ramble through the bronx

yes, this here is ramble through the bronx, the continuing musings of a graduate student* who should be writing her dissertation, but honestly, living in new york city there's really so much else to do...

* and her commenting friends. And guest blogger.
[welcome to ramble through the bronx | bloghome
[I wish I was a mole in the ground]
Meredith [>] (NYC/Toronto)
Emily [>] (Brooklyn)
Emily's music site[>]
Jeremy [>] (Bronx)
Ryan [>] (Bronx)
non-NYC people I miss
Jennifer [>] (Toronto)
Tokyo Tintin[>] (Tokyo/Toronto)
Dawn [>] (Ottawa)
Caitlyn [>] (Ottawa)
CBC [>] (my true love)
del.icio.us/janeyjane [>] (my social link collection, alas, not updated lately. I am apparently not delicious)
The Keeper [>] (try it, you'll love it)
comics sites that I check every day
Newsarama [>] (check out the 'blog' section especially)
When Fangirls Attack [>] (women in comics links)
politics, media, and gossip
AlterNet [>]
'Fuddle duddle' incident [>]
The Nation [>]
Catholic stuff
America Magazine [>] magazine of US Jesuits
Commonweal Magazine [>] biweekly magazine of lay Catholics
Karl Rahner Society [>] site dedicated to awesome 20th c. theologian
Liberal Catholic News [>] blog for progressive catholics
Pacem in Terris [>] Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical
music - mostly folk music and banjo links
The How and Tao of Folk Music [>] Patrick Costello's podcasts & banjo & folk guitar instruction
Back Porch News [>]News, Commentary & Links for the folkie community
E-Z Folk [>]Folk music instruction and tabulature
amuse yourself
Piled Higher and Deeper [>] (comic about grad student life)
Cat and Girl [>] just what it sounds like
The Onion [>]
Sluggy Freelance [>]
The Boondocks [>]
Eric Conveys an Emotion [>]
Society for Women in Philosophy [>]
the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy [>]
The Hegel Society of America[>]
North American Fichte Society[>]
Journal of Neoplatonic Studies [>]
Women Philosophers [>]
Brian Leiter's blog [>]
Harper's [>]
Neil Gaiman [>]
Charles de Lint [>]
Making Light [>]
McSweeney's [>]
WFUV [>]
Anti-pedantry page: Singular 'their' in Jane Austen [>]
places I miss
Cafe Diplomatico [>] (Toronto)
The Red Room [>] (Toronto)
The Free Times Cafe [>] (Toronto)
Sneaky Dee's [>] (Toronto... aka Sneaky Disease, best nachos in town)
Kensington Market [>] (Toronto)
College Street [>] (Toronto)
Perfection Satisfaction Promise [>] (Ottawa - formerly the Painted Potato)
Piccolo Grande [>] (Ottawa)
The Market [>] (Ottawa)
Stray cats of Parliament Hill [>] (Ottawa)
other nonsense
Mozilla [>]
Abebooks [>]
Alibris [>]
Metafilter [>]
and thank you
Thanks to Haloscan for blog-comment-ability

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Is the Nunavut government as Inuk as it could be?

The CBC has an interesting article on the current state of the Nunavut legislature (their elections were held yesterday).

Here's an excerpt:

'In the chamber, there are attempts to bring the best of Inuit culture to government. The speaker sits at the front, the seats of the MLAs placed in a circle before him. It's consensus government here. Like in the Northwest Territories, there are no political parties. Behind the MLAs is another row of seats. They are for elders.

'Nunavut's first senior justice of the peace, Alexina Kublu, says Inuit were expecting elders to play an important role in the Nunavut legislature. The seats are there for them, she says, but they are rarely used.

'"Elders don't like to be just a ceremonial role," Kublu says. "They do not want to be equated with the mace. Whenever elders are present they want to feel that they've been invited to attend an occasion because they're able to bring in worthwhile input."'

Doesn't that sort of highlight the problem? The whole idea of a set government seems to involve some set stable ceremonial & static elements, which maybe doesn't translate so well. I don't know.

Meanwhile, the CBC also pointed out that "Kelvin Ng had to find proper footwear for his budget speech, something that reflected the serious message he had to give his fellow MLAs. So when the finance minister stood up in Nunavut's house last March, he wore kamiik. And not even new ones. The used pair of seal-skin boots symbolized what he wanted to tell the house. Money was going to get tight, so it was time to be frugal and sensible." This article explains Nunavut's budget issues, which are incredibly serious. Also -- remember the population pyramids we had to draw in OAC World Issues? [insert other high school civics-type class here] -- there are population pyramids provided for Canada as a whole and for Nunavut. Nunavut's are strongly pyramid in shape -- just like a "third world nation" (if I were Derrida I would put that phrase sous rature, but I make do with quotes... where did the expression scare quotes come from?).

The CBC writes:
'While the territory makes up more than one-fifth of the Canadian landmass, there are only about 30,000 Nunavumiut, spread over 25 communities ranging in population from a few dozen to the largest, Iqaluit, at 6,000.

'And the needs of those people are huge. A look at a population-age graph tells the story: while the country as a whole has a baby-boom bulge in the middle of the graph, with fewer younger and older people, Nunavut's graph is a pyramid: fully 60 per cent of the population is under the age of 25.

'There is massive unemployment in Nunavut, 80 per cent or higher in some communities. And with the population boom comes a desperate need for new schools, training, and jobs. Municipal governments need water systems, sewage treatment plants, roads and arenas. Vast amounts of money go to health care. Then there are the social problems; alcholism, depression, violent crime, and suicide. People need help, support, and programs.'

For now, Nunavut's only source of revenue is the federal government, which has to be convinced to free up extra money. While Nunavut has natural resources that could be exploited, they (according to the CBC article, though I wasn't clear precisely why this is the case) would not receive direct revenues therein. (I guess it's their status as a territory, that forbids them that autonomy over federally-mandated natural resources?)

Remind me to continue reading up on this. Nunavut is fascinating because they're trying to do things differently, but still within the constraints of the Canadian system. I'm really intrigued by what's possible, as well as frustrated about the problems. I doubt Nunavut really needs a philosophy professor to lecture them on Hegel, but... I wonder how hard it would be to learn Inuk?

and just in case you wanted this

The CBC also wants you to have Nunacom, an Inuk font for PC or Macintosh. So go ahead & download.

Also, (whew!) here's the link to Rick Mercer's Monday Report take on the Nunavut elections. Alas but I have never been able yet to enjoy this show, being stuck in Yankeeland. But a video is posted. And a picture. Mmm, Rick Mercer...

jane 11:50 AM [+]

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