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Canadian Social Research Newsletter
September 21,  2008

Welcome to the weekly Canadian Social Research Newsletter,
a listing of the new links added to the Canadian Social Research Links website in the past week.

The e-mail version of this week's issue of the newsletter is going out to 1930 subscribers.

Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to see some notes and a disclaimer.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Canadian content

1. 2008 Federal Election Links page updated (Canadian Social Research Links)- September 21
2. Federal government extends housing programs until 2014 (Human Resources and Social Development Canada) - September 17
3. Green Party of Canada Party Platform - September 17
4. Economic woes might delay poverty agenda: McGuinty (CTV Toronto)- September 16
5. Summary Report : Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultations, March-August 2008 (Poverty Watch Ontario) - September 8
6. What's New in The Daily (Statistics Canada):
7. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - September 21

International  content

8. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs (Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)
9. Gapminder
10. New York City : The CEO Poverty Measure : A Working Paper (Center for Economic Opportunity) - August 2008
11. Australian Policy Online Weekly Briefing - selected recent content
12. CRINMAIL (September 2008) - (Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

Have a great week!

Gilles Séguin
Canadian Social Research Links

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net

E-mail:
gilseg@rogers.com


1. 2008 Federal Election Links page updated
(Canadian Social Research Links)

2008 Federal Election Links page updated (Canadian Social Research Links)
- includes:

Key election 2008 links (Elections Canada link + info on parties, leaders, candidates, ridings, polls, results, voter turnout, archives, etc.)
- includes selected media election portals

Registered political parties for the 2008 federal election
- incl. official party platforms (as they become available):
* Green Party of Canada - September 17
(see links below)

Poverty:
Where the major national parties stand on tackling poverty

Coverage of the 2008 federal election in selected media and political party websites
--- Tories to extend pre-announced housing programs (see links below)- September 17
--- Liberals and NDP promise to boost child care - September 17
--- Low-income voters look to province - September 15
--- The Green Version of the Tax Shift (Andrew Jackson) - September 11
--- The Conservative - Liberal Fiscal Box (Andrew Jackson) - September 10
--- more...

Polls - links to polling firms and poll trackers

Links to selected non-governmental sites focusing on the federal election
- incl. Citizens for Public Justice - Make Poverty History - Childcare Resource and Research Unit - The Wellesley Institute - CUPE - Power Up Canada - and more to come...

Miscellaneous links --- federal election and general political websites - links to studies, articles and sites that don't fit in the sections above.

----------------------

Recent additions to the 2008 election page:

Poverty:
Where the major national parties stand on tackling poverty
NOTE: this resource from the Toronto Star also includes links to poverty-related news items from the campaign trail

Conservatives:
The Conservative government instituted a taxable $100-a-month child-care cheque to parents for each child under 6. The Tories have also allowed income-splitting for pensioners. The government raised the tax rate of the lowest income tax bracket, and later reduced it back to 15 per cent.

Liberals:
Under what it calls its 30-50 plan, the Liberal party says it would, within five years, reduce the number of Canadians living below the poverty line by at least 30 per cent and cut in half the number of children living in poverty.

NDP:
The NDP’s strategy calls for a pan-Canadian housing policy, an indexed $10-an-hour federal minimum wage; a national early learning and child-care program; fixing the employment insurance program; and exposing price gouging and hidden fees.

Greens: The Green Party favours a guaranteed liveable income to ensure all Canadians receive a payment set above the poverty line in each region. The party points to statistics that show 4.9 million people live in poverty and says investments to improve their quality of life will pay off in the form of reduced health care costs and lower crime rates.

Source:
The Toronto Star Election Special

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Citizens for Public Justice:

Election 2008: Through a public justice lens
With so many compelling issues competing for our attention [in this federal election], wouldn’t it be nice to be able to view the political scene with one helpful vision to guide our way?
CPJ thinks that a public justice lens can provide that vision. A public justice lens challenges us to express love for our neighbour and seek the common good. It puts the values of justice, compassion and care for creation at the centre of political debates.

