The Prime Minister with ‘Nice Hair’

Election night came and went and it was a whole lot better for me than last time. Last time I got to sit at home and watch the numbers for the Conservatives tick higher and higher eventually giving them a majority.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I don’t support the Conservatives. I’m not a card carrying member of any party, but when I choose to vote non-strategically I generally lean NDP. However, I usually vote strategically when it comes to the federal elections. And if paid off.

In case you’re not a Canadian (or even if you are and just don’t care about politics) last night we had a federal election. The Conservatives were dealt what my first year Canadian politics prof once referred to as a Parliamentary spanking. That is to say, the Liberal party swept to a powerful majority. I’m happy. I like Justin Trudeau and while some of the things the Liberals have done (such as supporting the Conservative Bill C-51 (the anti-terrorism act which is essentially just gross Islamophobia)) I definitely do not support, I think this will be a breath of fresh air after the Harper Decade.

So now we’ve got a (relatively) young Prime Minister with ‘nice hair’ – the real question is what he will do next. I’ll be waiting to see.

And, for those looking for some (hilariously presented) information about the recent Canadian election I highly recommend the following clip from John Oliver..

  • Kali
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What is feminism, to you?

Hi All,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, life has been stealing my potential blogging time. I will try to do better.

Recently I’ve been reading “Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti, founder of feministing.com, and I highly recommend it. Its an easy to read book that has thus far broken down feminism and its many various facets and faces, the pretty and the ugly. I have found it to be immensely helpful. This post is NOT a book review, but it does play a part in the reason behind this post.

It was while I was reading “Full Frontal Feminism” that I became intrigued about what other people thought feminism was, how much they knew about it, and what they thought of it. This, of course, lead to me thinking of a way to find out. The obvious answer was to simply and plainly ask people. I know that some people I will ask wont be comfortable answering these questions, but that isn’t going to stop me from asking, I’m just not going to pressure anyone into answering. No one has to ask any question asked, a choice will always be involved.

I want honest and candid answers, not long thought out answers with lots of research involved. That’s not what I’m interested in learning, that’s an essay. I want to know what people really think and know about feminism, and I mean those that don’t identify as feminists. Though, that said, I will be wanting to ask everyone I can, no matter what ones political views are about the subject. The answers can be anything about feminism, everything is interesting to me. There can be no wrong or right answers, since every answer (I’m going to assume while doing this) is exactly what it is supposed to be. Honest.

Now, this post is not meant to get people answering just yet, its really just to get some feedback about what people think about this idea and if anyone who reads this blog (which is way more then I ever thought would read it, I always thought we’d just have one or two readers that were friends we’d told about the blog and they were just following it to be polite) would be willing to answer one or more of the three questions above (and below). All opinions are welcome.

The Questions:
1) What do you think feminism is?
2) What do you think about feminism?
3) How much do you know about it (feminism)?

This is only meant to be for my own personal knowledge and interest, but it may become more if it really catches on (which I am highly doubting).

On another note; if anyone has any job or career advice, a list of choices, or any kind of related information really, I would be more then grateful. I have found myself at a time in my thus far short life where I’m not sure what I’m doing or what I even could be doing. The possibilities are endless and I find myself feeling lost. Some advice would be helpful and appreciated.

Thank you and I hope that life is treating you kindly,
Rachel

Do- D’ya see what I mean?

This is probably the phrase I hear most often in my Medieval Myths & Legends class. It’s still proving to be an awesome class, but I guess that was obvious because I can quote my prof (I actually have a document with some of my favorite quotes by him because I’m just that cool).

I just handed in my paper proposal for that class, but I’m super nervous because I know it wasn’t that good – I had a lot of trouble finding sources. I’m also nervous about my short assignment for my political theory class, but what’s done is done.

Speaking of things that make me nervous (actually, more like insanely scared), I had a toothache a couple of weeks ago and it was so bad I actually went to the dentist (spoiler alert – I’m massively terrified of the dentist). He said it was infected and gave me some antibiotics. The antibiotics cleared it up and I’m all good now, but he wants to remove the tooth. When I was in major pain I agreed to that, but I never made the appointment because I was waiting on insurance information, but in that time I looked up what he wants to do to me. It involves CUTTING OPEN MY GUM AND USING A SAW TO REMOVE BONE! AHHHHHH! I’m pretty sure that counts as torture and is thus against the Geneva Convention.

