Quick Hits - September 10

I’ve been busy today on a few projects, and I’ll tell you more about them shortly. So, in the interim, here are a few random points in search of a post.

Doctor Who Utopia

Doctor Who is new, tonight. It’s a good one, entitled Utopia, so tune into the CBC at 8 p.m. You’ll be glad you did! And when you’re done, my review can be found here.

(Update): Correction: Utopia is pre-empted due to the Country Music Awards. Please tune in next week.


A Lego Escher Print?!

Yup. Click here and stare in wonder, and then see the other marvellous creations this man has done. Thanks to Allyn Gibson for the link.

Ontario Election Begins

Well, the campaign officially started earlier today, as Dalton McGuinty marched over to the Lieutenant Governor’s office and asked him to dissolve parliament. We shall have a mercifully quick campaign that will culminate with a vote on October 10th.

As I said before, one good thing about McGuinty’s decision to fix election dates to every four years, thus removing the power of discretion from the premier’s office, is his choice of date. October 10th ensures a short campaign since, over the summer, most people seem unlikely to pay attention to political goings on. Labour Day, it seems, is quite a psychological calendar date — as important, I think, as New Year’s Day. That’s the date when summer leisure ends and we roll up our sleeves and get to work and — oh, look — that’s when the campaign begins in earnest.

A good decision, bolstered by the fact that Ontario politics doesn’t seem to command as much attention, in Ontario, as Canadian or American politics. When Paul Martin dissolved parliament in 2004 and marched over to the Governor General’s house, we had live coverage of his afternoon stroll. I know of no such coverage of McGuinty’s perambulations. And, of course, Americans are already swamped with news of campaign affairs for an election that won’t take place for another fourteen months.

The poor sods.

Campaign Tales

I have been asked to participate in Campaign Tales, a “citizen journalist” blog covering the Ontario campaign from a variety of local angles, hosted by TVOntario’s The Agenda. Editor David Hawkins contacted me after happening onto my blog and I thought it would be a wonderful challenge.

This past Thursday, I travelled into Toronto to take instruction on how to post to the Campaign Tales website, and to get some sense of the types of stories they were looking for, and the standards of reporting that we were to follow. We then taped a short segment with Steve Paiken which is to air on tomorrow’s edition of The Agenda, introducing ourselves and our website. So, tune in for my sixty seconds of fame.

I’ve written business journalism, and I can do political commentary as easily as talking, but political journalism is another kettle of fish. Campaign Tales does not want ot stifle the individual voices of its reporters, but it’s important not to have too much of an axe to grind. I’m not a reporter, so the challenge will be to live up to the reporters’ ethics of fairness and transparency in journalism. In the words of the website’s first post:

Campaign Tales will feature insightful articles and probing commentaries from emerging writers across the province. At times our correspondents’ Tales will offer an at-home and more personal feel to the larger election issues. Some of our correspondents will take full advantage of consumer technology by posting their campaign tales on video too. Edgy, risky, experimental? We’re open to the possibilities.

As always we support the principles of good journalism—accuracy, thoroughness, fairness and transparency. We hope you’ll watch and read the Campaign Tales posted here by your fellow citizens throughout election 2007. We encourage you to comment on what you see and join the dialogue on who represents us at Queen’s Park and how we are governed in the Ontario Legislature.


You all know that I have my biases (though different people seem to have a different idea of what they are), so I believe that my challenge will be to keep an open mind, and an open keyboard, to report on the campaign fairly. My political commentaries will be found on this blog, but I hope to give you some interesting reports about the campaign in Waterloo Region, starting in the next few days.

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