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May 28, 2004

Ver 2.0

Well, here we go again. I'm going to give sobersecondthought.com another go.

To kick things off, here's what I wrote about the site the first time around:

This is my new web spot, launched on January 31, 2003. I intend to use it to ramble -- mostly for my own benefit, I can only imagine -- about various things political.

I've had it in my mind to create a website called sobersecondthought for quite some time now. The original impetus for this site had to do with some media-related frustrations (long story). Now I see it serving, at least initially, as an outlet for the types of politics/policy ramblings that I have kept largely internalized to date (for your safety).

And what is "sober second thought"? Until I did a bit of web searching in advance of my domain name registration, I didn't realize that -- with regards to "popular use" -- the expression is most common in Canada (see Google).

What I did know, of course, is that in Canada it is most often used to refer to our Senate or "upper" legislative chamber. The website Youthfluence (Youthfluence?! No wonder young people don't vote...) describes the Senate's role in part as a "watchdog [...] giving "sober second thought" to actions taken by the House of Commons." The origins of the expression date back to 1867. Canada's first Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, described the Senate as:

"... the Upper House ... which has the sober second-thought in legislation ..."

"It must be an independent House, having a free action of its own, for it is only valuable as being a regulating body, calmly considering the legislation initiated by the popular branch, and preventing any hasty or ill considered legislation which may come from that body, but it will never set itself in opposition against the deliberate and understood wishes of the people."

-- Parliamentary Debates on Confederation of British North American Provinces [Quebec 1867, Ottawa, 1951], pp. 35 and 36 respectively

So there you have it. My hope is to spill some interesting ponderings onto these pages. Sober second thoughts? Well, I expect that I will generally be sober, if nothing else. Whether my political reflections occasionally do any justice to the Senate's important mandate remains to be seen.

Huh. No kidding. Well, in order to help things along a little better this time around, I figure a few simple guiding principles are in order:

Both of which I'm violating right now. Excellent. Here goes nothing!

Posted by anatole at May 28, 2004 02:54 AM