Episode 93: Quebec's Parti Nul and the Protest Vote, Reykjavik's Accidental Mayor, Should I Read It? Zadie Smith's NW, The Future of Rollercoasters, Atlas Shrugged 2, Encore: Kate Bornstein


Quebec's Parti Nul and the Protest Vote ** Reykjavik's Accidental Mayor ** Should I Read It? Zadie Smith's NW ** The Future of Rollercoasters ** Atlas Shrugged 2 ** Encore: Kate Bornstein


quebec_patch_flag_publish.jpgVoters in Quebec are increasingly dubious about democracy. Also in Spain, the U.S.- even in Egypt where democracy is just a few months old- people are losing faith in the system.

Many frustrated voters will spoil their ballots in next week's election in Quebec, but we won't know how many because the election law states spoiled ballots aren't counted. So a new party has been formed just to give Quebec voters the option of "none of the above".

We talk to the Parti Nul about what they're bringing to the ballot box.

gnarr_publish.jpgHe Started the Joke

Sometimes there's another option on the ballot: the joke candidate. Municipal elections seem to attract these satirical alternatives like when Mr. Peanut ran for Mayor of Vancouver in 1974, or performance art collective The Hummer Sisters threw their hats into the race in Toronto.

Stubbs the Cat was elected mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska 15 years ago and has held office ever since, but it's an honourary title and Talkeetna is a small town.

But in Iceland, the biggest city Reykjavik surprised the world in 2010 by electing a candidate who pledged "a drug free parliament by 2020" and a further promise to break all promises. 

Jon Gnarr was a joke candidate who now finds himself as Mayor of Reykjavik making serious decisions. We wanted to know how his view of democracy has changed since he mounted his joke campaign.

coaster_publish.jpgSteel Thunder

Just when you think they've done it all, high tech roller coasters are pushing the boundaries of fear. Engineers are constantly finding ways to go higher, steeper and faster and to bring the G's.

One super coaster in the U.K. sent crash test dummies out on their rails for a beta test in January. They came back limbless.

How far can they push the envelope? Probably more than we can imagine. We try to wrap our heads around the new technologies of the super coaster and what's coming down the track.

zadie_publish.jpgShould I Read It?

Zadie Smith was a star before her first novel saw the light of day. In 2000, when White Teeth hit the stands, word was already out about the huge advance she'd been paid.

But the reviews agreed she was worth it. The New York Times called her "preternaturally gifted" and compared her to Dickens and Rushdie.

Her latest novel NW is her first in seven years. Reviews have been slightly mixed but most are still dazzled by Smith's brilliance. We didn't know if we should read it so we put it to Becky Toyne for the Day 6 test.

atlas shrugged_publish.jpgBox Office Shrugged

Ayn Rand, the objectivist atheist novelist and philosopher, got a boost last week when Paul Ryan was added to the Republican ticket.

The Wisconsin congressman once gave huge props to Rand for influencing his politics. He has since rejected her, but people like Stephen Colbert aren't buying that. They think Ryan reeks of Rand.

This fall a feature film based on Rand's book Atlas Shrugged is hitting theatres. It's actually Atlas Shrugged Part Two. Part One came out in April and was a big bomb.

Carman Melville says it's not too late to turn Atlas Shrugged Part Two into a megahit.

Kate_Bornstein-FINAL_publish.jpgA Queer and Pleasant Danger

One of the most charming and fascinating people we've welcomed to Day 6 is on this week's show.

Writer, gender activist, performer Kate Bornstein used to be a high ranking Scientologist who sailed with L. Ron Hubbard on his ship, The Apollo. Back then, she was Al Bornstein.

She says she was trusted with large transactions of the church's capital. But she was excommunicated by Scientology, cut off from her family. Kate eventually changed her gender.

Her new book A Queer and Pleasant Danger is full of insight and an overall hopefulness that you'll hear in her voice when you listen to our conversation. Kate is great.

And here we are- September, Labour Day, primary season, back-to-school- lots going on. Day 6 is primed for an exciting fall season and hope you'll be with us on the radio or through the podcast.

Have a nice long weekend. See you in seven.


Brent Bambury @CBCDay6

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