Sunday, November 06, 2005

Politics, bikes and Africa

There are a few upcoming television and radio shows that could be worth watching. On Tuesday night, Jack Layton will apparently be giving a bike tour of his neighbourhood to Rick Mercer. For anyone who isn’t so Canadian, Jack Layton is the leader of our socialist party known as the New Democratic Party. I mean “socialist” in a nice way, because they seem like nice people. And Rick Mercer made himself famous from his “Talking to Americans” bits.

Despite his mustache, Jack Layton has a surprising amount of influence right now. It's because of the pickle our controlling party has gotten itself into. It’s kind of interesting that our politicians have gotten themselves in so much trouble at the same time as the US White House has done the same. It emphasizes some of the differences in the way the two systems work. I like that our problems will probably result in an election very soon, compared to the US system which will have to wait until 2008. Three years just seems like an eternity to wait if people really have no faith in their leader. I found this article on George’s site.

Speaking of politics, today would be a great day to write to Toronto councillors, especially if you actually live here. They make some budget decisions for 2006 this week.

Sometimes I feel like complaining to the government about bike infrastructure is futile and ignored by the politicians. OK, I almost always feel like that. But it’s one of those things that I hope will slowly make a difference. And it really can make a difference. More bike paths would lead to more people biking, lead to fewer bike accidents and hopefully fewer car accidents.

You may remember that in the early summer this year, there was a huge media campaign (I think created by the provincial government) to inform parents about the dangers of having a swimming pool. The campaign focused on the fact that drowning was the second most likely cause of death for children under five years old. If you read the newspaper articles or looked into it a bit further, you would find out that the number one way for children under 5 to die is in a motor vehicle accident.

In case that hasn’t gotten you down enough, the other broadcast item of interest this week covers AIDS and HIV in Africa. If you want to hear someone talk about it who is very familiar with the challenges, listen to Stephen Lewis in the Massey Lectures on CBC weeknights this week. If you don’t live in Canada, you can listen to it online live through the CBC web site, at 9:05 pm in most time zones.

CBC should be paying me for this.

Darren J 11/06/2005 07:58:00 p.m.


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