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Quick Hits, Volume XXXVII

Greg at Sinister Thoughts wonders why it is the Conservatives that are blocking electoral reform.

The answer is that, while the Liberals have enjoyed many majorities as a result of first-past-the-post voting, the Conservatives also benefit from FPTP. After all, how can there be a Conservative majority government without FPTP? It has been done, but would seem unlikely when 70% of the electorate today supports parties to the left of the CPC.

On the other hand, the Conservatives could solve their merger problems if we had proportional representation. They could revert to two parties, each representing a different constituency in parliament. No longer would the Red Tories and the social conservatives need to struggle over the direction of their party.

It sounds like the NHL Players are finally taking my advice.

The Conservatives are using the filibuster to delay the same-sex marriage bill from coming to Parliament. Several commentators have suggested the CPC would be better off letting this one slip through, just to eliminate one controversial point of critcism against them. However, Conservative strategists must think they can win an edge with this issue.

What's important to keep in mind is that Paul Martin could have made this legislation a long time ago. He chose to delay and avoid responsibility for it by sending it to the Supreme Court.

Joe Volpe is holding fundraisers that some suggest are meant for a potential Liberal leadership bid. It is hard to imagine Volpe as Prime Minster. Then again, the Liberals seem to have a pretty weak field these days. I can only think of one that I like.

The Province of Ontario is contributing some money to a cultural centre at the Don Valley Brick Works. It looks like a nice project, but I can't think of a place in Toronto that is harder to reach by transit.

In today's Globe, John Barber raises the alarm (Google shortcut link) that Toronto has perhaps been had by Daniel Libeskind and his ROM Crystal.

Barber suggests that the ROM decision-makers went for a revolutionary but inferior design, partly as a result of a need to make a world-class statement through a celebrity architect. Mark Kingwell has a lot more to say about it in an article titled "The Art of Being Too Clever By Half".

Pictures of the current ROM, Libeskind's design, and the runners-up can be found here.

I haven't been past the ROM recently, but Barber is right that there is an awful lot of steel and not very much glass for a "crystal". Kingwell's article points out that changes had to be made once the engineers got involved.




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