A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Balkanization of Canadian Politics, or The Game That Nobody Wins...

Today, Canadians all over the country will be voting in the most "interesting" election that we have had in many years. The last three elections were Liberal majority sweeps, but this latest election will most certainly lead to a minority government.

No one party will win the 155 seats needed to claim a majority, and the parties that will win seats are very different in outlook. The biggest factor in this Balkanization is the Bloc Quebecois, (BQ) which will win 60 or so seats that will not be used to form the government.

The Liberals and the Conservatives will each win 100-110 seats, and the NDP will probably win 25 or so seats.

So, no one party will control 155 seats, and the BQ has said that they will not ally themselves with any party to form the government. So, what this all means is that the Governor General will pick either the Liberals or the Conservatives to form the Government, and once they lose a vote of confidence in the house, Parliament will be dissolved and we will do this all over again in 6-12 months...

I believe that Canadians need a strong Federal Government, to represent our interests on the world stage. As a country, we have done many good and noble things. We have fought in the wars that we thought were just, we have tried to bring peace to war torn countries, we have tried to feed the poor and to instil our values of fairness, civil liberty and community service throughout the world. I am proud to be Canadian, and I hope that this current political dilemma helps to remind us how fortunate we are to be Canadian.

The main requirement for a functioning democracy is an educated, informed and involved electorate. If you are Canadian and you are able to vote, you should do your best to get out there and vote. It will be good practise for 6-12 months down the road....


Friday, June 25, 2004

Goa - Impressions

I have had one opportunity to play Goa, after reading the rules a few times. I got to play with two other players, both of whom had played Puerto Rico before, and so they were somewhat familiar with this type of game.

We all enjoyed the game, and are looking forward to our next match. Goa is definitely in the Princes of Florence-Puerto Rico vein, and it might be too dry for some players. The main interaction is in the placement of the auction tokens and the auction itself. Other than that, it is largely multi player solitaire. But, all this aside, it is very engaging. It is a very deep game, and I believe that the internal economy, combined with the auctions, will make this game a bit harder to solve than Puerto Rico, where skilled players have optimum moves planned ahead for a few turns.

I reccomend Goa to players that like deep, thoughtful games that involve planning and developping your economy.

Hello World... 8-)

Hi, my name is Mark, and I am a Geek..

"Hello Mark"

I come not to bury GeekHood but to praise it.. Why are we Geeks? Generally, because we are seen as possessing arcane knowledge not shared by others. And when a person knows something that others do not, they are marked as "different". And as we all know, being "different" is bad, since most people spend inordinate amounts of time trying to be the same as everyone else!

Well, I am not the same. I like to read, I enjoy solving puzzles, playing games, talking about politics, debating issues, expanding my mind, quoting Monty Python and trying to figure out who the heck the Nazi Alien in the season finale of Enterprise is..

In case you missed the title of the blog, some of my main interests are games, and by this I mean board games, card games, strategy games, Eurogames et al. I had one of my biggest moments of Geek pride when, upon asking my girl friend that all important question on our first date, "What is your favourite game", she replied "Board game or card game?"

(Her favourite board game was Clue, The Great Museum Caper, and her favourite card game was playing Uno with her family during the holidays...)

Just to be clear, she is a real, live, beautiful, intelligent woman, and no, you cannot have her email address, go find your own smart, sexy game playing girlfriend! Being a Geek is not a license to live in your parents' basement, you should get out and experience real life too!

So stay tuned until next time, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel...