Tuesday, January 31, 2017

NL AND PET ELECTIONS OF 2015 IN REVIEW

As a geek for things political, I have to admit to growing a little tired of the Donald Trump fiasco.  It is all doom,gloom and anxiousness wondering what will come next. 

So, a little break from surfing the web and getting caught up in the facts, and alternate facts, being spewed by spinners, politicians, news agencies, bloggers and everything in-between.

I found a couple of good essays in the Canadian Political Science Review related to a pair of Atlantic Canadian Elections. 

The 2015 Newfoundland and Labrador Election: Liberals Have a Ball as PC Party Suffers from Post-Williams Hangover by Memorial's Alex Marland makes for insightful reading. Here is the abstract:

From 2003 to 2010, Premier Danny Williams maintained a tight grip on the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and the provincial government. His chosen successor Kathy Dunderdale carried the party to a third consecutive majority government in 2011. But the new energy of her leadership masked serious cracks in the PC Party foundation. Barely two years into her mandate, Premier Dunderdale resigned, setting in motion further political instability as the party fumbled to replace her. All the while, Dwight Ball and the Liberal Party won by-election after by-election, public opinion poll after poll. That the Liberals would form the government after the 2015 general election was a certainty; that the opposition won so many seats in a smaller legislature was the surprise. Early in his tenure, Premier Williams often remarked that he was responsible for cleaning up the economic mess left by the previous administration. With growing budget deficits stemming from overspending, coupled with declining offshore oil revenues, the economic problems and difficult decisions awaiting Premier Ball and the Liberal government are just as ominous.

While not related to this province, the journal published a review of the 65th General Election that took place in the Spring of 2015 in Prince Edward Island. The 2015 Provincial Election in Prince Edward Island by Donald Anton Desserud, Jeffery F. Collins. 

While the Liberals won a third straight majority the outcome saw the NDP fail to win a seat while the Green Party leader won a seat in the legislature. Another interesting story that came out of the election that you might find interesting was 
a coin toss that decided the outcome of one seat! Liberal candidate Alan McIsaac's seat in the P.E.I. legislature was affirmed by a coin toss on Tuesday, after a judicial recount revealed a tie against Progressive Conservative incumbent Mary Ellen McInnis.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

STREET PROOF YOUR CHILDREN - PREDATORS ARE EVERYWHERE

A disturbing bit of news from home.

A strange man tried to convince a young girl to get aboard his truck for a ride. It's a small town, everyone knows everyone. Kudos to the young girl who showed her street smarts in refusing to comply with the man's request. 

This is not something we are accustomed to in small rural communities where folks leave their doors unlocked, trust their neighbors and rely on one another. These sort of things don't happen here. Until they do.

There are plenty of examples of shock, betrayal and shattered perceptions of safety in our rural communities. community leaders charged with sexual assault and the rare murder. 

The sleepy, slumbering small town full of god-fearing residents is a thing of the past. A romantic notion that allows the predators amongst us to strike because of our perceptions of safety. It is a safe community, nobody bothers anybody - for the most part.

The wake-up call that predators have infiltrated our institutions and our society. Priests abused alter boys for two generations, educators have run afoul of the laws and community leaders have been charged and convicted of sex - related crimes.

The harsh realities of our highly sexualized world and the impact of sexual predators is not new.  We want to believe we are safe, but it is not logical.

In this digital age, we have to worry about more than the walk home or the playground. There are message boards and chat rooms where they surf and chat in the hopes of finding victims.

In reality, the image of some creepy dude driving around in a van or truck trolling for kids to abuse for their perverse sexual gratification makes headlines. 

We don't like to envisage Uncle Sam or Aunt Lorraine, our neighbor's next door, the friendly pastor, another family member, or trusted co‐workers. These predators come from all walks of life and from all social economic groups.  They can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, religious or non‐religious, or from any race. 
Sex offenders live amongst us. 

There is no “perfect” place, Sex offenders are in every community. The key is street proofing your kids.

Is anything more important to parents than the
security and safety of our children? Take precautions that help protect our kids from abduction and
sexual abuse.