Following the good advice of an instructor from last term, I am resolving for 2015 to write for 15 minutes every day!

To be precise, the advice was to write material with a non-zero probability of appearing in my thesis. I realized that I already do spend more than 15 minutes writing each day, but without much focus. Instead, I comment in various places, or write blurbs to frame articles and other links shared on Facebook.

Though I probably spend more time on these non-research-related words than I should, that doesn't make them valueless. In fact, I usually choose to share or comment on things that strongly interest me—in 2014, these included transportation debates in the Toronto mayoral election, and government science and science policy in Canada, among many others.

A more pertinent problem is that I am contributing "content" to others' websites in a way that doesn't help me to review my own writing. For instance, on the topics mentioned, it is hard to know how many times I have banged a particular drum, or to check how my views (or my ways of presenting them) have evolved.

So, in order to centralize some of that miscellaneous writing, and to create a venue to use when I don't have anything thesis-related to write, I am resurrecting the blog (yet again).

One theme that will feature:

Platform 2015

Canada's next federal election is on Monday, October 19, 2015. In 2011, I set out to write one post per day of the 36-day campaign and—predictably—failed within a week. It was too high a volume to promise, and probably began too late to make a difference.

This year, my goal will be to highlight, earlier, issues that I think should be important in the election. Again, many will stem from the current government's failures, but it is not enough to simply point these out. It would be quite dangerous for the opposition Liberals or NDP to skate to power solely on criticism of the Conservatives' record. In doing so, they would avoid making concrete policy promises they could be held to, once in office.

So my task is to make not negative but instead positive statements—to describe a platform I would gladly vote for. Doing so before the campaign officially begins and the parties' strategies are set in stone, I might convince you to write to candidates and others, asking them to state a clear position on these topics.

I don't promise any particular schedule (i.e., tomorrow's 15 minutes may not produce a Platform 2015 post), but would welcome feedback and topic suggestions—please leave a comment!


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