CN child abuse, residential schools
Chandelure followed the sobbing. The lights of the flames on his chandelier-like body made for an obvious approach, even as his ghostly arms and flames left no marks on the wet trees. He paused, reaching the small gap where the sounds began.
The creature resembled a small tree stump with a stubby black body extending from one end. It held its tiny arms up to its wooden face, wracked with its sadness, its tears scarcely noticeable against the chilly damp. Chandelure weighed his options.
Continue reading “A Memory of Water – A Jane and Jessie Story”
Canada’s parliamentary system affords a much larger niche for third parties than the United States’s legislature. In Canada, if one party’s candidates get 35% of the seats, a second party gets 40%, and a third party 25%, that 40% party will have to form a coalition with one of the others, and that coalition will select the Prime Minister and otherwise set the government’s agenda. If a particular attempted coalition cannot get along well enough to form the government, the coalition dissolves and another one tries. This entanglement between the executive and legislative branches means that the leaders of Canada cannot, usually, afford to ignore people who didn’t vote for them, and it means that third parties that manage substantial segments of the vote don’t necessarily disappear behind the ones that got slightly more, because they can become necessary coalition partners. A system like this one still eventually converges on two parties—it takes a much more complicated system to preserve more than two poles indefinitely—but it takes much longer and affords those third parties and their constituents a much greater voice in the meantime.
Suffice to say, there’s a much greater possibility to vote one’s conscience in Canada, even if some situations demand voting for whoever stands the greatest shot at keeping the Conservatives out of a particular seat.
So it was with curiosity and interest that I surveyed the pamphlets and cards that the various candidates and advocacy groups kept leaving in our mailboxes. Most of them were political boilerplate, a series of minor promises next to a candidate putting on the best trustworthy-and-not-smug mug xe could manage. But I had to give one of them a lot of extra attention.
Continue reading “Salsa Fuerte, Vergüenza Profunda”
The paths are the same, the same Australian umbrella trees and thickets of palms and little yappy dogs, the same pervasive sun and smell of car exhaust, but they feel foreign now. I walk the 33 blocks to the grocery store that sells all the Latin specialties I quickly learn to miss when I’m away, and it doesn’t feel like coming home to something. It feels like traveling a long way away for my weird exotic tastes, bits of the old country I like to keep around, like the immigrants who define my past.
I lived here from 1999 to 2009, but I got used to counting it as eleven years in my mind. And I’ve finished with this place.
Continue reading “Chickadee”