Portuguese presidential elections

on 11:11 pm

So have you seen any of the six men you see here on the right in your town? They've been adding up the kilometres travelling up and down and across this country trying to convince you to vote for them (if you're eligible that is, or in other words, if you're Portuguese).
This Sunday, January 23rd, Portugal will go to the polls to pick out its President of the Republic. Now many of you may ask: why a President of the Republic if there's a Prime Minister already?

Well the President of the Republic, theoretically, has grand powers - to guarantee unity of the State and regulate the functionality of democracy in Portugal. What does this mean? It means that s/he has the power to dissolve government when s/he sees fit. Since the 25 de Abril, only once has this happened (Jorge Sampaio did away with the government of Pedro Santana Lopes in 2004). Sounds like a great job doesn't it? I bet s/he gets the best pair of scissors in the country though. Ribbon cuttings anyone?

So how does one go about convincing the people that 'if I wanted to, I could dissolve a government better then the others'? From my experience today, in two word: free giveaways. Pens, pocket calendars, ballons for the kids... Well I guess that's not that bad, after all there was the one guy up north who offered up refrigerators in exchange for votes (that's Valentim Loureiro mayor of the municipality of Gondomar by the way).

And so now I sit questioning myself: should I vote for the guy whose campaign people provided me with a free pocket calendar today? Will he be the right guy for government dissolving when government dissolving is needed? Will he even know when the situation requires some government dissolving?

Oh decisions! Such are the pains of democracy.

The CBC logo: as simple as we are ... and we're keeping it that way

on 12:00 pm

Do you recognise the above logo? Of course you do. It's the CBC logo. It's been a mainstay of Canadian culture for ages - simple and never changing.

Pernonally, I'm a fan of CBC3 radio. I often listen to it online while I'm working. Recently though, Gene Simmons the money grubbing bass player of the rock n'roll industry that is the band KISS, made an appearance on CBC3 and while on the radio show hosted by CBC3 radio man Grant Lawrence, stated:

"It (the CBC logo) means nothing to anyone outside this country (Canada). I want brands that mean something to everyone all over the world. It needs something like a lit fuse..."

End result:
Gene Simmons, the man who frequently advertises himself as a symbol of the American dream, reverts to a bomb as a selling point to the CBC. The American dream: sell everything at any cost. Wow, that's cool! Makes you want to run to go listen to the CBC! And you wonder why people think Canadians are so nice and Americans ... well insert your judgement here.

This is not the Canadian way of being cool. No guns, no bombs, no hand grenades needed. The CBC logo is a reflection of Canadian society - true to what it is: simple, peaceful, respectful and traditional, with no obligation to be anything other then that, even when the marketing geniuses south of the border come up with 'explosive' ideas to sell what is Canadian.

I mean lets face it, the CBC, just like Canada, is closer to these two images then to any exploding bomb:

We're talking about the country where you're kindly asked to stop at an intersection and where the moose greet you with a smile.