Envisioning Canada Without Poverty
For over twenty years now, consecutive governments have promised action on poverty, yet poverty rates remain substantially unchanged. What seems to be lacking is visionary leadership...

Election Bulletin (PDF - 112K, 4 pages)
September 9, 2008

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From Make Poverty History:

Eight Ways to Make Poverty an Election Issue
1. Ask | 2. Organize | 3. Be Visible | 4. Be vocal | 5. Watch | 6. Distribute lawn signs and posters | 7. Put up a banner | 8. Follow up

Poverty Ranks 4th Among Top Election Issues in Canada
September 10
(Toronto Star / Angus Reid poll on August 29, 2008)

Video blog: Why it is important to make poverty an election issue
Make Poverty History's Dennis Howlett explains why it's important to make poverty an "election issue" and to make politicians realize that ending poverty IS a "voting issue."

Source:
Make Poverty History
Here's what we want in 14 words:
* More and Better Aid
* Trade Justice
* Cancel the Debt
* End Child Poverty in Canada

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

- Go to the 2008 Federal Election and General Political Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_2008_fed_election.htm

2. Federal government extends housing programs until 2014 - September 17
(Human Resources and Social Development Canada)

Backgrounder : Housing and Homelessness
(...) Funding for the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI), the housing renovation programs, including the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP), and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) were set to expire on March 31, 2009. On September 4, 2008, the Government of Canada decided to set aside funding for housing and homelessness programs at $387.9 million per year for five years to March 31, 2014.
Source:
Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Related links:

Feds extend housing / homeless investments but freeze dollars
September 21, 2008
By Michael Shapcott
Just three days before it triggered an election, the federal government quietly approved a five-year extension of Canada’s national housing and homelessness programs that were due to expire. But it has frozen the dollars despite growing need, according to a backgrounder from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on Friday.
Source:
Wellesley Institute Blog
[ The Wellesley Institute ]

Tories to extend pre-announced housing programs
September 17, 2008
The Conservative Party re-announced a pledge of $1.9-billion to extend a trio of housing and homelessness programs Wednesday, money that had been set aside in the budget earlier this year. Monte Solberg, the outgoing Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and John Baird, Minister of Environment, announced the five-year extension of the programs. The Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI), the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) would each have expired next March.
Source:
Globe and Mail

- Go to the Homelessness and Housing Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/homeless.htm

3. Green Party of Canada Party Platform - September 17

Green Party of Canada Party Platform - September 17
- incl. an intro and links to the following:

* The official party platform:
Looking Forward : A fresh perspective on Canada’s future
(PDF - 299K, 8 pages)
(...)
• Bring in income splitting and low-income support as part of our Green Tax Shift.
• Eliminate income tax for those earning $20,000 or less.
• Work toward a Guaranteed Annual Income in place of the current maze of programs.
• Ensure universal access to excellent childcare and early childhood education.
(...)

* The Official Green Party Budget (PDF - 69K, 1 page)

* Vision Green – Our detailed policy document (160 pages)

An excerpt from Vision Green:
11. Eliminating poverty:
"The Green Party of Canada believes it is time to re-visit a major policy initiative -- the use of a negative income tax, or Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) for all. The use of a GLI could eliminate poverty and allow social services to concentrate on problems of mental health and addiction. The essential plan is to provide a regular annual payment to every Canadian without regard to a needs- test. The level of the payment will be regionally set at a level above poverty, but at a bare subsistence level [*bolding added - see Con Alert below] to encourage additional income generation."
Source:
Part Four : PEOPLE (this section also covers child poverty, child care, seniors, homelessness, women, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people, and much more...)
[ Vision Green ]

* Green Tax Shift

News Release (september 17)

