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Mexican food, Canadian politics

Akashiver and I went to El Norteno for lunch today (Japanee was closed; Grazie looked unappetizingly expensive). She had a chicken mole dish, sincronizia or something; I had arroz con pollo, cheese chicken and guacamole. Both were good, though mine was more exciting with some of the free salsa added. I took half home, so 1.5-2 meals for $8.22.

Clementines are back in season, though my current batch doesn't seem quite as good, and the rind doesn't fall off as much as it did last year; I'm having to actually peel, though it's not terribly onerous. Maybe later...?


Those of us who aren't Canadian, or who are Canadian but have been paying more attention to US politics than their own, may have a dim grasp of what's going on to our north. I'd known that Harper had a minority government with his Conservatives, but this turns out to not be a synonym for a coalition government of minority parties, like the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois. Instead, he got asked to form a cabinet simply on the basis of having the biggest party, and that's how things have operated for the last 2-3 years. I have no idea how anything has gotten done -- offering bones to the other parties? The other parties spinelessly going along with things to avoid having another election too soon?

At any rate, he's managed to piss off the entire Opposition, what with first a plan to remove public per-vote subsidies of parties, and then imitating Bush's leadership in the economic crisis (none), and there's talk of a coalition, what I'd always thought was the normal mode of parliamentary government when no party had a majority. But Canada hasn't done this in decades, so there's talk about how this is undemocratic or a coup d'etat. To be fair, the votes probably weren't thinking of coalition governments, since they're not used them. Not that I'm certain, what with winner-take-all districts + a Parliament + Canadians' lack of elementary strategic voting, one can say anything meaningful about what "the Canadian voters" wanted.

And I can't help thinking that voters might have voted differently with knowledge out of the outcome, e.g. one district is represented by a Tory at 37% of the vote, when the Liberal got 36%. Surely in retrospect some Greens or NDPers would have wanted to switch votes to the Liberal? Though, hmm, the fact that parties get money for your vote does create some incentive to vote honestly. Failing that, a better voting system might help.

IMO Canada clearly needs PR stat, and suggested the coalition could do it, but I'm told that's not in the Bloc's interest -- as a regional (especially separatist) party, they benefit by being able to unfairly dominate Quebecois districts, with little to gain by PR elsewhere.

* One response to the Mumbai attacks. I'm guessing this national would disagree with expelling India's Muslims.
* Map of New Madrid quake Mercalli zones. VII is on the border of serious damage.
* Dead peasants insurance. Why worry about worker safety when you can take life insurance out on them instead?
* Darth Maul road
* The Obama resistance.
* "Mexi-Canadian overpass"
* http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com/

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