Jeers: to misleading terms. Police are looking for suspects in the use of what is commonly referred to as the “date rape drug.” It’s a misnomer, of course, because nothing in these cases could be remotely referred to as a date. The RNC warned last week it is investigating a number of cases of sexual assault downtown, in which it’s believed women were administered drugs surreptitiously and then sexually assaulted. In all cases, the women were either in public or socializing when the believed drugs were slipped into their drinks or otherwise administered. Police say the debilitating drugs affect memory, making the investigations very challenging. Rendering a woman helpless and then sexually assaulting her is especially vile. Almost as vile is the tendency among some to blame the victim for lack of vigilance. As U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized last week, “rape is rape.” No qualification is necessary.
Cheers: to numbers. Decision Gate 3 numbers, to be exact. No set of figures has been more anticipated since Confederation ballots were being counted in 1948. Last week, Premier Kathy Dunderdale said the final cost estimates for the proposed Muskrat Falls project will be available by the end of the month. They were originally expected last spring. Since then, it’s been a long, hot summer of hot debate and endless speculation. The end of the month is Wednesday. Will we see them today? Tuesday? Or at the 11th hour? The suspense is suffocating. Once they’re unveiled, of course, the wrangling will ramp up even more. So it’s really only a new beginning for the Muskrat Falls showdown.
Jeers: to stormy weather: What do the names Gabrielle, Chantal, Igor and Leslie have in common? They’re all tropical storms and hurricanes that have hit Newfoundland hard in the past decade. Every year, it seems, the province has to brace for another big blow. Let’s be clear: we’re no strangers to facing the gale. Our history abounds with tales of ships and souls lost forever to the elements. But these southern swirls seem to be getting meaner every year. The latest one, Sandy, was predicted to have slammed into the eastern U.S. as of the weekend. Let’s hope we’re not in for another lashing.
Cheers: to opening democracy up to a broader electorate. According to The Canadian Press, the executive director of New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative party used his dog’s name to vote online in the provincial Liberal leadership convention. Jean-Paul Soucy says he registered his dog “Pitou” — or puppy in English — to vote for one of the three candidates vying for the post Saturday. He says he wanted to test the Liberal voting system, but couldn’t use his own name because he’s a member of the Tory party. Soucy thought he would’ve been caught, but was surprised when a voting package arrived in the mail for his dog, including a PIN for voting online. He declined to say who he voted for. Looks like the Liberal party needs to … ahem … vet its registration process more closely.