4/30/2011

Calling all Canadians! We need you at CST Monday night!

That may be the worst title of a blog post I have ever composed. But, I think I'm justified. I'm desperate to get people to come to Court Square Tavern on Monday night to watch the Canadian election returns.

I've not had the chance to do a full advertisement for it, which sounds about right given my current life, in which I never seem to find time to fully implement the ideas I come up with. So far, all I've done is create a Facebook event for it, but that's about it.

And, as of this moment, only a handful of people are coming to the event, and I'm a bit concerned that it's going to be a bust. Which is a shame, because I actually have an interesting idea behind wanting to have a public place for people to watch Canada pick a new Parliament.

I lived in Calgary, Alberta, for a year from 1999 to 2000 while my girlfriend at the time was doing a post-doctoral fellowship. We talked an awful lot about parliamentary politics, which was fascinating to me. Jean Chr├ętien was Prime Minister at the time, and everything was very different than it is here.

For one thing, there are no set elections. They can happen at all kinds of intervals, and in this case, there's an election because the House of Commons approved a no-confidence vote against him, forcing a vote.

After I left Canada, I pretty much forgot so many of the details of what it was like to be there. But, every time there's an election, certain memories come back to me.

I listened to the CBC, and an occasional presenter to this brilliant show one was Michael Ignatieff. Now he's the head of the Liberal Party, one of several parties hoping to come out on top Monday. He'll only become prime minister if his party gets at least a plurality of votes. Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader and current PM, is hoping he will as well.

I have no idea what the polls are, but I'm planning on posting a lot about this in the next day or so. I want to be on hand behind the bar to talk about what's going on while people perhaps have conversations about politics.

I love politics, and am blessed to have the honor of being a reporter who will cover the Albemarle County and Charlottesville elections this year. So, before that happens, I'm curious to see what's happening somewhere else, and to hopefully chat with whoever shows up about what the results might mean.

Canada is so close to us, but we cast it away and pretend like it doesn't exist. I remember the day I moved back home. We drove down from Ontario at Thousand Lakes into New York. We stopped off in Syracuse to fuel up the Mazda I was driving at the time. I bought a Sunday newspaper, and the biggest shock was that the weather map didn't include any of Canada, even though we were 100 miles from the border.

So, back to now, and a time when Canada has also disappeared from my mind, even though my heart has insisted that I continue to have the lyrics to O Canada! memorized at all times. And now, I'm hoping to get people to show up to my bar to watch a little bit of Canadian history.  We're open from 6:00 PM on. It's a rare Monday night opening. Come and chat elections with us!

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