Passport To Everyday Life

I just went to get a passport photo.  I even put on a tie, a rarity in Vancouver.  Although I don’t have any immediate plans to leave the country, you never know when you might.  Hey, it’s possible that I could win a fabulous vacation somewhere warm and exotic.

Imagine it happens to you – and you don’t have a passport.  What if your prize has to be claimed within a limited window of time?  Or you want to take it before winter is over.  Have you seen the lines of people at the passport office?  Have you heard how long it takes these days?

Ever since the Americans decided that Canadians would need a passport even for day trips, there’s been a huge backlog.  That kind of annoys me because if I did  go somewhere, it wouldn’t be to the U.S. – not without a specific reason, anyway.  No offence to any American readers, but it’s just not exotic enough.

Florida?  Seen too many pictures of other people ‘relaxing’ there.  Vegas?  I spent the longest week of my life in a casino here, one night.  The thought of a whole city like that makes me appreciate other possibilities all the more.  Hawaii?  Hmmm… maybe, but if you’re going to go that far, why not carry on to Tahiti or some other Pacific paradise?

It’s not really a vacation if you go some place you see every day.  The U.S. is all over the media.  It’s in the papers, on TV, in movies, on the internet.  Shit, I even just excused myself in advance because I assumed they would be reading this.  If I were to go on vacation, it would be to get away from ‘them’.  Is there a corner of the world that hasn’t heard of them yet?  Some place that doesn’t cover the entire year long campaign before they actually hold an election?

What the fuck is a primary, anyway?  And why the fuck should an American even care, let alone me?  Why can’t they just get down to it like civilized people and say, “Here they are – Asshole #1, Asshole #2, Asshole #3, and Asshole #4 –  pick one.”

Anyway, as I said, I have no plans to go to the U.S. or anywhere else, right away.  But it seems we need photo ID for so many other things these days, and my old passport expired.  So I have to spend ten bucks on photos and another hundred on the application, just in case I ever need it.

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5 Responses to “Passport To Everyday Life”

  1. C. Fraser Says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to get my own passport renewed. *sigh*

    The American system sort-of gives more power to the people to choose their leader. Mostly it just feels like a media driven event to stimulate interest in something that is ultimately futile, and keep people’s attention away from issues that are truly important.

  2. paulmct Says:

    It also makes me wonder what all those politicians are doing for a whole year – while collecting their salaries. Does anything actually get done while they keep repeating the same positions all that time?

    I could understand what you and others have written about the process empowering the people if anything new was said, but it isn’t. It sounds like the same stuff over and over. It doesn’t take that long to get to know where candidates stand or what they’re all about. We do it in six weeks, and I feel just as informed as Americans, if not more.

  3. John Says:

    And renewing my passport online I go…

  4. C. Fraser Says:

    Well, in theory, for most of the political American world things should be business as usual. Most candidates who run for leadership of their party will resign their offices if they are a current elected official (sometimes they don’t as Kerry didn’t last election).

    As to empowering the people – it’s less about the issues, really, and more about allowing people to vote for who they want to represent each party. Any registered voter can vote in primaries, the rule can vary a little from state to state, as in if you are registered Republican you can only vote for the Republican representatives in some states in Primaries, while in other states you just have to be a registered voter and you can vote for any candidate for any party. You can also register as an independent, which gives you more flexibility.

    Caucuses are a whole different matter and I don’t really understand them.

    Compare that to Canada where we, the general public, don’t have a say in who the party’s choose for their leaders. It seems to be more of a ‘club’ system as to who is allowed to be involved in the process.

  5. paulmct Says:

    John: Thanks for reading.

    CF: Yeah, you have to be a party member to have a say in parties here, as far as I know. Having said that, if polls or some kind of expression of public sentiment showed that one candidate would fare much better in an election than others, it would be noticed and probably have an effect on who the party chooses.

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