Vote and Read

“Now that we’re through Halloween, Hallows Eve and the Day of the Dead we can get on with life,” I said to Camp after Vicky delivered our first round of welcome beers.”

“My friend’s mom had 130 kids at her door,” Vicky said.

“Wow, that’s a lot of candy.”

“Yeah, guess what my nephew’s costume was.”

“Pirate, astronaut?”

“Nope, “serial” killer. He had three boxes of cereal with a knife through them strapped to his back.”

“That’s hilarious,” Camp guffawed, “myself, I’m reluctantly decorating for the next event, the biggest one for book stores.”

“All sales day,” I quipped.

Camp ignored my remark. “Now, that we’re through the mid-terms across the border we can relax and carry on,” Camp said.

“Yeah, it’s still a very polarized and divided country even though they elected a record number of women to the house including the first Native American, two Muslim women and a Somali refugee to congress. Over 90 women have been elected.”

“I always said that women should rule this planet. We’d all be better off,” Camp said.

“And here at home we get to decide the next voting system,” I said. “First Past the Post, FPTP or PR, proportional representation and then 3 different options for the PR model. It’s all rather confusing and I’ll be surprised if there is any change, because it’s too complicated and people don’t want to spend the time analysing and studying three different proposals. They vote for the devil they know rather than the devil they don’t.”

“Yes, it is confusing,” Camp said, “ but proportional representation would do exactly what its name implies. If a party wins 50% of the vote, it get’s 50% of the seats. I like that. Just which of the three proposed systems, two of which have never been used anywhere, is the best is a hard call, since the details, like riding sizes and boundaries and numbers of MLA’s are fuzzy.”

“What about single issue parties like a ‘Hells Angles’ party or a ‘’Vegetarian Only’ party or worse yet, a nationalist fascist party.  If they get 2% of the vote, they get 2% of legislative seats.”

“Well, under the current system it’s winner takes all, as in the last federal election where the Liberals won 55% of the seats with only 39% of the popular vote. And is it fair that 51% of the vote takes all and the other 49% are left out?”

“By the way how is your new book coming along?” Camp asked.

“It’s done and I have just received five boxes of books from the printer. Now I have to promote and sell them, which is the part I like the least. Selling myself has never been my strong point.”
“Congratulations. Tell me again what it’s about. Make it short. We don’t want the beer to go flat,” Camp said.

“It’s a love story that’s set in Mexico, between a rich girl and a poor campesino.  They’re forced apart because of class differences. It’s also a story of people from different places and backgrounds coming together over a defining issue, in this case the proposed construction of a nuke plant on a pristine lake. Also the two young lovers find themselves on opposite sides of the issue. If you want to know the rest you have to read the book.”

“What’s it called again?”

Mariposa Intersections. The main protagonist is from the town where the butterfly sanctuary is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of central Mexico.”

“Well, I want you to do a signing at my store and I’ll make sure to put it front and centre for the xmas season.”

“I guess I’ll buy this round Camp. It’s not a bribe; it’s strictly appreciation. By the way I have an official launch at the Sechelt Art Centre on 22nd of November. It happens to be a Thursday so we’ll have to postpone our weekly chin wag.”

“You boys ready for another round,” Vicky asked while swapping our empties for two full ones before we had a chance to answer.

“Did you know Vicky that our friend here has written a new book?” Camp said.

“Oh, what is it? A thriller or a fantasy?”

“It’s classified as romance,” I said, quickly taking a sip to avoid further explanation.

“Oh, I didn’t figure you for a romantic,” Vicky said.

“I didn’t either,” I said.


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