Duncan Wilcock


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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Adversarial Model of Government

Someone something out to me the other day. Something fundamental about the Canadian system of government and how the "House of Commons"/Legislatures work. The current party system, where one party forms "a government" and the other parties form "the opposition" operates in a fundamentally adversarial fashion.

She contrasted this model with a "co-operative model." I thought I would pontificate briefly on this thought. Personally, I like the term "collaborative" and I'm going to throw out the terms competitive & conflict-based while I'm at it.

Collaborative in my book is the process of working together towards a common goal. It brings to mind co-operation for me, but strictly speaking I think I wouldn't exclude conflict/adversarial based collaboration, and I would definitely include competitive collaboration.

I can actually see each of these types of collaboration at work in the current system. Election is a competitive model, where candidates compete for the most votes in a given constituency. The House itself definitely operates in a conflict/adversarial way. I think that's related to the party system - this arbitrary definition of "a government" and "an opposition" - terms which are meaningless to me in a non-majority situation. Perhaps if all candidates were independent, there would be more co-operation (and competition) in order to build enough support to pass legislation. Such a model might move more slowly than a majority government, but then again - what's the rush?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

[CR] Displaying Stats on your Blog

Subtitle: : Making StatCounter.com work on Blogger/Blogspot

Google doesn't offer any built in stats for blogger/blogspot, but it does offer a few recommendations in the help section. The coolest of these in my opinion is StatCounter (www.statcounter.com) The best feature is the world map that it generates with markers where different people who have accessed your blog are from.

I had a bit of difficulty getting it to work for me here on blogspot so it thought i would write up a few notes on what challenges i had & how i solved them for - as they say - posterity.


First of all - go to statcounter & sign up for an account & all that. I didn't find any of that too difficult, other than slightly tiresome.

When it comes to the generate html code phase - in the "StatCounter Code Setup Wizard" I chose the following:

a) Visible Counter
b) Unique Visits only
c) Counter Image
d) Choose your own colours. I did opt for the "View My Stats" Link
e) I did choose "Yes my website uses frames" but i doubt it matters. I tried "html only" code, but in the end it didn't matter much. In the end i used the default javascript-containing code.
f) I went for the "Default Install Guide"

I got as far as that without any difficulty - where i had some trouble was "Where do I paste this code to?"

After quite a bit of trial and error, I went to the "Template" section of my blog and found i could put it in there. At the bottom of my template there was a commented section that said:

"!--This is an optional footer. If you want text here, place it inside these tags, and remove this comment. --"

Actually i didn't remove the tags as intructed, but pasted the code in between this tag & the /footer tag and Voila - my stat counter is up & running.

It's at the bottom of the blog - scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to have a look. If you click the "Detailed Stats" link, you can actually see the up-to-date stats for this blog. The "Recent Visitor Map" link at the left of that screen is the cool map I mentioned that will show you where your visitors are from.

At any rate - I hope that works for you & Happy Statcounting.