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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers May 13

Provincial election signs for Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NL Alliance party candidates at Prince Philip Drive and Wicklow Street in St. John’s. —
Provincial election signs for Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NL Alliance party candidates at Prince Philip Drive and Wicklow Street in St. John’s. — Telegram file photo

Cheers & Jeers

Jeers: to old voting lists. One issue that is being raised at polling stations in the advance poll? The sheer number of voter registration cards that are being delivered to addresses where the supposed voters haven’t lived for years. If one household can get four voting registration cards for a family that moved to Nova Scotia five years ago, what does that do to the accuracy of voter turnout numbers? Because, guaranteed, those four “voters” won’t be casting a ballot. Oh, and in other election news, if you’re going by the number of signs in front of houses of real, living breathing people, right now it looks like realtors are going to win the provincial election.

Cheers: to an own goal. Former British soccer star David Beckham has been disqualified from driving for six months for using his cellphone while driving. Now, it wasn’t just because of the phone conviction: Beckham also had a number of past speeding convictions, and the cumulative penalty meant he can’t legally be behind the wheel for half a year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, though, if cellphone addicted and impaired drivers were getting that kind of suspension on a regular basis? It’s not worth killing or injuring someone to answer your phone; face it, neither you nor the phone call or text is that important.

Jeers: to a new source of revenue. Or should we just call it a tax? As CBC News pointed out this past week, the number of people being fined for having expired motor vehicle registrations has spiked upwards by 25 per cent after the provincial government stopped sending out renewal notices by mail. (The government said the move was to save money on mailouts and to limit paper waste, but at $250 a pop, the province took in some $77,000 in extra fines, too.) Laughing all the way to the bank.

Jeers: to going backwards. This is short, but important: new stats show that maternal death rates are rising in the United States to the point that a woman giving birth now has a 50 per cent higher chance of dying in childbirth than her mother did. Think about that. So much winning.

Cheers: to an oldie but goodie. We’ve mentioned this before, but Icelandic lullabies can be terrifying things. For example: “Sleep long, sleep tight, it is best to wake up late. The hardship will teach you soon, while the day turns to night, that people feel love, loss, sadness and longing.” But what would your night be like with our personal Icelandic favourite, “Sofur thu svid thitt — Svartur i augum — Far i fulan pytt — Fullan af draugum.” That’s right, it’s that eternal favourite of children everywhere; “Sleep, you black-eyed pig. Fall into a deep pit of ghosts.” Now, there’s a good reason to keep your eyes wide open, all night long.

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