I still have only a rudimentary understanding of the Canadian political system, but one thing that’s stood out in my news reading in this time of public budget crises is the fact that Canadian provinces are allowed to run deficits. As far as I know, every U.S. state has to balance its budget. There must be limits to the provincial deficits or potentially the situation could get out of hand, but I don’t know how those are determined (assuming that they exist).
Long-term questions aside, I suspect that, in the short term, the ability to run a deficit gives the provinces the flexibility to avoid the furloughs and closures faced by the public sectors in many of the states.
I received my juror questionnaire last Thursday night, quite some time after it was forwarded from the U.S. I thought I’d have to rush it back to make sure it got processed in time, but it turned out I could complete it online. So I did. And only two business days later, I now see that I have been excused from service.
The federal courts want me; the summons must have gone out just as I left California. I hope having moved to Canada is a good enough excuse to not have to serve on a jury in Los Angeles, but we’ll see. I can’t imagine missing class and having to fly back – that would throw everything off.
It’s too bad, in a way. I’ve never had a federal summons and indeed I’ve never had to go into a courthouse at all. Every time I’ve been summoned at the local level, I’ve been excused over the phone. I know jury duty is usually something people grumble about, but I’d like to do it at least once, if it’s in a near enough place. And the federal summons looks so much more – serious isn’t quite the word, and neither is solemn, but the consequences for missing it without approval are much tougher and you’re considered “on call” during your time period.
They pull from surrounding counties, since there are only a few districts; had I been in California, it would have been about a 70 mile commute each day. There’s a checkbox for if you’re requesting an excuse because you live over 80 miles away. It’s about 1400 miles to here.