Monday, 21 October 2019

Federal Election Canada October 21, 2019

Some think the die was cast when Judy Wilson-Raybould threw in the towel and delivered her take on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 'rebalancing the cabinet' (but most Canadians felt otherwise). Trudeau had demoted her and she wanted us to know her side and the press and cable news clamoured for more. (It's all on tglf some eighteen posts below this one.)
It's October 21, 2019 and we go to the voting stations across Canada to elect our representatives. The current polls suggest the Red Liberals are tied with the Blue Conservatives, and the Orange NPD are ahead of the Green Green Party, with the other two barely on the board.
I voted Red in 2015 because I wanted a change; I will vote Blue in 2019 because I want a change. We have around 35,000,000 people in all of Canada and there has been a lively discussion between the parties' leaders for many months as well as when the campaign started fourty days ago. The Reds say more of the same to come, the Blues say there will be more money in your pockets, the Orange say we'll govern for all the people of Canada, and the Greens will get Climate Change on the fast track where it belongs, the Bloc Quebecois haven't a chance, nor does Max Bernier of the People's Party. In fifteen hours we'll have the answer.⇩

John Ibbitson published this today in the Globe and Mail:
""Election campaigns sometimes open our eyes to realities we’d rather not see. The current campaign, which wraps up this weekend, has revealed a Canada fractured along lines of geography and generations.
Quebeckers reject English Canada’s multicultural consensus. The West is angry and estranged from the Centre. And younger, more progressive voters resent the baby boomers’ entitlements.
A hung Parliament could deepen these divides. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives appear able to win over more than a third of Canadians.
There has never been a time when both of the two major parties were so deeply and equally unpopular on the eve of a federal election.
Putting together a government that can obtain a majority of votes in the House on confidence measures could mean concessions to the resurgent Bloc Québécois or New Democratic Party that would leave some Canadians feeling even more estranged.
“I really believe that this election campaign, results notwithstanding, has deepened the cleavages, broadened the gap, between regions of the country,” warns Brad Wall, the former premier of Saskatchewan.
“[Liberal Leader Justin] Trudeau is playing with dynamite, and he doesn’t even know it,” says Eric Montigny, a political scientist at Laval University.
“Young people care about climate change, they care about issues of social justice and inequality,” says Sara Asalya, who established the Newcomer Students’ Association at Ryerson University. “These are issues that really impact them as young people, while older people care about affordability and incomes and tax cuts and those things.”
It’s a mess.""

If Mr. Ibbitson is right about his pessimistic view of politics and government in Canada then all will be led by a collection of representatives who will not have one voice, they may say that they can work  together - which will be very difficult if not impossible - to pass anything of meaningful substance into law. In Canada we call this a minority government where we are neither left or right on the political scale.
The election is over and on October 22, 2019 the (Red) Liberals have the most seats with the (Blue) Conservatives next, followed by the (Grey) Bloc Quebecois, the (Orange) NDP and then the (Green) Green Party with one Independent trailing by the name of Judy Wilson-Raybould mentioned at the top of this post. However, the results constitute a minority government for the Liberals and not the majority they enjoyed for the past four years under Trudeau. As is usually the case with a Minority Government they all promise to go back to work and work hard for their constituents, that is until there is a non-confidence issue and all of the non government reps vote them out, or, the government feels it has regained the confidence of the collective voters and calls another election in less than the mandated four years. Period. This seems fair. Let's see.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Vienna Austria, October 10 to 16, 2019

Terryl and I planned this get-away two weeks ago. We'll be at the Inter Continental Hotel in Vienna's Innere Stadt enjoying the scenery and cultural pursuits for the first time for me, but not for her.
Our flight had plenty of J Class seats at first but now it's down to two with two ahead of us. However, there are business class still available so we should be okay as of October 9, 2019. I'm having an egg sandwich and getting ready for my Wednesday golf game with Sandy's group at 11.00am.
October 10, 2019 The 'loads' quickly went into the tank: there are 31 cons listed with 18 ahead of us which means we'll be flying economy to Vienna (and hopefully up front on the way home October 16).
After a fabulous ride on AC's brand new 787 Dreamliner we land in Vienna and in no time at all we are in a cab and on to the Intercontinental Hotel where we expect a room four hours before our check-in. In every way and place the people of Vienna are charming and efficiently agreeable. It's a beautiful sunny day around 20 Celsius and after a two hour snooze we are on foot with a map and a few ideas for the day. Walking here is fantastic with its boulevards for pedestrians (only) complete with cafes, shopping and restaurants in and out of doors. I'm sure there are professionals operating like Freud up stairs in these magnificent concrete buildings - some with artwork reaching for the roof - that have been maintained as clean as a whistle. One of Terryl's memories is the Purstner Restaurant for - you guessed it - schnitzel, ribs, beer and wine. It was terrific, and once again our waiter was all over us with help and kindness. The balance of the day we walked and enjoyed the sites before having a nightcap at Kudor and on to the hotel for a good night's sleep.


