Canada Elections Act.

As my newly adopted country readies itself, possibly, for another election for the office of Prime Minister, the Government has put out an ad campaign in local newspapers explaining that contributions to political parties is now extremely limited. I don’t claim to know all of the ins and outs of the new regulations, but the Elections Canada section essentially explains the following information (quite incredible to a tired political water from the States) that was highlighted in today’s Winnipeg Free Press ad:

There are limits to what you can give. As of January 1, 2007, only individuals can make federal political donations.

  • As a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you can give up to $1,100 in total per year to each registered party.
  • In addition, you can give up to $1,000 in total per year to the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of each registered party.
  • You can give up to $1,100 in total to the contestants in each registered party leadership contest.
  • You can also give up to $1,000 per election to each independent candidate.
  • You can no longer make a cash donatino of more than $20.
  • Corporations, trade unions, associations and groups can no longer make political contributions.

Can I take up a few more lines to repeat that last item?

  • Corporations, trade unions, associations and groups can no longer make political contributions.

In the States, this bullet point would cause bloodsheed, a constitutional crisis, and perhaps a shutdown of Government. I’m a bit incredulous that this law, as far reaching as it is, has received so little notice either here or in the U.S. Election reform, long promised but never delivered in the U.S., has taken place in Canada. Amazing.

Nietszsche BNG 12.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche translated using the The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator:

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.


Thanks to John Gruber for the tip.

Playing to Lose.

It’s an unwritten rule of parenthood that, when you play games with your kids, you have to lose. It’s important for your sense of self-worth and, more importantly, for theirs, to lose. You have to lose because children have to win. They have to know that they can win, even against adults. Kids need to be able assess a situation, wiggle their way out of it, and come out ahead. Mostly, they love to win, even more than adults do.
I’ve learned the hard way that there are a few games that allow one to lose easily. Generally, this requires what I call “reverse cheating.” Reverse cheating means putting cards under your bum when the kid’s not looking or stacking cards in such a way that the kid gets the advantage or pretending to roll the die and always getting a “1” or checking off the wrong boxes. Here are a few games that are good for losing:

  • Clue Jr.
  • Concentration (card game based on remembering and matching cards)
  • Checkers
  • Candy Land
  • Chutes and Ladders

– Brought to you by the letter “C.”

Deleting People.

I’ve spent the past hour or so going through my address book in Microsoft Entourage. I’m preparing to send out my direct mail piece for the year for MANOVERBOARD and need to prepare the addresses for sending. It’s a depressing task, to say the very least.
I started with 1536 names in my address book. I’m now down to 908. Some of those were duplicates, others were lower-cased names that somehow got stuck in my address book over the past few years. Others were names I no longer recognize. I found the names of old girlfriends who had phone numbers but no email addresses – this was before the ubiquity of email. I found aunts and uncles and cousins with whom I haven’t spoken in many years.
Other entries were art galleries, in New York mostly; these were galleries to which I used to send slides when I was a painter. Ironically, every one of these gallery entries had no addresses attached to them; they’re perhaps ten years old.
Sadder still were the friends and family that had passed away. Some were very close, like my grandmother. I can’t delete her name and address and phone number from my address list. I just can’t. Others had passed and I kept their spouse or partner in the address book. It’s just a small way of remembering these people.
It also means that time has passed by, quickly still. These individuals lived and live and now they are just one small part of my attention; some more than others. The time goes and the entries go.

Borat Good.

I just got back from seeing Borat’s Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan with my friend D.C. Man, it was fun.
We got to the theatre right on time and, funnily, there was no one there to sell us tickets. Instead, we went straight to these machines and we had to touch their screens to buy tickets. We each bought one ticket, which cost $7.95. You had to swipe your credit card through the machine and get your ticket that way. Then the ticket came out. A receipt came out, too, which was weird.
We walked into the theatre and there were six teenage attendants standing around the concession stand, talking and looking at candy. No one was there to take our tickets but that was okay. I made it straight to the Twizzler Nibs and bought a pack for $5.13. (I actually wanted Sno-Caps but they don’t have those in Canada.) The bag was huge! I paid with a $20.00 bill and got back $14.87.
Then we sat down in the theatre. D.C. had seen the film before and it was packed but tonight there were maybe 15 people scattered around. We chose seats toward the front, probably in the sixth row, towards the center right, making sure not to block our fellow moviegoers’ views. There were no really good previews unless you count the upcoming Night at the Museum, but we did watch ads for Toyota Camry (it was pretty good) and a couple of other products that I don’t remember. I remember when they didn’t have ads in theatres and now they do.
When we got out, I was still laughing and we got back in the car and drove home. When I got inside, I ran the tap for about 30 seconds because all of the water in the house had been warmed and the water standing in the pipes outside is really cold. I had two glasses. Man, those were good.