{ 0 comments }

{ 0 comments }

Like most knowledgeable commenters on Canadian politics, it seems that Master of Massey College Hugh Segal is skeptical about Canada’s (and Britain’s) first past the post (FPTP) electoral system, as well as sympathetic to the case that minority governments might function better.

In a recent article on the British election he argues:

In fact, minority parliaments far better reflect how voters normally balance their electoral choices than the faux majorities created by our distorted first-past-the-post winner-take-all system.

While the United Kingdom does not have the history with minority governments that Canadians are quite used to, should they care to glance at Canadian history for a nanosecond they would note how successful minority first ministers such as Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Bill Davis, Jean Charest, Roy Romanow and Stephen Harper have been, both in legislative achievement, collaborative tone and public standing – often diluted when the partisan joys and excesses of one party majority government re-emerged.

The recent British and British Columbian elections both demonstrate how FPTP produces wildly different outcomes based on small differences in the vote share. A few votes in a few ridings may give a party a majority and thus full control of the legislature, while other parties that win substantial amounts of the vote may get no influence at all.

{ 0 comments }

{ 0 comments }

{ 0 comments }

The technical term “supergrade” has had a pair of distinctly American meanings:

(a) A supergrade was the civilian equivalent of an Army general

(b) Supergrade is industry parlance for plutonium alloy bearing an exceptionally high fraction of Pu-239 (>95%), leaving a very low amount of Pu-240 which is a gamma emitter in addition to being a high spontaneous fission isotope

{ 0 comments }

I had a good wander around Toronto today. All these photos were taken with my Fuji X100s — perhaps the best camera smaller than a hardback book.

The most exciting thing going on is planning several possible trips: one to Ottawa in a couple of days, a possible trip to Algonquin Park, and a very exciting possible trip to B.C. and the Haida Gwaii.

{ 2 comments }

{ 0 comments }

Toronto’s exceptionally high lake levels and accompanying flooding of beachfront and island areas may be both driven by climate change and the new normal for the city.

The National Post is quoting University of Saskatchewan professor of geography John Pomeroy saying that high temperatures and changes in the jet stream are causing the very unusually high rainfall: 142.6 mm of rain in May, compared to a normal 72 mm.

Pomeroy even goes on to suggest that the city should encourage people to permenantly relocate from the flood-prone areas, since they can only expect more such trouble in the future.

{ 3 comments }

{ 0 comments }