2017-06-07 Wed

Observations on Voting

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I may never understand Canadians.

Perhaps as a nation they are congenitally mentally deformed, although since about half of Toronto’s population was born outside the country a special case might be made for Toronto.

Perhaps the nation suffers from a poor educational system and Canadian brains are taught to think. Maybe they are trained to check boxes in a multiple-choice quiz.

The Toronto Star Editor describes the Ranked-Ballot System of Voting as “Mysterious Alchemy”. What is so mysterious about stating your choice in order of preference?

We do it all the time when we enter a diner during a road-trip. “I have to go to the washroom. I’ll have a glass of water, no ice, and liver and onions if they have it, failing that shepherd’s pie. If all else fails, a burger with fries and onion rings”, and our companion knows our preference:-

(1) Liver and Onions

(2) Shepherd’s Pie

(3) Burger and Fries and Onion rings

We do it all the time when we park the car:-

(1) Right outside the supermarket

(2) Failing that, near the supermarket.

(3) Failing that, pull in here to the bank, and we’ll wheel a supermarket trolley back to the car.

For heaven’s sakes, what is the mysterious alchemy in ranking your choices?

(1) I’d like Tom to be our Leader.

(2) If not Tom, then Dick.

(3) If not Dick, then Harry.

If Tom, Dick, or Harry can’t raise the educational standards, then I give up.


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My guess is that parents across the province will rush to enroll kiddies in Language Schools, and that would be no bad thing.

Starting with English classes for the English-as-a-First-Language group, so that we can help others master the language.

But what is so special about language? The brain gets its exercise by thinking, thinking of any kind.

Learn a new language; study the origins of the third Balkan war; return to high-school mathematics and review your algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus just for the joy of it; get stuck into DNA or Microbiology, or both.

Exercising the brain is the clue, not any specific exercise.

Even do the daily crossword and Sudoku. The first will improve your vocabulary and general knowledge by a tiny, tiny bit each day.

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I have my doubts about some of the findings. When I am a passenger in Ontario I interrupt the conversation to say “Watch out for the cat!”, but in the Île de France I have no problem in shrieking “Attention le chat” and perhaps in Spain, even at my rudimentary level “¡El Gato!” would pop out (in this circumstance, even a Spaniard would not try to determine if ¡La Gata! was correct).

I do notice that words like Companion (Mon Copain, Ma Copine) stand out for greater scrutiny and reveal much about how we eat bread at the table.

Last week, after helping Osmedo pronounce “Uncomfortable” I found myself musing over the word “Discomfort” and thought of the French “La Confiture” which is how we say “jam” and thought that I am “in a jam” when I am uncomfortable. Or vice-versa.

I’m just sayin’ …