Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anyone outside of Scotland, is most likely unaware that there is an election May 3 for the Scottish Parliament and for Scotland's 32 councils. Most of you are probably unaware that Scotland has it's own Parliament as well.

Nevertheless, i am quite excited about the election because as a citizen of the Commonwealth and living in the UK, i am able to vote in elections. As such, it will be my first vote and considering i have restricted access to any public funds (and yet i pay full tax), i relish exploiting any government and community rights that i DO have. One of them being my right to vote and access to local libraries.

Speaking of Glasgow's libraries, i never knew how good i had it in Toronto: an on-line and electronic catalogue, the ability to request book transfers on-line, adding yourself to waiting lists and being able to see what number you were in the waiting list, and an abundance of any and every book/cd/film you ever wanted or read about briefly in the paper. In fact, the Toronto Public Library is the largest public library system in North America and is the WORLD'S second most used public library after Hong Kong. I loved the Toronto Public Library and in all honesty, i really do miss it. Although Glasgow's libraries DO have electronic catalogues, they are only accessible in the actual library. If you require a book to be transferred, you must inform a librarian who then does all the input and you receive a POSTCARD in the mail letting you know that your book is ready for pick-up. Bizarre.

Right, elections.

I'm quite excited about the prospect of voting and despite the libraries being fashionably out of date over here, for the first time Scotland is set to use electronic voting, raising fears amongst some. And rightfully justified fears too - remember Bush hijacking the 2000 election via Florida?! I guess making such bold (and obvious) statements as the one i just did and being a member of the NDP in Canada, you can pretty much determine as to whom i will be voting for.

List of Political Parties in Scotland


Cursed Tea said...

err ... no ... actually its not obvious!
I'm v curious though as a Scot who cannot vote in the May 3rd election (the only election on this planet I can vote in is the British General Election - not in the US I need citizenship first... they take my taxes just the same!!), I'm curious. My firends from the Uk are so fed up with Labour that a lot of them want an independant Scotland (and these are English friends!!).

Yes libraries this side of the pond are way better (except New Orleans - but then getting flooded tends to do that!!!).

Best Wishes

Mo said...

Not all Scottish libraries are as bad as Glasgow's. We can do all these things in Falkirk just between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I'm an ex librarian and I have to stick up for libraries!! I would imagine even Falkirk's are way behind Canada's though :-)

Interesting to read that you have a vote in the forthcoming elections - I didn't realise that.

Squirmy Popple said...

I miss American libraries. My hometown had two, both which had cafes and offered free DVD/CD rental. I requested an inter-library loan at the Hillhead library once and the librarian actually gave me a bit of an attitude. I haven't asked again.

Jennifer said...

Yes, the election will be interesting. i can't wait to vote1 i am such a nerd!

Mo - note taken about Falkirk libraries although i was once told that Falkirk is the "armpit of Scotland"! The libraries make me envious though