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Friday, 30 March 2012

April A to Z Challenge Update

It starts tomorrow.  The rules are pretty simple.  Starting April 1, I have to blog with titles starting with the appropriate letter of the alphabet.  I have to to do one a day, every day for the month, excepting the last 4 Sundays.

I have set up a direct link to the a to z challenge website through the logo on the right, for any of you who wish to see the posts of others.  I encourage all of you to check out the links and some of the other great people out there.

I will try to keep my posts reasonably short, but I do hope you will be enjoy the results of this effort as much as I hope to enjoy providing them for you.

Buried in amongst the topics will be:

Apples to Apples: a comparison of national politics from 3 different countries, in brief
Driving History: Black Betty the 04 Commodore
Words from a Ghost: Poetry

There should be more fantasy fiction snippets as well.

This is going to be a challenge.  I am looking forward to it. 

It all starts tomorrow.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Shire Elections, Coming Soon, but not Soon Enough for Me.

And no, Frodo isn't running this year, as far as I know.

I know what you're thinking.  Hasn't he said enough about politics in the last week?  The answer is:  I am Canadian.  It is ingrained in me to keep talking about politics until someone tells me to shut up.  And even then, I can still choose to ignore em.

I'm bringing this up because there is another election in Queensland this year.  We go to the polls to pick our local Shire representatives.

I bring this up because a few years ago, and much against the wishes of everyone, the State Labour government, under Peter Beattie, forced many shires to merge into "regional councils".  The Shire in which I live was absorbed, along with 3 others to form the Tablelands Regional Council.  At the time, this move was opposed by everyone, except of course for the people who made the decision.

So, not so many weeks ago, 600 or so people in Mareeba, one of the shires forced to merge with us got together discuss issues affecting the town. (Cairns Post, Mar. 2, 2012).

They promptly blamed amalgamation and voted 600 to 1 in favour of devolution.  This, at least, means that I am actually in agreement with people in Mareeba.

You see, I don't want Mareeba in my Shire as it turns out.  There are number of reasons for this.  The biggest reason is the climate there is different from the climate here.  I live on the edge of rainforest, as does the residents of Herberton, Eacham, and Atherton.  The land is different, and the air is cooler.  Our interests, therefore, are different.

Further, there is a marked difference in attitude between Mareeba and Atherton when it comes to business.  One of the best examples was the decision by McDonald's to locate in Atherton.  As I understand it, they tried Mareeba first, but received a less than warm welcome.  Atherton, clearly, and certainly when I moved here, had a more diversified and vibrant business community than its competition to the North.  Atherton council seemed more business friendly.

Indeed, many locals talk about the Mareeba Mafia.  This loose knit group of people acting in concert in order to protect themselves from competing business and so on.

But business is the lifeblood of any community, and so, a willingness to remain open to new businesses critical to any community's future.  I want to be in a community that is pro business.  I want to live in a community that recognizes that role in the community.

So, if they don't want to be part of the regional council, fine.  Let's not fight to keep them.

I hope the door doesn't hit them on the ass on the way out.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Queensland Election 2012

Its my first vote in an Australian Election, and it is all over the news here.

LNP Defeats Labour!

Labour wasn't just defeated, it was destroyed.  Crushed.  Run through the electoral meat grinder.  They fell from a majority government to less than 10 seats, last time I checked.

The state parliament is 89 seats, and the LNP claims about 75 of them.  Quorum aside, only one third of the LNP MPs need show up at any given time to pass laws.

The media is shocked at this kind of loss.  After all labour seats that have been held for 100years by the party have been taken by the LNP.  But truly, no one should be shocked.  Labour has done some things that Labour should never do.  It privatised profitable assets.  It ran a poor campaign.  They even put a guy in my riding that looks like Adolph Hitler's great grandson...

See?  Who was in charge of the local Labour Party publicity?  This is a shocking image.  They would have been better off if they had stuck with Jason Briskey.  I had a better publicity officer when I ran for city council in Edmonton 11 years ago and she wasn't paid.  Its no wonder this riding went to Katter's Australian Party.

But the campaign run by everyone was shocking.  There was a horrible and disgusting anti-gay marriage ad run the KAP.  I'm sorry, but you know what?  The images were shameful in the way they were used.  Why was the ad run at all?

I DO NOT CARE WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR HOUSE.  If you have found someone to love, that is precious, and good on you, gay or straight.  I don't even care of you have children- 2 parents will always be better than one.  But the bottom line is, its not my business.  Therefore, I do not care.

Next time, Bob Katter, take a lesson from the Kim Campbell election team and shut the fuck up.  You'll get more votes.

The LNP's campaign was lackluster.  I hardly heard a peep out of them this whole election.  So quiet, in fact, you didn't hear of any mistakes either.

But they also weren't operating with such an unpopular track record as the Bligh government.  Yes, Bligh government.  Anna is a descendant of that most infamous of captains.

Thirteen years of selling profitable government assets and forced shire amalgamations, and the disgusting and expensive Carbon Tax passed by their Federal Brethren took its toll in Queensland.  Labour was rightly thrown out of government.

Should have happened years ago.