Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

January 22nd, 2003

European Convention

A fairly good article by the BBC on the recent strengthening of the French/German alliance. The timing of these developments is interesting, and I’m not sure what to make of it. My personal reaction is to think about the current work of the convention on the future of the EU, and to consider that any constitutional arrangement will have to ensure that a French/German alliance does not dominate policy.

This is also likely to be the response of the leaders of the other members of the EU – and surely France and Germany know this. So could it be that this is exactly the response that the pair (or one of the pair) is looking for? If so why? I suppose it might push the federal cause a little further ahead, but I’m not sure it works that much. Another answer might be that they are trying to concentrate minds – France and Germany are moving forward on European integration, so other countries need to come forward with commitments on integration if they don’t want to be left behind.

Hopefully I’ll find some ideas on this out there somewhere…

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January 22nd, 2003

It’s rather chilly out

It’s been rather cold out recently. It’s not cold in the British sense of “it’s been really cold recently, there was a frost on the ground this morning!”, rather it’s been cold in the “beware you don’t freeze to death on your way to work”. This morning it was around -20C and, according to Environment Canada, it’s currently -16C. That’s without the wind chill. Thankfully this morning there was little in the way of wind, but tonight there is enough to put the forecast at a wind chill of -35C.

So it’s cold. Despite this coldness however I noticed, on the way home from work, that there are still a couple of shops in China-town that have their shop fronts completely open. When I type “shop fronts” I really mean it – the whole front of the shop – open to the elements, which currently means -16C. The increasing costs of energy in Ontario don’t seem to be biting as hard as perhaps they should.

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