Thursday, January 26, 2006


Some people, when stressed, get ulcers. Others get stomach aches or headaches. I get a sore throat. A killer sore throat. The kind that wakes me up in night because it hurts too much to swallow. The kind that make the back of my mouth bright, angry red and has me constantly drinking fluids, sucking on cough drops or mints .... In short, the kind of sore throat really not convenient to have when doing multiple presentations each day.

I started this morning at 8:30 with an assembly of 600 kids. While I wasn't exactly shouting, I had to get my voice all the way to the back of a very large gym. I think it cracked at least 3 times during that presentation alone. From there it was a race to the next school, then a race to another, and another. I was sucking on lozenges between each school, sipping water during the video part of my presentation - and praying that my voice would get me through the day. Thankfully, it did, and now I'm home drinking hot water with honey, ginger and lemon. Aaaaahhh.

I only have 2 more schools tomorrow, then 2 on Monday. While I sincerely enjoy doing this Read-a-Thon tour, it will definitely be nice to be done.

And as it would work out, this was supposed to be my last week at the restaurant I quit, but when I called today to check that I was still on the schedule for tonight - it turned out I was not. So no more of that. Curling up with a book and a hot toddy tonight.

I did want to mention in particular one school I stopped at this week. It was on Monday - in the evening actually, after all the kids had gone home - a little school in my neighborhood. There was a bright yellow sign on the door - a cirle with an X in the middle. Voting station.

I was in Spain the last time we had a federal election, I think in Europe the time before that - so it's been awhile. And I think this is the first time I've actually voted for a candidate who won my riding. With our archaic first-past-the post voting system, unless your vote goes to the winner, it is basically worthless. Well, not completely - after the last election it was determined that each party receiving over 2% of votes will annually get $1.75 per vote. That's how much your vote is worth if it wasn't for the winner. It's not worthless. It's worth $1.75.

We have another minority government - and, if patterns repeat themselves we will likely be back at the polls in 18 months. But I am actually not displeased with the outcome of this election. I think minority governments, while perhaps less effectual in producing laws and passing bills, demand more cooperation among parties and prevent the kind of radical policy changes many Canadians fear.

Newspapers, radio and tv are still full of political talk. Being in the capital, we probably get an even greater share. It is a very political town - we had the highest voter turn out of any major city. 74%. Sad that is our highest, but still glad that we had at least that much interest.

Anyway, enough rambling about politics... there are better informed opinions out there on the web. My 2 cents is really only worth... well, $1.75.

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