Sunday, December 11, 2005

Electoral efficiency

This afternoon, less than 2 weeks after faxing in my voter registration for the Canadian elction in January, the package containing my ballott arrived by courier at my door here on Hanawada in Japan. Instructions are of course in both French and English... how wonderful.



And five minutes later, I had my ballott filled out and was ready to send it along.



How cool is that? Now if only the government could take that efficiency and move it into other areas...

Speaking of government efficiency (or lack thereof) the Liberals came out with a good one this week... In all their wisdom, they've decided to ban handguns in Canada in order to stop the violence in cities like Toronto. STOP THE PRESSES!!! BIG NEWS!!! THE END OF VIOLENCE IS IN SIGHT!!! CRIME HAS BEEN OUTLAWED BY THE LIBERALS!!!

Thing is, handguns are already banned in Canada, as anyone with half a brain (which I guess excludes Torontonians) knows. The only people who can own handguns in Canada as the law currently stands (and has stood since 1984) is through an intensive process which involved a full background check (which may include interviews with past spouses, family, etc.) and the handguns are of course only for sporting purposes. You are of course not allowed to carry a handgun, in fact you can't even transport one between your home and the firing range without having a permit issued to you by the police. So tell me, how will banning handgun ownership from the most law abiding citizens of the nation stop gun violence by hoodlums using illegally imported firearms in the cities? Now, while I do not own any handguns, I am legally allowed to purchase them. I went through the process when I was applying for the license to purchase rifles and shotguns for hunting. I think it's ridiculous for people to believe that this announcement by the Liberals will in any way help reduce crime. Need I remind you that they said the gun registry was going to put a halt to crime when they brought in THAT innitiative some years ago, at a cost of over a billion dollars I might add? What they've done here is obvious... in the hopes of gaining\securing ground in urban centers, the Liberals have alienated rural Canada, essentially telling them their vote doesn't count. And with the federal sponsorship scandal, the Liberals will be lucky to win any seats in Quebec, leaving the seperatist Bloc Quebecois to scoop up a vast majority of seats.

So let me see here... a party who has alienated not only everybody to the West of Toronto, but Quebecers as well, enough to have them bring back the ghost of Separation... and they continue to alienate our biggest trading partner (the US) and have cost us billions of dollars in boondoggles, scandals and useless feelgood programs in their 12 years of non-interrupted rule... yeah, guess who's name WASN'T on my ballot...

In other news, we're now approaching the depths of the Tochigi Winter, with temperatures dipping under zero overnight on a now consistent basis. I've deployed a few more measures to keep myself warm in this uninsulated\inadequately heated apartment which is sadly the norm across Japan (outside Hokkaido)...

This is my "Double-Norren of Warmth" which I use to keep the heat in the front area of my apartment, no use in heating my kitchen, cooking gets it warm enough....


And secondly is my "Natural Heat Source Focusing Apparatus" which essentially allows the sun to warm my apartment from 10AM to 3PM or so.


So life goes on, great relaxing weekend so far. Good meal at Praktica on Saturday night, then we had coffee with Scott yesterday before heading back home and cuddling up to a movie in an attempt to stay warm. For dinner, I threw together a quick Thai stir fry, quite tasty...

I am waiting for master Scott to join me and we're gonna head out to Yamaya while there's still some sunlight out... then we'll grab dinner at Al-Noor and head out to Kegon for a drink with Alex (if he's back from golfing)... And then of course tomorrow it's back to the grind... ah the life of an English teacher in Utsunomiya.

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