Still celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Vancouver at Irish Heather

I was still in the mood to celebrate St. Patrick's Day last Thursday, even after putting a dragon boat in the March 13, St. Patrick's Day Parade for Celtic Fest Vancouver,
and creating my first Chinese St. Patrick's Day dinner party at the
Flamingo Restaurant on March 20 (actually an appreciation party for
volunteers and performers of the January 2005 Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dinner event).

My buddy Rod and I went down to the Irish Heather
in Gastown, where we listened to the celtic music of Tim Fanning and
his musical mates while we drank Guinness draft beer.  Tim was
playing the uileann pipes,
a more small room friendly type of bagpipes.  He alternated with
Irish flutes and penny whistles (I imagine the fingering is all the
same), while his mates played guitar, fiddle and bodhran – a celtic
hand drum. 

I first met Tim on a unseasonably cold October evening in 2003 when he played his bagpipes with the Paper Boys for the CBC TV performance special Gung Haggis Fat Choy.
Producer Moyra Rodger had turned the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Classical Gardens
into a large music video set where the Paper Boys performed in the
water pavillion, and were joined by Fanning on bagpipes and Jian Ming
Pan on Chinese flute.  It was a magical evening with the gardens
lit up especially for the music video, and it was brilliantly
transformed into the lead performance for the CBC special.

Tim is better known in Vancouver as Constable Tim Fanning, who
occasionally gives media reports for the Vancouver Police
Department.  He is a great guy, and was wearing a Chieftains
t-shirt that they gave him, when he met them.

Good company was easily found at the Irish Heather as I bumped into Janek Kuchmistrz,
a friend of a friend.  Janek remembered me as being the guy who
cleaned up the boardgame of Risk two Christmases ago.  I
remembered him the schoolteacher guy whom I immediately got along well
with.  Turns out that Janek is running as the Green Party candidate for Vancouver Burrard. 

We had a good chat about the new proposed referendum on proportional representations system
that will be voted on May 17.  This would allow for a more
balanced legislature instead of the overwhelming majority currently
controlled by the present Liberal government.  I believe that a
legislature that supports diversity should itself be inclusive of the
political voices in our province, based on proportional voting. 
This would mean that I could still support good people from both the
Liberal and NDP parties such as Jenny Kwan  and a handful of Liberal such as Richard Lee
The objective of a Opposition Party is to provide a balance in the
legislature.  Remember that when Frank McKenna completely won the
Liberal landslide in New Brunswick he purposely set up a opposition of
Liberal backbenchers – something BC's Gordon Campbell failed to
do.  If we truly value diversity in a multicultural society, then
I also believe we have to value diversity in a political legislature
too!

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