Election Fever - or Not

Last week I'd have bet anyone $100  that an election is in the works. All the signs were there. The Bloc, Liberals and NDP seemed to be singing from the same hymn book saying "We've had enough" and even the "Harper  Government" seemed to be keen to get to the polls.

By this morning the pundits seem to think that things are shifting a bit. Some of them anyway.

Me? I'm chomping at the bit. Canada needs an election now if only to try and get Canadians to pay attention. The "Harper Government" is running amok and even if the opposition can't take them down, those thugs need a good swift kick in the pants.

I  know its all about the economy blah...blah...blah but some one has to remind Harper that if the Canadian economy is doing well it has little to do with his economic policy and everything to do with monetary and banking regulations put in and maintained by years of Liberal rule. Harper lucked out. The economic meltdown came before he could dismantle the regulations that saved his, and our asses.

We need a little public debate.

It is times like this that I revert to my "If I was king" persona. So here goes.

If I were directing strategy for the opposition I would bring this government at the soonest possible moment.

Harper might win another minority but I very much doubt he can do better than that. So be it.

Then at the first possible opportunity the opposition should simply bring down the government again. The day after the election would be good. The next thing that would happen is that the Governor General would be obliged to see if anyone else could form government. Not withstanding Michelle Jean ruling, that is his job.

The Liberals and the NDP should then step up and form a coalition supported by the Bloc and hopefully a few Greens. Harper would scream bloody murder but who cares? A Liberal/NDP coalition government would have more legitimacy that a Conservative Government that 65% of Canadians didn't vote for.

In the next four years Canadians would see that there is nothing wrong with coalition government. After all aren't Canadians supposed to be proud of our historical ability to find workable compromise. A coalition would work like minority governments are supposed to. They stay in power through co-operation.

After all. What we have now isn't working.

Let's get on with it.


What a Way to Spend an Afternoon

Before I retired I used to think I spent half my life in airport departure lounges so, today is like a flashback.

A couple of hours ago, I had what will no doubt be my last Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich for a while and climbed on a Rapidair flight to Toronto. We left late of course which was no big deal to me/ I have two and a half hours to kill in the GTAA terminal.

What strikes me is how little things have changed.  Oh OK, they now have free wifi but they still have the same old loop of 10 minutes of news, weather and sports. Same commercials, same stories, same forecast. It is like they think that all the other bored travellers and I will only be stranded here for 15 minutes or so. I am not sure how many time I have heard a report from a freelance reporter who "has just arrived in Japan" and who is updating us on the "growing nuclear crisis" there.  The CBC who packages this stuff, needs a reminder about what "live" means.

The food is just as bad and  as always, overpriced.

For my amusment I have been watching businessmen gestulating wildly as they talk loudly on their handfree cel phones. "Explain to me how they lost those files. Let me tell you! Heads will roll over this."

Airport groundworkers huddle in a corner working on their hockey pool, others move through the terminal in that measured slow walk designed to extend any coffee break by at least 15 minutes, flight attendents hurry in small groups hustling to their next flight and a harried gate attendent apoligizes over the intercom once again for the fact that my aircraft now has maintainence on board and that she doesn't have a clue how long it might be. Well I figure, better to find the problem on the ground and I hunker down into my book.

 Who knows.  I'll keep my fingers crossed. With luck, in another hour or so I'll be out of here.


If you are in Ottawa, Eat at the Whalebone

I have been in Ottawa the last few days visiting Morgan. It  has been almost 14 years since we moved west but I have been back more than a few times. I like this place.

Try Some Oysters
This evening Morgan suggested grabbing a bite at The Whalebone. It is easy to find on Bank Street. I'd never been before but, for certain, I'm going back.

It  is long and narrow and kind of hip and  funky. It was a Monday night so we didn't bother making reservations. We were offered a seat at the bar. I hesitated. I had hoped for a quiet tablet but, next time, I may ask for the bar as my first choice. The bar is where the action is.

The best thing about this restaurant, outside of the atmosphere and the staff, is the food. Whenever possible they use local produce and they follow the Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise program.

That program trys to remind us about the threat of that overfishing our oceans brings. The fact is, the world's marine life is quickly being depleted. They suggest  that the only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner. To help we all should buy species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem.

More and more good restaurants are signing on and the Whalebone is one of them.

Their menu changes depending on availablity. Tonight they had west coast oysters from Cortez Island and the east coast oysters came from New Brunswick. We has a couple of each and they were supurb.

I had the PEI farmed Halibut, thinly sliced potatoes cooked in duck fat with fennel, orange and celery on the side. Morgan tried the Quebec rainbow trout with Gallo mussels, Jersusalem artichoke, greens and mushroom. Both meals were a delight.

Next time I'm trying the octopus starter or perhaps the plate of 18 oysters.

If you live in Ottawa or close to the city or, if you are going to visit put the Whalebone on your list of places to eat. You will love the staff and the food is great. Tell your friends. I don't think you can go wrong.

Sit at the bar.