Sunday 27 March 2011

2011 Canadian Federal Election: Twitter Hash Tags

So the Harper government has fallen, and Canadians will go to the polls on 2 May 2011 to vote for a new government. I'm new to this: I'm British-Canadian, but I've spent 24 of my 33 years in the UK. Last October I had my first experience as a voter in Canada, participating in the 2010 St Catharines Municipal Election. The upcoming election will be my first federal vote.

I'm honestly undecided which way to vote. I've followed Canadian politics somewhat since moving back here in 2009, and none of the major political parties has convinced me. But Twitter may be coming to my rescue, as I get talking with some of the candidates, journalists, political pundits and ordinary voters with an interest in the election. The hash tags are confusing me a bit, however, so here, with help from Twitter Search, PoliTwitter and David Akin, I'm going to gather a list of Twitter hash tags to make conversing a bit easier. Hopefully, some other tweeps will find it useful, too.

Glossary of Canadian Politics/2011 Canada Federal Election Twitter Hash Tags

Note: #cdnpoli, #elxn41 and #cv11 are (in my observation) by far the most popular English-language Twitter hash tags for the 2011 Federal Election.

#abc Anyone but Harper
#canpoli Canadian politics
#cdescom French-Canadian political discussion
#cdnleft Canadian left
#cdnpoli Canadian politics
#clsh Conservative leader Stephen Harper
#cpc Conservative Party of Canada
#ctvelexn CTV election coverage
#cv11 Canada vote 2011
#demreform Canadian democratic reform
#elxn41 41st Canadian federal election
#emayin Social media campaign to get Green Party leader Elizabeth May a place in the leadership debate
#fed2011 French-language Canadian election tweets
#gpc Green Party of Canada
#ignatieff Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff
#layton NDP Leader Jack Layton
#lpc Liberal Party of Canada
#momthevote Moms' discussion of family-related election issues (see this blog)
#ndp New Democratic Party of Canada
#p2ca Progressives in Canada
#pmharper Prime Minister Stephen Harper
#pmsh Prime Minister Stephen Harper
#poli politics -- append it to another term to localize it, eg, #niagpoli (Niagara), #canpoli (Canada)
#ppca Pirate Party of Canada
#ptndp New Democrats
#pttory Canadian Tories
#roft Right of Twitter (Canadian Conservative bloggers)
#voteabc Vote anyone but Harper
#votecompass CBC Vote Compass
#votemay2 Vote on May 2nd
#votepirate Vote Pirate Party of Canada

Geographical 2011 Election Hash Tags (Ridings and Regions)

#niagpoli Niagara
#saultelx Sault Ste Marie

Please tweet me or add a comment here if you have a hash tag to add to the glossary.

Thursday 17 March 2011

British horror legend Michael Gough dies at 94

The British actor Michael Gough has passed away at the age of 94.

The star of countless horror films was at his wild-eyebrowed best as over-the-top villains such as the sadistic crime writer Edmond Bancroft in Horrors of the Black Museum (1960) and the scheming impresario Lord Ambrose D'Arcy in the Hammer film The Phantom of the Opera (1962). He was a ham, but we loved him.

Among his other notable horror films were The Horror of Dracula (1958), Konga (1961), Dr Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and The Skull (1965). No doubt Gough's status as a cult icon in the horror genre led to Tim Burton's decision to cast him as butler Alfred in Batman (1989), a role he reprised in three sequels and on BBC radio.

Outside horror, his movie credits included The Man in the White Suit (1951), Ill Met by Moonlight (1957), Out of Africa (1985), Let Him Have It (1991) and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

Adieu and RIP, Michael Gough (1916-2011).

Thursday 10 March 2011

Ash Wednesday: You Only Live Once

The Ash Wednesday words "From dust you came and to dust you shall return" have particular resonance for this Anglican agnostic. You only live once; you're here and then you're gone; therefore "turn from sin and be faithful to Christ."

It's a call to seize the moment, to begin a quest to make our own meaning out of life's meaninglessness, turn away from the things that hinder us, do what we know we should do, live how we know we should live, and be as we know we should be. Why? Because we only live once. It's our one and only shot.

I wish there were a literal resurrection and that life really were a journey towards an afterlife, but I don't have any reason to think it is. The Lenten journey -- from Ash Wednesday's brutal confrontation with life's fleeting nature, through the agony of Maundy Thursday and the death of Good Friday, to the resurrection of Easter Sunday -- is a journey from meaninglessness to meaning, from the bare bones of existence to a life that matters.