May 1st, 2006

krazy koati

Who's sad and blue, who's crying too

The first eight minutes of the evening news was on one piece of the election news. James Gomez -- you'll remember him as the Workers' Party candidate who pledged if elected to quit his job in Sweden, which only recently accepted the letter W into the language, and why did nobody on my Friends list mention that? -- complained Wednesday that he had not received his Minority Certificate, and warned an official there'd be consequences if he did not receive it. (Political parties are -- simplifying a bit -- required to nominate candidates from all the various major ethnic group, a measure intended to avoid race-linked political parties.)

The Elections Department reported Thursday that while Gomez picked up the papers on Monday, he left without turning them in. (I'm not clear who brought it to the news first.) Friday the Elections Department released to the media security camera footage of him picking up the forms, putting them in an envelope in his bag, and leaving. They also released a transcript of a phone call between Mr Gomez and one of their officials, in which Gomez said he was very happy to hear their side of the story and he would check his bag; and while it was too late for him to get a certificate that was not a problem.

Following the Prime Minister's calls Friday and Saturday for him to explain matters, Gomez apologized to the Elections Department, said he did not submit the application, and attributed his failure to turn it in to being distracted by the day's busy schedule. Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo complained the apology did not properly address the seriousness of the issue, as had there not been closed circuit footage an innocent civil servant would have been in trouble. Plus, as the Workers' Party wants accountability to be an issue, then who is to be accountable for Gomez's actions? For the particular seat Mr Gomez is contesting, he didn't need the certificate.

Who knew that in the middle of an election campaign, Usenet would break out?

Trivia: In 1344 Pope Clement VI invited Firmin of Belleval and John of Murs to recommend modifications to the Julian Calendar. Their reforms would have taken effect in 1349, had not the Black Death of 1347/8 rather disrupted matters. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar And Its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man Who Trusted Atoms, Carlo Cercignani.