Source:
Green Party of Canada

-----------

*Con Alert! "bare subsistence level"?
As usual, the Devil's in the Details.
Groups like the fiscally- and socially-conservative Fraser Institute are enthusiastic supporters of the guaranteed annual income (GAI) concept.
That's because it means scrapping a significant number of Canada's social programs to fund the GAI, and it means that the savings to the Treasury can be increased by setting the GAI income level at the lowest possible level, i.e., the basic subsistence level. At least according to the Fraser Institute and the Green Party's election platform...
Related reading:
Senate Roundtable on Guaranteed Income (June 13, 2008)
Senate Sub-Committee on Cities
Transcript of the proceedings of the roundtable (51 printed pages)
June 13, 2008
Highly recommended reading --- valuable insights on guaranteed income from recognized experts in the field of guaranteed annual income, including Derek Hum (father of Mincome Manitoba), Senator Hugh Segal, Sheila Regehr (Director, National Council of Welfare), Rob Rainer (Executive Director, National Anti-Poverty Organization), professors Lars Osberg and Jim Mulvale, Michael Mendelson of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Marie White (Council of Canadians with Disabilities) and several others.

For more on the guaranteed annual income, go to http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/gai.htm

-----------

- Go to the 2008 Federal Election and General Political Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/politics_2008_fed_election.htm

4. Economic woes might delay poverty agenda: McGuinty - September 16
(CTV Toronto)

Economic woes might delay poverty agenda: McGuinty
September 16, 2008
GODERICH — The economic slowdown that is hitting Ontario especially hard will likely mean the province will have to delay its promised anti-poverty plan. Premier Dalton McGuinty says the economy and its impact on the province's revenues and future spending plans was a main topic at a Liberal caucus retreat in Goderich.
Source:
CTV Toronto

Related link:

Economic road bumps no excuse to slow down on poverty reduction
September 16, 2008
TORONTO - A coalition of over 100 organizations across Ontario (see the next item below from Poverty Watch Ontario) are urging Premier Dalton McGuinty to follow through on his promise to actively and comprehensively address poverty in this province. "The threat of an economic downturn makes leadership on poverty reduction more important than ever," said 25 in 5 spokesperson Jacquie Maund, of Ontario Campaign 2000. "And it's a signal that we can't afford to delay implementation of a plan."
Source:
CNW Group (formerly Canada Newswire)

- Go to the Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

5. Summary Report : Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultations (March-August 2008) - September 8
(Poverty Watch Ontario)

Poverty Plan Needs Real Backbone, Ontarians Say
Media Release:
Posted by SPNO
September 8, 2008
TORONTO - If Ontario is going to seriously tackle poverty it must invest in a comprehensive multi-year plan, not just a set of quick fixes. That’s the message that government MPPs heard in more than 50 community consultations on poverty reduction over the summer, according to a new report by the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction.

The report:

Summary Report:
Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy Consultations
(March-August 2008)
(PDF - 101K, 15 pages)
September 8, 2008

Source:
Poverty Watch Ontario
Poverty Watch Ontario is a joint initiative of the Social Planning Network of Ontario, Ontario Campaign 2000 and the Income Security Advocacy Centre. These organizations have partnered since early 2008 to promote a cross-Ontario community dialogue on a poverty reduction strategy for the province.

Related links:

25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction
25-in-5: Network for Poverty Reduction is a multi-sectoral network comprised of more than 100 provincial and Toronto-based organizations and individuals working on eliminating poverty. (...) We are asking our government for a plan to reduce Ontario poverty levels by 25% in 5 years and by 50% before 2018

Social Planning Network of Ontario
The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) is a coalition of social planning councils (SPC), community development councils (CDC), resource centres, and planning committees located in various communities throughout Ontario.

Ontario Campaign 2000
Ontario Campaign 2000 is a provincial partner in Campaign 2000, with 66 member organizations across the province.
[ Campaign 2000 ]

Income Security Advocacy Centre
The Income Security Advocacy Centre works with and on behalf of low income communities in Ontario to address issues of income security and poverty.