My mom wants me to make the appointment (the insurance papers came in a couple of days ago), but I don’t think I can go through with it. It was easy to agree when I was in major pain and did not know what I was agreeing to. Now that I’m not though – well, it’s a lot more difficult to want to voluntarily consent to being put in more pain. I asked for oral sedation, but there’s no way that would be enough – I would still have to watch and hear them cutting my mouth open with scalpels and saws – no thank you.

Anyways, I’m going to get off this topic and move onto something better (which, let’s be honest, is anything and everything. NANOWRIMO is coming up soon. I’m meeting with my Co-MLs to make up the goodie bags for our kick off party on Friday morning and I’m really excited. I’m writing the sequel to last years novel so it’s kind of comforting to have some familiar characters to work with, but they’re on a whole different planet so I’ve got a bunch of new characters as well.

Caution: Poltical Thoughts Ahead

I also watched the debate last night and it was great. Obama could have done better and Romney could have done worse, but I definitely think Obama came out ahead. Although after Romney’s binders full of women and gun control being best served by heteronormative two parent families I don’t think it would have taken much (or at least I hope not).

I fear for the world if Romney wins. Not to mention, Harper does not need another conservative buddy to egg him on. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do but hope that the last debate goes well for Obama and that the American elections give the world another 4 more years of Obama.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

– Kali

PS: I also need to figure out a Halloween costume. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated since I haven’t dressed up (except for Harry Potter releases) since I was 13.

“It’s Story Time!”

My friend Stephanie is originally from the mainland so she had never been into the Legislature Buildings the way people who have grown up here in Victoria have. So, she asked me if we could go to sit and watch the activities in the House. I hadn’t been since I was young and though I remembered it as a mind numbingly boring activity I agreed. This time it was a lot more interesting than I remembered it being.

We arrived at just after 1 pm and the House was on break (lunch I would assume). So we wandered around a bit. The public isn’t actually allowed to see much, but we wandered around anyway. There were quite a few official looking people with nametags wandering around, but we didn’t think they were MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly for you non-Canadians). At one point we ended up somewhere we shouldn’t have been, but we quickly got out of there and stood around awkwardly. At another point we followed all the dressed up people upstairs, but we didn’t think that was where we were supposed to go and when we asked someone what was going on they mumbled something about prostates.

Weirdly enough I was actually kind of nervous about going into the seating area. A worker told us where to go (up to the third floor) and we took the elevator because Stephanie had never been on it before. Unfortunately we accidentally went to a floor where we weren’t supposed to be so we just stood in the elevator hoping no one would notice us.

When we finally reached the place where we were supposed to be I made Stephanie ask the guards if there was room for us. There was. We had to go through a metal detector – which makes sense, but at the same time seems odd because really, they’re worried someone is going to what – take out a Canadian MLA? Heck, they’re not even that important!

They gave us a little floor plan so we would be able to see who was talking – although we could only see half of the room – the Opposition side. Almost everyone had either a blue striped tie (most of the men), or a scarf (the women). They were really pretty and Stephanie and I both wanted one – we don’t really anymore.

One thing we both noticed – and we both giggled over a little – was the fact that there was NO RESPECT IN THE HOUSE! Quite a few of the MLAs had their phones (mostly Blackberry) out and were texting at various times during the hour and a half we were there. They were also whispering with each other and passing notes! It was like watching a disruptive high school class. And, on top of all that some of them just weren’t there at all. Seriously, I could do that easily.

It started off just as boring as I remembered as they spent at least half an hour making welcoming statements to the important visitors (the ones Stephanie and I had seen with the nametags) and we found out that the scarves and ties were representing prostate cancer awareness. Following this they talked about bills that were on the table – but most of them were just moved forward to “the next sitting of the House after this one”. At one point there was a strange guy sitting next to us who smelled like bubble gum and kept murmuring under his breath – he left just in time for it to get good.

After the boring stuff they began the questioning from the Opposition – and boy did they question! First up was an attack on the Minister of Health about the lack of regulations in halfway houses and it was definitely an attack. One of the opposition members even started yelling.

I think the best part though was during a different “discussion” with the Minister of Health (and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about) when one of the members of the Opposition kept yelling “Oh look, it’s story time, it’s story time!” because it was genuinely hilarious. This was a middle aged man shouting like a child on the playground – and these are the people we elected to run our province.

It wasn’t very comforting, but it was definitely entertaining. Stephanie and I left soon after story time, but I think I would go back.

And hey, if law/grad school doesn’t work out I know I’m capable of arguing like a child – I could be an MLA.

– Kali

End of Semester & Earthwalk

School has come to a close for the semester. I had my last exam on Tuesday and now I’m just waiting for my grades to come in. I’m not taking summer classes, but Rachel is so we should both be in the city for most of the summer. Unfortunately co-op was a failure. I had a couple of things working against me – I didn’t have the money to leave the city and it was my first term. Theoretically I could keep looking for co-op placements into May, but I’m broke so I can’t wait. On that front though I got a job today. I’ll actually be working with my friend Stephanie so that should be good – and it’s full time which is really helpful. I don’t start until Tuesday, but it gives me time to do any last minute things that need to be done.

Today we had the Earthwalk. It’s an annual event which brings together champions of many causes. Myself and the president of UVic’s Students for a Free Tibet were there, along with many members of the Victoria branch of the Canada Tibet Committee.

This time we started at the Legislature Building and walked up to Centennial Square

Fortunately it was another nice day – I’m hoping the sunny weather is here to stay, but in Victoria it probably won’t. There were a lot of people there – I even ran into one of my teachers from high school.

It started out with a speech and a warm welcome

Her speech was about the salmon and how they are considered sacred. She also shared with us that when she was young she always said she was not going to be one of those environmentalists – it just goes to show you how things can change.

The banner we walked with. I held a Tibetan flag though

This was on the back of a wheelchair. I have no idea where he got it, but isn't it awesome!?

I was down there for about 3.5 hours and it wasn’t even close to wrapping up when I left. However, I was tired and hungry so I headed home. Plus, I didn’t have any sunscreen and I burn super easily.

There was an awesome band playing when we got to Centennial Square - they were just finishing up when I left

Even though I’m tired it’s been a pretty good day. And now that I have the promise of money coming in, I can go to dinner with my friends tomorrow night and actually eat something! Is it sad that that’s exciting? maybe a little…

– Kali

What Do We Want? A Free Tibet!

Although March 10th is the official day for protests in favor of Tibet we in Victoria had our march on the third. The one in Vancouver happened yesterday (on the official day), but ours was super fun. I even got to carry a bright yellow sign. About 60 of us showed up and we walked down government street and then there were speeches at the Legislature.

Picking Up Signs and Flags

Starting to Gather Up

The Runners of Compassion Coming In

Part of the Group Gathered at the Legislature

It was a beautiful day at the Legislature. A nice change from the previous week

Look, a short post for once. It was a week late though. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

– Kali

HELLO THERE. WE HEARD U NEED THIS.

It must be said that I’m a pretty bad Canadian. I think my mom put it best when she said that I had “a Canadian passport, but an American soul”. I prefer the Star Spangled Banner to O Canada, and I think putting Canadian in front of anything makes it at least 80% worse. Canadian History (boring), Canadian Literature (YUCK), Canadian Politics (a total snoozefest).

It’s not surprising then that I love following American politics. It’s a whole lot more interesting, and a whole lot more horrifying too (they can just bring the crazy in a way we Canadians haven’t yet come close to). Thanks to my following of American politics I stumbled across this great short story written by a fellow blogger.

It is titled ILU-486 and she summarizes the story as follows:

In the not-so-distant future of Virginia, the Personhood Act has outlawed abortion and chemical birth control. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, though.

Isn’t that chilling? I highly recommend you go read the story – it doesn’t take much time and it’s an amazing (if terrifying) read. Here’s a link:

ILU-486

If you haven’t read it yet what are you waiting for? Go read it. I promise you won’t regret it. I just wish I could get myself one of those shirts (not to mention all proceeds go to support Planned Parenthood). I hate being a broke student.

Caution: Politics Ahead

What’s really scary is how far right-wing the Republican candidates are this time around. I saw a picture the other day that was captioned: “I miss the days of Sarah Palin being the scariest Republican candidate in history” and I think that really captures it. Sen. Santorum is especially terrifying – my friends wonder why I’m so interested in American politics and fundamentalist Christians and people like Sen. Rick Santorum is why.

To tie this into the story above, Sen. Santorum has said “One of the things I [Sen. Santorum] will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country.” (New York Times: February 29th – “Romney Sets Off Furor on Contraception Bill”).

Electing someone who believes that the availability of birth control has had negative moral and social impacts on America is the way of bringing about the reality of ILU-486. I don’t know about you, but even as a Canadian I don’t want that to be the reality of modern America. The fact that people have even been voting for him to get the Republican nomination – especially that WOMEN have voted for him – makes me cringe.

I’ll be keeping an eye on American politics just as I always have – even though I can’t change them, I can still be aware of what’s going on. Can you say the same?

– Kali

PS: If you still haven’t read ILU-486 here’s the link again: ILU-486.