After quietly managing to slip past another birthday last week I now find myself casually cruising down route 66 in an antique, but only slightly used condition. My favourite pastimes continue to include chasing a few stories and pictures for the Ponoka News, walking, watching old movies and sports, trying to be a hip hubby housewife, doing a little volunteering and having coffee with the rest of the Geritol gang.
My priorities of course are sharing quality time with my precious and understanding wife and family, staying in touch with old friends, visiting Ponoka at least once a week and trying to remember not to forget with the use of lots of fridge notes. Who could ask for anything more?
Back around the coffee table the main topics of discussion these days are likely: family, sports, work, various aches-pains and cures, grandchildren, the stock markets and, of course, politics. With all the Barack Obama (Democratic) and John McCain (Republican) election hoopla going on across the border for the past few months, how much attention will be given to our recent ‘quickie’ federal election call?
I kind of compare these hastily announced elections to our beloved Noah and his urgent divine instructions to go out and build an ark real quick. A similar storm of discontent has been brewing on the hustings, likely since the last election in 2006, and now its time to right the ship and coax everyone else to get on board and be happy for another few years. Unfortunately, as fast as our Canadian elections unfold many of our hardworking taxpayers panic, are not prepared to make a quick decision, some don’t care, and consequently many will likely miss the 2008 election boat completely.
I have been a proud Canadian for over 60 years as well as a firm believer of the fair democratic process of voting for the candidate and party of our choice. Having had the opportunity of being a municipal election candidate several times, as well as rightfully casting a ballot in all elections for about 48 years, I know how important that this exciting process is for all of us, and after all it has been going on since 1867.
It was quite overwhelming to click into the Elections Canada website and discover that there are no less than 16 registered Canadian political parties. These include: The First Peoples National Party of Canada, Conservative Party of Canada, Green Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada, Libertarian Party of Canada, Marijuana Party, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, Neorhino Party, New Democratic Party, Progressive Canadian Party, Western Block Party, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, Bloc Quebecois, Canadian Action Party, Christian Heritage Party of Canada, and the Communist Party of Canada. To find out whose running candidates and whose not you can log on to www.elections.ca.
Voter turnout in the 2006 Federal Election had a national average of 63.3 per cent (61.9 per cent in Alberta), which isn’t bad, but there is still lots of room for improvement. Of course this election will feature the usual rush of posters and promises until Oct. 13 and hopefully there will be enough time for all of us to take it all in and make that vital decision on Oct. 14 that we will have to live with for another three or four years. As the various candidates come knocking doors in your constituency, speak at forums, run flashy ads in the media, and present their platform over the next few weeks we must all try to take every opportunity to ask lots of questions, put them on the spot and be satisfied that they will be an accountable representative for us up there on Parliament Hill.
A few more funny quickies
*A doctor was addressing a large audience. His stern message was that the material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here years ago. He went on to insist that red meat is awful, soft drinks corrode our stomach lining, Chinese food is loaded with MSG, high fat diets can be disastrous and that none of us realize the longterm harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.
But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all. He asked his attentive audience if anyone could tell him what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it? After many seconds of silence, a 75 year-old man in the front row raised his hand and softly asked, is it wedding cake? Try to eat what looks best on you and have a fabulous fall week, all of you.