- Go to the Anti-poverty Strategies and Campaigns page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/antipoverty.htm
- Go to the Ontario Municipal and Non-Governmental Sites (D-W) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/onbkmrk3.htm

6. What's New in The Daily (Statistics Canada)

What's New in The Daily [Statistics Canada]:

Check The Daily archives:
September 2008

Click the HTML link beside a date to see the releases for that day;
to see earlier months, use the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page of daily links.

- Go to the Federal Government Department Links (Fisheries and Oceans to Veterans Affairs) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/fedbkmrk2.htm

7. What's new from the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (Toronto) - September 21

From the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) :

September 21, 2008

* WHAT'S NEW ONLINE at CRRU:

Early childhood education and care in the 2008 federal election: Updates
18 Sep 08
- In preparation for the federal election on October 14th, CRRU is providing and regularly updating information useful to those who wish to follow ECEC in the campaign.

Child care reality check 2008: Fact and fiction (Election 2008)
17 Sep 08
- Document from Code Blue for Child Care examines the political spin around ECEC policy issues; separates myth from reality.

Work equity Canada index: Where the provinces and territories stand
17 Sep 08
- Report from McGill’s Institute for Health and Social Policy looks at how Canada is meeting the needs of families; examines legislative variations across provinces and territories.

Early childhood education in Mexico: Expansion, quality improvement, and curricular reform
17 Sep 08
- Report from UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre examines Mexican ECEC policy initiatives between 2000 and 2006

* Child Care IN THE NEWS »

· Layton, Dion propose rival plans for boosting child care spaces [CA]
17 Sep 08

· Mat-leave policy doesn't add up to sound policy [CA]
17 Sep 08

· Tories attack Liberals on child care funding [CA]
16 Sep 08

· Child care crisis an election issue [CA]
12 Sep 08

· Spot Check: A regular look at the latest ads from the parties -- $1,200 [CA]
11 Sep 08

· Moms expecting Tory child care announcement wind up as photo props [CA]
10 Sep 08

Related Links:

Subscribe to the CRRU email announcements list
Sign up to receive email notices of updates and new postings on the CRRU website which will inform you of policy developments in early childhood care and education, new research and resources for policy, newly released CRRU publications, and upcoming events of interest to the child care and broader community.

Links to child care sites in Canada and elsewhere
CRRU Publications
- briefing notes, factsheets, occasional papers and other publications
ISSUE files - theme pages, each filled with contextual information and links to further info

Source:
Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU)

- Go to the Non-Governmental Early Learning and Child Care Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/ecd2.htm

8. Poverty Dispatch: U.S. media coverage of social issues and programs
(
Institute for Research on Poverty - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Poverty Dispatch (U.S). ===> the content of this link changes twice a week
IRP compiles and distributes Poverty Dispatches twice a week. Each issue of the dispatch provides links to U.S. web-based news items dealing with topics such as poverty, welfare reform, child welfare, education, health, hunger, Medicare and Medicaid, etc.
Each Dispatch lists links to current news in popular print media.

September 18, 2008
* State Budgets and Spending on Social Services
* Privatization of Social Services - Indiana
* Report: Child Poverty - Massachusetts
* Medicaid Coverage - Rhode Island, Minnesota
* Defining Homelessness
* Shelter for Homeless Families - New York City
* Food Stamp Programs - Washington, Louisiana
* Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program
* Child Support Enforcement - Tennessee
* Teen Pregnancy and Birth Rates
* Study: Welfare Spending and Abortion Rates
* Abstinence-only Education - Kentucky
* State Ballot Initiatives on Health Care

September 15, 2008
* Poverty Measurement in the US
* Poverty Measurement Worldwide
* Child Care Subsidies - Oklahoma, California
* Single Parent Families
* Child Support Enforcement - Ohio
* Section 8 Housing Subsidies - Cincinnati, OH
* Hospitals and Patients on Medicaid and Medicare - Michigan
* Food Banks and Gleaning
* Report: Qualified Teacher Gap - Maryland
* Students' Transitions to High School
* Charter Schools and Student Achievement - Chicago, IL
* Community College Tuition and Graduation - Iowa
* Climate Change and the World's Poor

