Not To Be Trusted With Knives











Brilliant1 things I’ve managed to do in the last 24 hours:

  • Broke the zipper on my dress pants.  And then, in my frustration to make the zipper unstick, I yanked it so hard that I broke the zipper completely in half and tore the seam right down the crotch.
  • Nearly left my purse on the bus.
  • Burned myself. Twice.
  • Ruined my fellow vegetarian co-workers love of Caesar salad by revealing that 99% of the time, Caesar dressing has anchovies in it.3
  • Went to upload my application to a workshop that I really, really wanted to attend, the application for which was due today, only to discover that they want three reference letters, also due today.  This one totally wasn’t my fault, as needing references was not mentioned anywhere on their public website (you know, like where it says what is to be included in the application!). Only once you register for their online application system do you find out the references are needed.  But still, if I’d registered for their application system earlier, I would have known.  This especially sucks because I spent a fair bit of time crafting my letter and tailoring my CV4.
  • Writing two blog postings today, instead of marking the papers that I really should be marking!

On the plus side, I got an assist on the only goal my team scored yesterday. Go me!

1Where by “brilliant” I mean “not brilliant.”
2Thankfully, I was still at home at this point!
3 In my defence, I didn’t mean to ruin her love of Caesar salad. I just asked the waiter at lunch if the Caesar dressing had anchovies in it (since there is always that 1%a of places where it doesn’t) and my co-worker was all “What? Anchovies?” and then I was all “Oh yeah, Caesar salad dressing almost always has anchovies in it” and she was all “Oh no! But that’s my go-to meal when there’s nothing vegetarian on the menu! I LOVE Caesar salad.” And then I felt like crap. She said that she was happy that I’d told her, because she really doesn’t want to be inadvertently eating fish, but I still bad. So I told her that I’d give her my recipe for anchovy-free Caesar dressing and now I totally can’t find that recipe.
      aOK, I’m totally making up these stats.  Basically, I mean “most of the time” and “not very often, but sometimes.”  But numbers sound so much better. Also, my dad makes up stats to support his arguments all the time and 85% of children who have a parent that makes up stats will go on to make up stats too.
4On the bright side for this one, at least I have a head start on the application for the 2010 workshop!

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This is why I’ve spent so much time lately explaining to dozens of people what a “constitional monarchy” and a “Parliamentary democracy” are.  A recent survey shows that:

Canadians don’t understand political system: survey

Only 24% of those surveyed knew that the Queen of England is Canada’s head of state (not the Prime Minister and not the Governor General [GG]).

A majority (59%) knew that the Canadian government is a “constitutional monarchy,” but that still means that 41% didn’t know that. (The survey doesn’t appear to have asked them if they know what “constitutional monarchy” means, which seems to me like it should be important!)

On the bright side, most people surveyed (90%) knew that the GG can refuse a Prime Minister’s request for a new election.

But then 51% thought that we directly elect the Prime Minister, which, of course, we do not.  This is kind of funny for two reasons.  First, 90% know that the GG can refuse a PM’s request for a new election, but only 49% knew that we don’t elect a PM directly.  So how, exactly, do the other 41%1 think we get a new PM without an election?  Second, how can people really think we directly elect the PM as, when you get your ballot on election day, you see a list of candidates for Member of Parliament in your riding, not a list of candidates for Prime Minister. And even if you are in, say, Stephen Harper’s riding, you aren’t going to see Stéphane Dion’s, Jack Layton’s, Gilles Duceppe’s or Elizabeth May’s name on the ballot, since they all run in different ridings.  So you can’t elect the PM directly since you aren’t given that option on your ballot!

But then, how can we expect the average Canadian to understand our system of government when the Prime Minister himself doesn’t.  He continues to say that the Liberal-NDP coaltion is trying to “”overthrow” the government” and that the NDP and the Bloc have been “planning to overturn the results of the election ever since election night.” (Source).  Unless the NDP and the Bloc were trying to remove the MPs who were elected (which even Stephen Harper isn’t actually saying), they weren’t trying to overturn the election results.  The election results only give you your 308 MPs – after that, those 308 MPs get to determine in whom they have confidence to run the government.  Sorry, Mr. Harper. You weren’t elected as Prime Minister by the people of Canada, because the people of Canada don’t directly elect a PM!

1i.e., the 41% who know that the GG can refuse the PM’s request for a new election but also think we directly elect our PM.



et cetera