Posts tagged ‘politics’

The last of Nortel’s legacy sold off

Nortel’s patents sold for 4.5 billion dollars–a true indictment of the many dollars and years of R&D investment.  Some of Canada’s top scientists worked there–it truly was an innovative company (unfortunately with bad management).

It is also very sad that Nortel’s leadership, including Mike Zafirovski, did not know the true value of what they had in the company.  Also sad is the fact that our governments (federal and provincial) didn’t realize the value of this innovation to our country.  I still believe that investment into high-tech is more forward looking than investment in the automobile industry, and expecially construction.  Highly skilled knowledge workers are great for the future of the country.  Here is an article that I think sums up the loss pretty well: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1016391–family-jewels-frittered-away

Hoepfully this is a lesson that can be learned.  RIM is a true Canadian tech anchor–let’s hope we take to heart some of lessons from the down fall of Nortel.  I’m not talking a future bailout, but some manner of protecting the intellectual capital (patents, workers, skills) that is being developed at RIM.

Here’s hoping.

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Going Green (Mark MacKenzie) in Ottawa West-Nepean

Finally decided to go with Mark MacKenzie with my vote tomorrow.  I have respect for Anita Vandenbeld and what she has done in the past but Mark MacKenzie’s message resonates with me more. 

So this time, I will not be engaging in strategic voting, but just voting for the person that I would like to see in the House of Commons.  Maybe next time I will engage in strategic voting, vote swapping, or some other method to get around the old first-past-the-post system, but not this time.

Looking forward to see what tomorrow will bring, with a hope for some type of electoral reform in the future.

An Aside – Engineers in Politics

Just saw an arictle in EE Times, a kind of article that started this blog! 

From south of the border, a call to run for office for the nation’s engineers.

Fear-mongering in election ads

I have recently been inundated with ads that are basically created to make you fear the alternatives.  No ads about plans or policies, just how bad it will be if the alternative gets in!  I’m truly getting tired of these ads, especially from the Conservatives and the Liberals.  NDP fear ads are going away with Jack Layton’s recent surge, and Green can’t afford the ads, so I can’t say if they are that much better.

Unfortunately fear plays well with the audience…

Canada’s Election – Ottawa West-Nepean

I’m back on the old blog page (first time since my second son was born) and need to talk about the upcoming election.

Although this election was heralded as the “same ole same ole” this one is shaping up to be a doozy.  Less than one week away and there seems to be more interest in getting out to vote as the advance poll numbers show.

My own thoughts on who I should vote for are all over the map.  A friend from school, Damian Konstantinakos, is running for the Conservatives in the riding next to mine, and would probably consider voting for him just because I know he is a good guy.  He is from the high tech sector, so would hopefully help get some high tech questions heard on the hill.  But alas I am not in his riding, and I know he faces an uphill battle in that riding.

Meanwhile, despite my well wishes for Damian, I am not impressed with either Stephen Harper, or his bulldog running in our riding, John Baird.  John Baird will not be getting my vote in this election–case closed.  The man’s main job seems to be to shout down any opposition in the house.

Anita Vandenbeld has the best chance to defeat Baird in this traditionally Liberal riding, and there seems to be some good support for her despite waining support for Ignatieff.  How badly do I want to see Baird defeated?  I must admit it might be nice but I have to really think about this.  Ottawa West-Nepean has a very large population of seniors and Anita is definitely pandering her message to them (but in a way all of them are).  Also interesting is that she is a career politician, with a Political Science degree–actually something I don’t like in politicians.  But she has been very active in talking with many people in the community for a while, especially down the road at the Carlingwood Mall.

Marlene Rivier is a public sector union local president, so I don’t believe a good choice for me.  I must admit that Jack Layton is certainly doing the best job of all the leaders in presenting a clear message and with limited amounts of attack ads.  Someday maybe the NDP could entice me, but there is always the fear of a government grown too large.

Mark MacKenzie of the Green Party is actually an intriguing choice for me.  He is a small business owner (Appleseed snow-blowing plus organic farming) which I think is a plus.  He should have a better understanding of small businesses and the importance to the economy.  He is obviously for environmental sustainability with Appleseed using bio-diesel (that includes discarded vegetable oil).  He was part of the group that helped ban commercial pesticides in the city of  Ottawa (a plus), and he has also said some encouraging things about high-tech.  Unfortunately he has no chance of winning the seat.  Would a vote for Green be wasted in this case?  I still maintain that we need to change the first-past-the-post system and get more proportional representation (interesting article here on election reform).  Make every vote count!

So I still have some thinking to do:  Vandenbeld or MacKenzie?  Liberal or Green?

We’ll see on May 2nd!

My Book List and Convergence

Even though I don’t get too much time to read I have started to get some time to read some books over the last few years.  I realize now that the kind of books that I have chosen are starting to help define my view of the world.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, but there are probably worse methods of defining your world view (like, say, watching Jersey Shore–which I have been known to do…my shame).

But here’s a list of books that have changed how I view the world:

  • Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel – Jared Diamond
  • The Omnivores’ Dilema – Michael Pollan
  • Zen, and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
  • Management Rewired – Charles S. Jacobs
  • The Hiram Key – Christopher Knight

What I find interesting is there is some convergence through out all of these books.  In later posts I hope to explore how some of these seemingly unrelated books provide similar views on the world around us.

Dow over 11,000 — but what does that mean?

The American public is not too impressed with the newest milestone reached on the stock exchange.    While unemployment remains high, the public (and the voters) remain upset with the current state of affairs as a recent poll has shown.  See this article for more details.

Meanwhile, I was obviously wrong with saying that the Dow would fall to a really low number.  Things are constantly changing in this global economy–so much so that no recession will be completely the same as previous recessions.  Other regions (Asia, Europe) now have an affect on any major economy such as the US.