Past Poverty Dispatches
- links to two dispatches a week back to June 2006

Search Poverty Dispatches

If you wish to receive Poverty Dispatches by e-mail,
please send a request to rsnell@ssc.wisc.edu

Source:
Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)
[ University of Wisconsin-Madison ]

- Go to the Links to American Government Social Research page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us.htm
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (A-J) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us2.htm
- Go to the Links to American Non-Governmental Social Research (M-Z) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/us3.htm

9. Gapminder

Gapminder
http://www.gapminder.org/
In London, riders on the Tube are reminded to "Mind the Gap". On the Gapminder website, visitors are reminded to mind a variety of gaps, whether they be in income inequality or quality of health care. This rather absorbing website was created as a non-profit venture to promote "sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information." The site makes use of Trendanalyzer software to offer visualizations related to questions that include "Which country has the best teeth in the world?" and "Who gets what: Farm subsidies". Visitors can find such information under the "Latest News" area, and they can also take advantage of the videos, "Gapcasts", and world charts offered here. The "Gapcasts" are quite good, and they cover carbon emissions, public services, and globalization. Also, if visitors have their own set of statistical indicators they can create their own unique Gapminder-like bubble graph on their website. It's a powerful tool, and one that might be important for other non-profits, think tanks, educators, and students.

Review by:
The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2008
http://scout.wisc.edu/

- Go to the Social Research Links in Other Countries (Non-Government) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/internatngo.htm

10. The CEO Poverty Measure : A Working Paper - August 2008
(New York City Center for Economic Opportunity
)

The CEO Poverty Measure:
A Working Paper by The New York City
Center for Economic Opportunity
(PDF - 971K, 42 pages)
August 2008
Excerpts:
"... Despite a long-held consensus among policy experts about how to make it more meaningful, America measures poverty in 2008 just at it did in 1969 when the current measure was officially adopted.
... This study responds to a recommendation made by the Commission for Economic Opportunity, a task force convened by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2006. The Commission members were asked to develop new ideas for addressing poverty. In the course of their work they came to realize that the current poverty measure was a poor gauge of either the degree of economic deprivation in the City or the impact of programs intended to alleviate it. The Commission members recommended that, in addition to new programs to combat poverty, the City should develop a better method to count the poor.
(...) Nearly forty years have passed since [the current] poverty measure became the official methodology for the Federal government’s statistical agencies. It is now an anachronism.

Source:
New York City
Center for Economic Opportunity

The Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) was established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to identify and implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. The CEO works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives, including strategies and programs, aimed at poverty reduction.

Related link:

Commission for Economic Opportunity
- March 2006 article in the Gotham Gazette provides a short blurb about the work of the Commission and a profile of each of the 32 civic leaders involved.

- Go to the Poverty Measures - International Resources page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/poverty2.htm

11. Australian Policy Online Weekly Briefing - selected recent content

APO Weekly Briefing
The content of this page changes each week, and it includes links to a few book/report reviews, about two dozen new reports, a few job ads and 60 events (mostly conferences) of interest to social researchers...
Source:
Australian Policy Online (APO) - home page
With nearly 120 member centres and institutes, Australian Policy Online offers easy access to much of the best Australian social, economic, cultural and political research available online.
NOTE: the APO home page includes links to the five most popular reports on the APO website, and this list is updated each week.

APO Archive
The APO archive is grouped into 23 subject areas, with entries appearing in reverse chronological order.
* Ageing *Asia and the pacific * Citizenship and the law * Disability * Economics and trade * Education * Employment and workplace relations * The environment * Foreign policy and defence * Gender and sexuality * Health * Housing * Families and households * Immigration and refugees * Income, poverty and wealth * Indigenous * Media, communications and cultural policy * Politics and government * Population, multiculturalism and ethnicity * Religion and faith * Rural and regional * Science and technology * Social policy * Urban and regional planning * Youth

- