Monday, October 27, 2008

Green Candidate Pat Gostlin, R.I.P.

Well friends and foes, I met Pat Gostlin a couple of times at Green Party events. We only chatted briefly but I was impressed with Pat's enthusiasm and knowledge. Sadly, Pat Gostlin was killed in a car crash Sunday morning. I join with Elizabeth May in mourning our loss.


Green Party mourns Pat Gostlin

Greens across the country are shocked and saddened following the tragic and unexpected death of Pat Gostlin. Ms. Gostlin was the Green candidate in Oshawa in the recent federal election. She was killed by a drunk driver while driving home early on Sunday morning in Durham.

"Pat's untimely death is simply devastating," said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. "She was a tireless and dedicated advocate for change. Her warmth, kindness and cheer touched all those she met. Pat will be sorely missed and I extend my deepest sympathies, on behalf of all Greens, to her family and loved ones."

Ms. Gostlin's efforts were instrumental in propelling the Greens into the televised debates in the last election, when she and other Greens organized a protest that hit the national airwaves.

"Many of us were blessed by the opportunity to know and work with Pat. Many more of us felt proud after learning of her tremendous efforts to protect democracy in Canada. Pat will always have a special place in Green history and today we mourn her tragic passing."

The Star has some details about the circumstances of the crash.

Gostlin's car was hit while stopped at a red light on John St. W. at Park Rd. S. in Oshawa, according to Durham police

The driver tried to flee, but was held by a citizen until officers arrived, police said. A Bowmanville man has been charged with impaired driving.

The GPC site is still showing Pat's candidate page. That page will be removed soon but I'm taking the liberty of copying Pat's bio here:

Pat Gostlin is a recently retired teacher who speaks 5 languages, including German, Polish, French, and Spanish. Born in Germany, she came to Canada with her mother in 1953 and grew up on a farm in Brooklin, Ontario (north of Whitby). A teacher with the Durham Catholic School Board for 35 years, she earned a B.A. in Cultural Studies from Trent University in 1997 after attending night and summer courses.

Asked why she is seeking public office under the Green banner, Pat simply answers: “Because I am a mother and a grandmother.” She has always been interested in politics and feels that retirement will allow her to dedicate the time and energy needed to effect positive policy change – not just for the sake of her children and grandchildren, but for her grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Pat’s care for future generations stems in part from a lifetime of work with young children. In addition to teaching in a classroom setting, she worked closely with children with reading difficulties and acquired expertise in reading recovery. Recognized by her peers as a distinguished educator in 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association President’s Award for Durham Region in 2007.

Pat has been very active within her unit of the teachers’ federation and served on numerous committees, including the negotiating team. She chaired the professional development committee and was a founding member of the Sharing of Excellence committee, an outreach initiative which shared original ideas and provided information to parents, teachers and the community on successful methods for dealing with problems like autism, learning disabilities, and bullying.

Pat is also an active volunteer in her community. In addition to her local involvement, she is a member of Amnesty International and The Council of Canadians.

Truly a great loss...


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Political Compass

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, the folks over to StageLeft are talkin' about the Political Compass and how we oughta be doin' a better job of labelin' various people, parties and positions on more than just the right to left, linear definitions. I've been a proponent of the Political Compass method for a few years and I just re-tested myself. I'm a little more of a Lick than I was a few years back.

I found it interesting that my party of choice is well to the Upper Right of my own position. I ain't the only one to find a similar distance and trajectory from one's own position to that of one's chosen party.

I'd be interested in a round-up of bloggers' positions and a comparison of those positions to the positions of the party they generally support, if any.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Post-Adolescent Apathy

Whooee! Well, friends an' foes, I ain't been boogin' much during the election campaign on accounta I been helpin' out with tryin' to harvest up some Green votes here in Haldimand-Norfolk. I been doin' a lotta office work an' helpin' hand out propaganda. I even wrote an' printed up some o' that political panderin' stuff.

I spent some time this weekend handin' out pamphlets at the Norfolk County Fair over in Simcoe. Over the course of a few days, I reckon I spoke to about 4000 folks and handed out about 1800 pieces of Green Party stuff.

Since the Green Party's often listed as a favourite among the young folks, I approached a lotta 18-25's walkin' by the Green Party booth. I know the statistics also say the 18-25's are the least likely to get out an' mark their X one way or another.

My carnival barker pitch to flag down the passersby was to ask 'em if they were gonna be votin'. Some folks said they'd already voted. Some said they was gonna and they'd be glad to look at our GPC dead tree material. Some played deaf. Some said they'd made up their minds an' didn't want any dang literature. Some said they was already votin' Green so we could save our dang literature.

With the young folks, some was keen on Green. A few I asked was only 17. But, dang-it-all, I betcha well over half of the young folks said they wasn't gonna vote. I didn't get all preachy with 'em. Mostly, I just muttered under my breath that they was a buncha ignorant whelps; dumbasses who didn't pay the least attention to polyticks. Quite a few of the non-votin' 20-somethings were pushing strollers and/or had young kids in tow.

I ain't sure who I oughta blame fer the sorryass state of youth voter turnout. I reckon there's plenty of blame to go around. Judging by the stroller pushing non-voters, the parents are partly to blame. Then, there's the schools. Schools is always a good whipping boy since we expect them to turn out perfect specimens every time. Then there's the TV telling us that the only politicians worth mentioning are the crooks and perverts. Internet, video games, sports culture, discrimination by old farts, ballot-spoiling cynics... there's no end to the blameworthy.

I did have a few real bright moments at the fair, though. I had a young feller name o' Frank (17 and too young to vote) spend a lotta time askin' a lotta questions on stuff like Afghanistan and Caledonia. I found out he'd been over to the Lib's and Con's booths askin' them, too. He wasn't doin' a school project. Just keen. Young fellers an' gals like young Frank is who's gonna run the show in 25 years or so. I just hope there's enough of 'em.


Up in Smoke: Ol' JB's 'Puter Caught on Fire.

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, my dang computer got all toasty yesterday. I was over to the Simcoe fair doin' some Green Party proselytizing and my son was puttin' some new memory in my old box. Between ol' Spot an' his girl friend, Ellie, there's a fair bit o' fur flies in ol' JB's happy home. I usually open up the box a coupla times a year an' blow it out. I figger it's been a good six months since I done that.

While the Boy (he's 37, btw) was puttin' in the new 2GB's, the accumulated hair musta got blowed in the wrong place an' when he plugged it back in, the smoke come out. Now, it's ruint an' I'm waitin' fer Dell to show up with a new machine where I can put my old hard drives. They ain't ruint. Leastwise, I don't think so.

I got Ma's laptop pressed into service. I'll be postin' up some election observations and pontifications shortly.


Friday, October 03, 2008

That's Why She's the Gal I Adore. Earth Mother Lizzie May, that is.

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I gotta tell you I was glued to the dang TV set last night from 9 until 11. Well, I was mostly glued except fer one time when I started noddin' off an' Ma laughed an' roused me an' I seen it was Dion on the TV mumblin' some kinda sleep inducin' FranglaMerkan lingo. After that, I needed a little fresh air so I let ol' Spot out in the backyard and breathed in some. I managed to stay a alert an' bushy-tailed fer the rest of the debate.

I met Lizzie in person a coupla times an' I seen her talk in person a few times an' a few more times on the YouTube. I knew dang well she was gonna do good an' she did. I figger Lizzie Gal showed 'em she's right up there in the big leagues an' deservedly so. Knowledgeable and quick, our gal Lizzie. An' I see in the polls lotsa folks changed their opinion fer the better an' the Greens is up a point overall.

I hear-tell some is sayin' Lizzie was buttin' in too much but I didn't hear it that way. There was a few times when there was three or four voices all yammerin' at once and them times I was listenin' hard fer a female voice an' Lizzie weren't talkin' overtop of them baritone bossmen. I did hear our Lizzie gal mutterin' some when she disputed a coupla big whoppers ol' King Steve was blatherin' about. Sheesh! Stevie tried to make out like the whole dang dumbass House o' Comments voted to fire Linda Keen. That was Harper misleadin'. Not a leader.

I reckon Lizzie showed them kindergarten kids a thing or two about civility and stickin' with the issues. I was happy to see ol' Jack givin' Lizzie some credit now an' then. She returned the favour, too. They both come across like competent folks who could work together.

I gotta give young Steve Pakin a pat on the back, too. He was a good referee, mostly. I reckon that's a dang tough job refereein' a five-way jawfest an' keepin' it fair an' square.

Harper come across with what I'd call an air of paternalism. Kinda smug an' smirky like he's toleratin' these monkeys but he ain't got much respect fer 'em. I didn't find him to be credible but I reckon that's cause he was fibbin' an' exaggeratin' all the time. I figger what's doin' the Cons an' Harper the most harm is they ain't released a platform. I heard somebuddy say they was waitin' on the Aussies to get it deliverered.

I reckon if Harpoon don't release a platform an' still trounces the hapless Grits, it'll sure say somethin'. I ain't sure what. "Blind leadin' the blind" comes to mind. Don't worry. Be happy. I wear sweaters. I wonder where Sweater Boy keeps his thermostat set in the wintertime. I wonder if he starts in wearin' the long johns in the winter so's to save on the heatin' bill an' send out less so-called greenhouse gases.

Duceppe done okay, I reckon... fer a rotten separatist BlocHead. I figger he's a good feller doin' what he can fer his people. Only thing is, he figgers his people is Q-beckers an' not all Canajuns. Ma sez he seemed more like a Premier negotiatin' with Harper the PM. He's a dang good parlay l'anglais feller, sez I. Dion's got a lot better in the speakin' English department but he still sed a coupla things I didn't catch last night. Then, maybe it was just on accounta he was puttin' me to sleep.

My ol' Dad was a salesman. He's been dead fer 10 years, this year. He woulda had a good laugh at ol' Dion an' his hapless salesmanship skills. Dion could use some lessons from my ol' Dad. First off, Dion blew the sales job of the tax shift on day one way back in the springtime. He give hisself the entire summer to sell it and he had the perfect opportunity to sell it last night but he was lackin' in the lustre department.

He oughta been closin' the sale or closed it already. Last night, he looked like he ain't quite sure why he decided to sell this here vacuum cleaner he's callin' the Green Shift. He can't close the sale on accounta he opened it all wrong. That mighta worked if there weren't a few other vacuum cleaner guys standin' on John Q. Voter's doorstep. Poor feller dragged his party into a big hole. I figger he's sincere and dedicated. A fine Canajun. Useless in the sales department.

The worst part about it is Dion took a good Green Party policy an' turned it into political cyanide fer the next 10 or 20 years. I ain't sure Lizzie helped out Dion much, like they was tryin' to say she would. I figger she sold Green Party policy and not Liberal policy. I like that she talked about stuff other than the environment and had positions that differ with the Libs. Like on NAFTA and Afghanistan and the danged economy and health care.

Anyways, friends an' foes, I had a few people emailin' an' wondering where ol' JB's hidin' out lately. Don't worry, kids, this ol' codger-blogger's still up an' walkin' an' cheerin' on the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cool Green Music Video - Climate Change Blues

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, my ol' buddy Steve Hogg got together with our local Greenies an' he made a YouTube video tellin' everybuddy how to save ol' Mother Earth. Like ol' Steve sez, "Just put an X beside the Green."