I do have more free time now that my girlfriend is back to classes and there are a few thousand kilometres between myself and my family (including the oh-so energetic next generation), but mainly I think the commute is responsible for the change.

On Vancouver's busy bus system, getting a seat so I can chicken scratch numbers on a sudoku grid while trying not to elbow the person beside me is a rare luxury and mostly I just end up standing, with nothing to do but think about stuff.

For example, today I noticed an advertisement. It featured a pair of outstretched hands against a black background. In the hands rested a glowing white cube, and the caption read:
"Knowledge is a Gift. Continuing Studies at Langara College".

A gift?? You know, I don't think that word means what they think it does. I looked into Langara College in my (unsuccessful) search for a logistically convenient writing course and while their rates are certainly reasonable, they don't give away those glowing white cubes for nothing.

I've also been thinking about the Green Party platform (pdf file) which was 'released' (sure to be a big seller!) the other day to great fanfare. As Cathie notes, so far the 'big 3' parties have yet to release an official platform. The short version of my opinion of the Green Platform is that I like it. It is vague, uncosted, contains lots of stuff I disagree with and is a bit anti-business for my liking, but the first and third complaints in that list are typical of all platforms to one degree or another, and the lack of costing is acceptable (in my view) for a party which has a negligible chance of forming an actual government.

On the plus side, the Green plan on Kyoto (shifting taxes towards carbon-intensive activities, increased emission reduction targets for large industrial emitters, an emissions trading system) is sensible, and items such as creating/promoting/using new measures of progress to replace the hopeless GDP, support for proportional representation, the use of tax shifting to meet policy objectives and a genuinely conservative/conservationist attitude towards nature are all positives in my book. It has to be said that not being the Liberals or the Conservatives works in their favour as well.

But don't take my word for it, Colby Cosh is a fan of the platform as well. Sure, you wouldn't get that on a first reading of his superficially critical post, but when you stop and think that Colby is a smart, sarcastic guy who was doing everything he could to be negative about the Green Party in his column and the best he could come up with was a warmed over Murray Dobbin impression, even Colby might have to admit that it's pretty much an endorsement - although to be fair, I'm guessing - based on his mention of the Green Party improvising their platform as they go along and his link to their pre-platform release list of issues rather than the actual platform - that Colby wrote his column a day or two before the platform was released. Nothing worse than premature condemnation!

The one thing that surprised me a bit was Cosh's assessment of Green voters as the
"slothful, casually Earth-conscious 5% of us who would vote reflexively for anything labelled "Green," or simply for any semi-serious alternative to the old parties."
There's lots of problems there (where was that 5% all through the last century, for starters?), but considering that Cosh is a blogger himself, the biggest thing to me is that he would say this after reading Green voting/considering people like James Bow, Mark from Section 15, Chris from Murky View. Or are Green Bloggers unrepresentative of Green voters in a way which doesn't apply to the other parties? And JK Nestruck-not-Rowling says I'm the one who's down on the general public's intelligence?

But I digress. If you're interested to know what your options are on election day, I'd say it's worth your while to take a look at the Green Platform.

The Gift of Opinion: Continuing Studies at the CAtO Institute.


  • Green supporters got off relatively light compared to NDP supporters, who Cosh described t'other day as "old hippies floating in internal exile, overgrown red-diaper babies, identitarians of various flavours, Gaia-worshipping vegans, and, above all, workers for whom The Union represents the sum of their aspirations and the totality of their intelligible thought."
    Sorry you were the butt of my anti-Postman rant. He makes some good observations, for sure, but his pessimistic perspective is over-the-top and definitely writerist. I just made up that word.

    By Blogger J. Kelly, at 11:05 AM  

  • Yeah I saw that comment (about the NDP) - but I think the one about the Green Party was meant more seriously.

    No worries on the Postman commentary, all responses are welcome.

    By Blogger Declan, at 12:15 PM  

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