And the Meek Shall Inherit…

The stir raised by Ruth Ellen Brosseau’s win in the last election was amazing but understandable. After all, the cute young Brosseau was an assistant manager at a campus bar without diploma or degree who was on vacation in Las Vegas during the election, doesn’t speak French and has never been to the Quebec riding she was in the running to represent. When she was elected as the NDP candidate in her riding, her shocked and offended opposition began casting aspersions on her qualifications and challenging her legitimacy as a candidate. A surprised public do doubt thought it was funny that someone who had never been to her riding, didn’t campaign and couldn’t even speak the language of the people she aimed to represent could win against seasoned politicians. Brosseau hardly took the common path to public service.

It turns out that Ruth Ellen Brosseau’s path to Parliament isn’t quite so unique this year. In Southern Alberta, Lethbridge elected “The Man Who Wasn’t There’ to be their Conservative MP. Like Brosseau, Jim Hillyer was invisible during the campaign and has a questionable resume, yet still managed to secure a win in the election. And, while some will probably cheer these victories as “the little guy” managing to get ahead and common folk finding their way into the halls of power, to the betterment of our nation, what Hillyer and Brosseau demonstrate is that voting party preference sometimes saddles you with someone who doesn’t belong. The other sad conclusion is that parties are disinterested enough in individual ridings that they will allow unqualified and disinterested candidates to run for election in the first place, and we’re willing to accept the insult.
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Pain in the Gas

If you’ve filled your tank lately, particularly this week, you’ve already had historically high gas prices inflicted on you. Surely everyone is aware of the price at the pump, regardless of whether you drive, walk or cycle to work daily. Talk of gas prices have been in the news quite a bit again this year after fading from popularity for a while, and for good reason: Ottawa gas prices have soared over the last week as high as $1.35 a litre, and in the US almost $4.00 per gallon. Filling your tank is costing you more than it ever did, and many are choosing to simply not drive as much. Even so, the price at the pump is having an impact on the cost of other items as well, as transportation and shipping costs impact the cost of food and other consumer goods. It seems you can’t escape astronomical fuel prices, whether you are a driver or not.

Many of us just suck it up and accept it as a necessary evil. I mean, I have to drive to get to work, and I have to eat, so I have no other choice than to purchase fuel and deal with the prices of items impacted by the cost of gas. I may not like it, but it’s outside of my sphere of influence as well. The best I can hope to do is be a little more frugal with my spending and limit my driving a little so that I don’t have to fill up as often, and maybe try and choose a day when my luck is better and the price is a little lower. I can complain that it’s gouging, but is it? Are the prices just a sign of the times?
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The Death Photo of Osama bin Laden

Catchy title, isn’t it?

The world is all abuzz since the announcement was made that the man with the most recognizable name in global terrorism, Osama bin Laden, was shot and killed in a military raid on his compound in Pakistan. Some of the buzz centers on the degree of knowledge Pakistan had of bin Laden’s whereabouts. The overwhelming reaction was jubilation, tinged by a rather surprising dose of doubt and cynicism. That doubt and cynicism has coagulated into a strong demand for photographic evidence that bin Laden is actually dead, something the President of the US is unprepared to offer his constituents. Should he? And, why the hell are we so set on seeing the picture?
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