The photo above shows Tom Osborne and Kathy Dunderdale in ostensibly happier times, on election night in October 2011, when the PCs won their third straight mandate in Newfoundland and Labrador. They actually weren't that close at the time, as both have confirme in the last few days, following Osborne's defection on Thursday to sit as an Independent in the house of assembly.
One of the things we've learned over the last few days is a bit about the communcations strategy inside the provincial government, including the government's move to screen and decide when an MHA can speak publicly on what topic. Osborne cited it as one of the reasons why he's disillusioned with the party to which he had belonged through his adult life.
This is video posted today by The Associated Press, involving an incident that's all over the news, of police officers using pepper spray on Occupy demonstrators at University of California, Davis. Regardless of views on the Occupy movement and police response, it's compelling video.
The leaders' debate in the provincial election was held tonight. At CBC, we livestreamed the video and added a moderated chatroom alongside. It was a lot of fun; my main role was to chip in with some context of what the leaders were saying. The chat is archived here; feel free to have a look.
Just days after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Charlie Chaplin was already shooting The Great Dictator, which came out in the following year. Chaplin had been troubled by the rise of Hitler through the Thirties, as well as how other nations dealt with him. His film was not only a broad comic swipe at Hitler and fascism, but a moving message in its own right - particularly for the speech that Chaplin's character, a Jew who is mistaken for a madman, gives at the climax of the film.
The speech, in which Chaplin praises technology as a potential force for good but decries "these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts." The speech has been quoted often (it's in this American Rhetoric collection) and has been making the rounds lately, perhaps in the spirit of the 9/11 anniversary.
I've been reading with shock over the last day of the attacks in Norway, apparently by a single man whose extreme right-wing vision for his country led him to bomb a government building and then open fire at a youth camp.
I'll let you in on a little trade secret: I collect pictures of Confederation Building. It's not a fetish; I use them for what we call a topstory image (also known as a headline image) for a story placed on our regional landing page at CBC. We try to add such an image to every story we produce, largely because of the popularity of how our news run is presented on smartphones like the iPhone. [Click here to get a sense of what I mean.]
Confederation Building is a frequently sought subject, because it's the pre-eminent symbol of the Newfoundland and Labrador government, not to mention the home of the legislature. Hence, I'm always looking for a new angle, a different backdrop, and something seasonally appropriate. I snapped this one myself this week.
This is the fourth federal election campaign since I started this blog, which sounds quasi-impressive to those outside Canada and who probably don't know the first of those campaigns was in 2004. Canada has elections about as frequently as some people have oil changes.
We now officially have a federal election campaign in Canada. We've had an unofficial one for months, but now we're all out in the open. We shall surely have televised debates, too.
We're used to them in Canada; they're part of the process, part of the political theatre.
In the UK, televised debates are novel, and there's some interesting commentary today from an informed voice. I saw this report in the Guardian:
They were greeted as the most important innovation in television coverage of a general election for a generation. But David Dimbleby, the host of BBC1's flagship political programme Question Time, has questioned whether the hugely popular TV party leader debates were a good thing after all.
Dimbleby, who hosted the BBC's edition of the live head-to-heads between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg last year, used an awards ceremony on Friday to warn that people could "come to regret" the advent of the TV debates, which look set to become a permanent fixture of the UK political landscape.
"The debates certainly were an innovation. They will change the way electoral campaigns are conducted, not necessarily entirely for the better," said Dimbleby in a video message to the Broadcasting Press Guild awards in central London, where the party leader debates won the innovation prize.
"In one way they are odd because we don't have a presidential system in Britain. We have a parliamentary system. We don't elect prime ministers, we elect parliaments and MPs; we have after all got a coalition now," he added.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.