October 12, 2019 We had mentioned George, the current concierge at the Intercontinental Hotel, spoke of his father who was the concierge in the 1970's. Well he showed up this morning and he and Terryl had a great yack about those golden old days. Apparently, 40 years ago he was out partying with the Air Canada crew and all of them had lots to drink. Carl told us this morning it was right after that night he gave up drinking. Here's Carl and one of his favourite airline people:


Right after that we went for a large walk and bought Opera tickets for Monday night at the Strauss & Mozart Konzerte; and a little later we bought Opera tickets for Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini at the world famous Wiener Staatsoper for tonight's performance at 7:30. For lunch/dinner we ate at the world famous Zum Schwarzen Kameel.
The Opera House was a blinding success: the building and the services are incomparably magnificent. However, our seats in a six seat private box were less than ideal which is what we were led to believe outside the theatre that afternoon prior to purchasing. For example, seats 1,2,3 and 4 allowed a clear site line to the stage as well as the orchestra pit. Seat 5 and 6 (our seats of course) did not. But we sucked it up and enjoyed Madama Butterfly in Vienna, Austria the home of music and a most magnificent city (voted the world's most livable city for the tenth consecutive year.)

Stairway to the grandest theatre in Vienna




This is the door leading to the private box for six

The great hall in the Weiner Staatsoper
On October 14, 2019 we woke early despite knocking off 4/5 of a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Maison Fondee 1812 Champagne, and prepared to visit the Naschmarkt, a wonderful place filled with shops and dining of almost every variety known to man.







After the market we rode the red and then the green line bus up to Grinzing Wineries in the famed Vienna Forests where the Swells summer and relax. Beethoven, a wild man with his music toiled over his compositions until they were just right, had spent loads of time doing his re-writes until perfection was reached in Grinzing. Mozart, on the other hand, sketched his off the top of his head and never re-wrote a thing. I wonder whose inspiration was a result of Grinzing wines?


After missing the third last bus we roared down the mountain to get back to The InterContinental Hotel to ready for the magnificent Mozart and Straus evening right across the street from the hotel.  (Please click the previous link for a look at the artists and theatre: spectacular is the only word.) What a treat this was: the building is a palace, 15 piece orchestra, a Soprano, a Tenor and two ballet dancers firing on all cylinders made this a memorable night on October 14, 2019.





We didn't know this couple until I said, "You look marvellous."

The Mozart & Strauss theatre on Johannnesgasse right across from the InterContinental
October 15, 2019 we loved the Cafe-Restaurant Landtmann for its comfort and simply the best organic boiled eggs and breads served with tasty jams and juices. Terryl's eggs were served with a halved Avocado and watercress, in her words, "To die for."
Now we're off to a market that really didn't excite us so we quickly walked up to the Kärntner Strasse on of the most magnificent all pedestrian boulevards we've ever experienced. After several hours gawking, complimentary cheese tasting courtesy of Cheese&More, relaxing with a beer while Terryl launches into a shopping extravaganza, we set foot, body and soul to Purstner Restaurant - once again - to dive into a rack of ribs, grilled potatoes and assorted dips while Terryl revels with a Cordon Bleu that the waiter said, "You'll love it and don't order the Gulash, Gustav Mahler never did."


The Magnificent Stephansdom Cathedral


Stephansdom Church

Pano of Stephansdom Church



Last Supper at the Purstner Restaurant October 15, 2019
So long Vienna, we enjoyed you immensely. We hope you opened the Links to the highlighted websites to get a larger view and appreciation of these wonderful establishments.


Dubai people, camels and things December 13, 2019

UAE was nothing but rolling sand dunes.  "Forty-seven years after its establishment in 1972, the UAE has become a shining country...