October 31, 2010

This, That and T'other

I think I've begun my annual freeze up. I get cold every fall and stay that way until mid-May. I wear so many layers I look like George on Seinfeld in that puffy coat, but still, I shiver. My house is old. Not cool-old, just old enough to be kind of useless at doing anything well. The ducts are narrow, apparently, which means the heat doesn't get around much. Nor does air conditioning in the summer.

But I've found a way to feel warmer at home. I'm going to North Bay for a couple of days. I figure by the time I get back, this place will feel like Miami in comparison.

I LOVE the New York Times sections that the Toronto Star has introduced on Sundays. I love Sunday papers - and the NYT Book Review and special section is making me very happy on Sundays.

What is making me not so happy? This article on a woman who voted in the recent municipal election in Toronto. She's 100. Fine. She's nearly blind. Okay. She's nearly deaf. Okay. She doesn't watch TV, listen to the radio, nor read newspapers. Okay. But she voted anyway, and has no clue who she voted for because she didn't know who any of them were. NOT OKAY.

Really? We complain about low voter turnout. Rightly so, because though only 40-something percent of eligible people vote (and that's a great turnout), it seems 100% bitch for the four years following the decision.

I would like everyone to vote. But I would like anyone who votes to have a clue. To have arrived at their decisions with a little forethought, a little consideration, a little investment. I knew a woman once, who, while sweet as can be was dumb as a post. Truly. But she told me once that she didn't vote because she didn't understand politics. Honest enough. She asked how she could learn about it. I asked her if she could commit to reading the A section of a newspaper every day for a month. She paused. "That's not where Dear Abby and the horoscopes are, is it?"

I told her I didn't care which paper, just get used to reading about stuff she didn't understand. I told her if she figured out the Middle East thing, to let me know and she could explain it to me. But what I was proposing was that she familiarize herself with the world around her, both on her front step and far away. Get a feel for what people deal with, and how governments respond (or don't) to their people.

I then told her to pick an issue that mattered to her. Healthcare, childcare, traffic, education, development, anything. Pick one thing, and start researching a little into that one thing. One thing is not overwhelming. Find out where her candidates stood on that one topic, for starters.

When I read about this woman voting who couldn't care less except to vote because she could, I decide this is more dangerous than my acquaintance who didn't vote because she knew nothing.

Okay. I've blathered on and I'm still cold. And I know I've been crabby lately. Sorry. Anniversary of Dad's death was a few days ago, this time of year gets to me. It's also my kid's 19th birthday today, so we all know how THAT is gonna end tonight.


Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Happy birthday for the "kid." I wish I was that young again. Voter apathy has been a problem forever it seems. I remember reading about it during the 1800s in England. In history class, not in real life. I'm not that old!Sometimes I feel like it, but I'm not..yet...what was I talking about anyway?Where are the rest of my clothes? Why am I wrapped in bandages?

October 31, 2010 11:22 AM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

I figure if you don't vote you have no business complaining about the gov't. That said, sometimes I think there should be a means test for voters. But then again, I also believe that if breathing were a learned behavior rather than an instinct, it would cut down on a lot of the people I deal with at work everyday.

October 31, 2010 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Lorraine...sorry about your crabbyness....I know where you're coming from. I lost 3 of 4 grandparents in October and am always thrilled to see it over and have November roll in, morning frost & all.
Happy 19th to your son, that is going to be a party.
One question, I sent you a Blame it question about kids & drinking that you never answered...did you get it, or not want to go there?
Its still a lunchroom topic around here and I'd love to get your take on it.

November 01, 2010 9:35 AM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

I find elections a lot like horse races. No matter what the book says the horse SHOULD do, how it actually performs once it is elected is an absolute crap-shoot (or in your case, "crab-shoot".) I believe Ford will be yet another example of an elected official back peddling on many of his promises with an "I didn't realize just how badly my honourable predecessor ran his govournment and what a mess he left the books in. Therefore everything I promised you cannot be done. Now I have to raise taxes and add 100,000 new employees to the payroll. Oh... and my smartie bowl is empty so I'm adding $50,000 a year tax free expenses to my own budget. Come say hello some day and you can have some smarties. But not too many. $50,000 doesn't buy much, when it comes to smarties."

I don't care how informed you become, chances are still pretty good you're not going to get what you thought you voted for.

November 01, 2010 11:30 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Hi there, Anonymous...I don't recall that note. It might have got kicked out of my system, for some reason, because it definitely sounds like a perfect question for Blame it on Lorraine.

Please fire it in again. The email is a blind one, so I can't let you know if I got it (I'm sure I get most of them - Webgod set it up, and he is a genius).

But by all means resubmit. If you want me to acknowledge, just email my regular address and ask. I won't tell anyone who you are. Especially your kids:)

November 03, 2010 8:42 AM  

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