Saturday, September 27, 2008

Election 08

     When I started this blog the last thing I ever thought of was making political comment . Well, they called a federal election and I can't help myself .

      Now I haven't really made up my mind as to who to vote for ,but I do know who I won't vote for ...Steven Harper ...Conservatives ! I will comment on one area which is only one of several which makes it impossible for me to vote Conservative . I think that crime is an area that needs serious attention in Canada . I think that stiffer sentences and less bail is necessary but this is where the wheels fall off of the Harper bus . This is the only plan they have ...just pass a law for stiffer sentences ...that's it ...done ...finished ...problem solved . They have come up with a one dimensional plan .

     The corrections system /justice system is large and complex . Any change has to go along with other changes in the system . For example, there's no use giving out stiffer sentences if there's no place to put the inmates . For too many years federal and provincial governments have been cheaping out on building new institutions and as a result it is difficult for judges to refuse bail and give longer sentences when there is no room to put people .Inmates are double bunked in many institutions . Double bunking is a recipe for disaster . Inmates can not be locked up for twenty four hours a day in such confined spaces . I once stayed in a hostel unit with four bunks . When you sat on the edge of your bunk , you touched knees with the person across from you. My example is close to a double bunking situation .

      If you want stiffer sentences to succeed you need more judges , prosecutors , police , correctional workers .... Now police find it difficult to arrest and go to court as it takes too much time as the court system is back logged . For the last election Steven Harper promised 1000 more police which morphed into 600 and 400 clerical people and I'm not sure any new personnel were actually hired . Can you imagine 1000 more police for 33,ooo,ooo people . 100,ooo new police may have made a difference .

      So I think that if success is to be made in dealing with crime all areas have to be considered at he same time . The conservative plan is only one dimensional .

      I also know that some of Steven Harper's main ministers are some what lacking in their concept of a justice system . For example, Stockwell Day used to think and may still think that if a defence lawyer defends a pedophile then the lawyer supports pedophilia . This was illustrated by Day's letter to the Red Deer Advocate and the subsequent law suit which cost Alberta tax payers a bundle .

     So I won't vote Conservative . There are other areas which could receive the same criticism...fixed elections, in and out election funds, trust fund flip flops, Canadian wheat board ....

     Now all I have to do is find someone I can vote for. I will definitely vote as I think it's extremely important .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


    Four year olds make interesting friends . Four years old you say? There ought to be a law against them !
Okay , there are four year olds and then there are four year olds . There are all the ranges of four year olds as you would find in any adult age group of say forty nine year olds , twenty year olds ... So we will find four year olds who are nice , nasty , humorous , talkative ,loving , energetic or any variety of human characteristics . There are as many different little four year olds running around as you would find in any adult age group .

     I guess I happen to be lucky as a four year old stays over night with his Dad a couple of times a week and they live next door to me . When Alf comes he looks to see if I'm out in my yard and he has to shout a friendly greeting and ask how I am . He listens to my response and reacts appropriately . Sometimes I tease him and say I feel really lousy and he almost cries . Next , Alf wants to know what I'm doing and if he can help me . Alf questions everything I do and wants to know why it's being done . You can see the wheels turning in his head as he processes and digests the information . He especially likes to help me wash the car . He says he likes cleaning things so he sprays water over the car and rubs an area until he thinks it's clean . One time he dropped the hose on the ground and the handle hit just right so that the hose began spraying . It hit Alf exactly in the face and took his Flames cap off . At first I thought he was going to cry . Then he looked surprised and then he started to laugh . Alf thought that he had put on quite an amusing show and didn't mind that he had got his clothes wet .

     Alf is rather cautious and doesn't want to say anything which would offend me . Alf watches lots of movies at his mom's place . I wanted to know what were his favorites . He likes action movies . So I pressed a little further and asked if he liked Dora the explorer. No, he didn't watch Dora . That was it comments . I asked why he didn't watch Dora . He replied rather vaguely . Then I decided to be more direct and asked if Dora was more for girls . His face lit up and his head nodded vigorously ...yeah, Dora was for girls. He had tried to be very diplomatic in case I liked Dora .

     One day I was cutting grass and Alf wanted to know if he could watch me cut grass . I really didn't want him around a lawn mower so I said if he sat in a chair he could watch me . This was fine with Alf and he sat tightly in the big chair until I stopped the mower and then he exploded off the chair . I thought wait minute buddy! I said sit in the chair. However , before I opened my mouth I realized his interpretation of cut grass . Okay ,Alf you win . I emptied the grass bag into the compost box which came exactly to the level of Alf's nose . He had to closely watch me empty the bag as if he'd miss something exciting and then I heard a voice "It stinks !" . I guess it would stink if your nose was at the level of Alf's That day I got a very precise opinion of compost.

     So each day's visit from Alf brings the unexpected , honesty and curiosity which makes me rethink my actions and so them through very curious young eyes .