· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · May
· · · · 19 (2 entries)

Canada Boring? I Think Not · As <a href='/ongoing/When/200x/2005/04/07/Liberals-Toast'>noted earlier</a>, we’ve got a minority government embroiled in a nasty scandal and an Opposition that sniffs blood in the water. So, what happened? The NDP, our left-wing party, agreed to prop up the Liberal government on condition that they get all sorts of social-democratic goodies into the Federal budget. But that’s not quite enough votes to do the job, and the Loyal Opposition, currently the Conservatives (Tories) and BQ (Québec separatists), were going to try to vote down the budget and precipitate an election. So the Liberals went out and bought themselves another vote, bribing prominent Tory billionairess <s>bimbo</s> <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belinda_Stronach'>Belinda Stronach</a> away to the Liberal side with a plummy cabinet job. That still wasn’t quite enough; vote-counters came up with 151 solid votes on the Government side, 152 against, and maverick Independent MP <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Cadman'>Chuck Cadman</a> sitting on the fence. Well, the vote happened this afternoon and nobody knew what was going to happen up until the second they called Chuck’s name; he stood up to vote with the Government, producing a tie, which due to parliamentary arcana that need not concern us is a government win. Bedlam erupted. I’m irritated because I wanted an election now, but I think the result is probably fair because near as I can tell a slight majority of the citizens would rather wait a few more months. You couldn’t make this stuff up. <i>[Update: I’m getting lots of push-back on “bimbo”.]</i> ...
1997 and 2005 · Back in 1997, when the shape of XML started to stabilize, I sort of appointed myself Chief Marketing Officer and gave the XML pitch to every conference audience and journalist and interested geek I could find. It was remarkable; pretty well everyone I pitched to said “Oh yeah, I could use something like that for...” and then mentioned an app that was almost never the kind of structured-document thing we thought we’d designed XML for. Flash forward eight years, and I find myself pitching Atom to all sorts of different people. What’s different is, instead of me pushing at them, I’m getting asked “Tell me about this Atom stuff.” What’s the same is that pretty well everyone I pitch to says “I could use something like that for...” and what comes after the dots either isn’t bloggy at all, or is some weird syndication angle I hadn’t thought of. I’m not saying history always repeats itself; just telling you what I’m hearing.
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