It's Tuesday, November 4th.
Residents of San Francisco are voting on a ballot initiative that would change the name of the local treatment facility to the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant." The local chair of the Republican Party calls the idea "Loony bin direct democracy."
Currently, Of course if the ballot passes, the loony bin will be the "Sarah L. Palin Centre for Interventions in Mental Health."
This is The Current.
Across the United States today, election officials are bracing for what could be the biggest voter turnout in American history. Most Americans have made up their minds, including the major U.S. newspapers which have endorsed candidates. Some media in this Country have done the same.
This morning, we gathered journalists from some of Canada's major news organizations to find out who they think should be U.S. President. John Cruickshank is the Publisher of CBC News and the former Publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times. John Geiger chairs the Globe and Mail's Editorial Board. And Diane Francis is the Editor At Large of the National Post. They were all in our Toronto studio.
Sour Gas - Resident
For people in northeastern, British Columbia, Halloween brought something more sinister than the usual ghosts and goblins this year. For the third time in less than a month, a natural gas pipeline that runs just outside the town of Dawson Creek was sabotaged on Friday.
Officials with Encana -- the company that runs the pipeline -- say an explosion tore the line open and led to a small hydrogen sulphide leak. The company fianlly capped the leak yesterday. Right before the first explosion, a local newspaper received a letter warning of an attack on the pipeline. Police believe a local person is responsible and they are concerned about the "brazen" nature of the attacks. People who live in the area have concerns of their own.
Judy Christianson lives just outside of Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Pipeline Explosion - Publisher
Before the first explosion on Oct. 11th, the Dawson Creek Daily News received a letter warning of an attack on the pipeline. Dan Prezbylski is the publisher of the Dawson Creek Daily News. He was in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
The Current spoke with EnCana spokesman Alan Boras yesterday and asked him about the company's relationship with residents and this latest blast. We heard from him.
Pipeline Explosion - Radical Environmentalist
Since no one has been charged in the bombings, we don't know what is motivating the attacks. But there is a history of friction between the local community and the oil and gas industry.
Paul Joosse is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. He's working towards his PhD on radical environmentalism and he was in Edmonton.
We live in a time when neuro-scientists are busying themselves with the task of understanding our brains, figuring out how a collection of neurons and synapses somehow adds up to consciousness. But Raymond Tallis thinks we're devoting far too much time and energy to brain chemistry. He's a doctor, a poet, a philosopher and a novelist. And he says we can learn more by thinking about our heads. Not the grey matter inside, but our heads themselves and all their secretions, movements and gestures.
Raymond Tallis is a Professor Emeritus of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester. He's also a poet, novelist and philosopher. His latest book is The Kingdom of Infinite Space: A Portrait of Your Head. He was in our London studio.
Now put your head around this:
In addition to choosing a President today, voters in San Francisco are being asked to make another, crucial decision about their future. A group called the Presidential Memorial Commission has managed to get a referendum on the ballot. It asks voters if they agree -- yes or no -- with a proposal to change the name of the city's sewage treatment plant from the "Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant" to the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant." Brian McConnell is one of the organizers of the ballot initiative and he was in San Francisco. If the name change for the sewage treatment plant does go through, it would cost San Francisco residents about $50,000 dollars for the paper work and the sign changes.