This just in…

Well, it looks like the BC Liberal Party has just won another majority government. I personally thought that the race would be a little tighter, although I can’t say that I am surprised at the outcome overall.

What did surprise me, on the other hand, was the referendum on the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Whether or not you support STV, the campaigns for and against were lacklustre to the point of being invisible.

It’s not surprising that the dominant parties were pretty much silent on the issue – they would very much like STV to die a quiet death. Regardless of where you stand on this, it is disappointing that the public debate was not more pronounced. Many people weren’t even aware that there was a referendum!

Early reports suggest that voter turnout improved with this election, which would be good news indeed. As citizens, we have a responsibility to exercise our franchise. If nothing else, if you don’t earn the right to complain for the next four years if you don’t vote!

In other news, I have just signed up for Twitter, and have added the feed to the right hand side bar of this blog. I am also experimenting with posting to my blog by email for the first time – here goes nothing!

Postscript:  I am completely disgusted.  Despite a record turn out at the advance polls, less than 50% of eligible voters cast their ballots.  And we have the nerve to lecture other countries on the democratic process!

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What a beautiful evening…

I was coming home when I noticed a sliver of the moon high up above the Surrey Central Tower.  What a beautiful evening!

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Surrey Central Tower

Hey, where is everybody?

The Skytrain is really quiet this morning, and it was the same yesterday too.  The trains are usually packed to the rafters before they even get out of Surrey, but only about two thirds of the seats are taken this morning and we are well on our way into Burnaby.  Where is everybody?

Hmmm…  Is it because the weather is so beautiful?  We are finally getting temperatures in the high teens and low twenties, and there is a lot to do in town at this time of year.  Maybe people are digging into their annual vacation allotments.  Makes me wonder why I didn’t do that…

I have to wonder whether it might also have to do with the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as the swine flu.  People seem to be suspicious of the tiniest cough or sniffle, and I know of at least one person who has been sent home from work because he exhibited these symptoms.  Probably just a cold, but better that he not pass it on to his co-workers anyway.

The headline in the daily tabloid that the woman beside me is reading says that there are eleven confirmed cases of H1N1 in BC (no, I wasn’t snooping – it just caught my eye), and a CBC report said Canadian cases are fairly minor so far.  Maybe the heightened sensitivity stems from the initial death toll in Mexico (which the World Health Organization has now discounted).  Or perhaps it is due to talk that this virus could mutate quickly and in unexpected ways.

Talk of a virus can also mean boom or bust for businesses. Sales of hand sanitizer are way up.  On the other hand, pig farmers worry that sales of pork will go way down due to H1N1’s association with swine, even though there are no food related risks associated with this virus.  Maybe that’s why Prime Minister Harper is referring to H1N1 as the Mexican flu instead of the swine flu.

What is one to do?  Don’t panic because this too shall pass.  Hope that the virus peters out quickly.  Most of all, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands a lot!