Sunday, October 20, 2019

Why I don't live in Canada but I still voted there


In the leadup to Canada's federal elections tomorrow*, there's been lots of talk about whether expatriate Canadians should have the right to vote. 

* (yeah, I know, super-awesome that they did it again on a Jewish holiday!)

Last time around, we didn't.  They changed the law to say you could only vote if you'd been gone less than 5 years and intended to return.  We were under 5 years, but couldn't honestly say we planned to return to live in Canada.  So our rights were taken away.

But this year, in response to a legal challenge from a pair of Canadians abroad, the Supreme Court reinstated our rights.  The 5-year condition, they said, made no sense and hadn't been instituted in response to any particular problem, real or perceived. 

Still -- lots of Canadians, including some of my beloved family members, don't think we should be voting.  They're not alone.  I don't have statistics, so I can't say most, but I know many people back there feel that we shouldn't get to vote unless we sleep on Canadian soil a certain number of days each year.  And a few days ago, CBC ran an op-ed by Mark Reynolds, an expat who claims, "I don't live in Canada anymore. I shouldn't have the right to vote in its elections."

As I'll explain below, the Supreme Court disagreed, and I disagreed.  Here are a few reasons why.

1) Being Canadian didn't stop the minute we moved to Israel. 

If anything, we became more Canadian once we were here.  All of a sudden, instead of being "the Jews" in our neighbourhood in Toronto, we were "the Americans" in our neighbourhood in Israel -- and, after we explained to everybody, sometimes more than once, that it's not the same thing, "the Canadians."

It sometimes takes weirdly a long time

Friday, October 04, 2019

Mmm... Crispy! Why air-drying towels rocks


Fabric softener commercials have convinced most of us that the best, maybe even only good way for towels to be is... fluffy.  Just pop them in the dryer with the right product and presto, they're baby soft in minutes.

But why?  Why is fluffy the only or better way?

After years of air-drying laundry, I'm going to be brave enough to step up here in this public forum and say it:  three cheers for crispy towels!

A crispy towel is STRONG.  Sturdy.  Tactile.  Japanese people apparently love the idea of scrubbing off yinky dead skin.  A crispy towel can do that for you.  It can practically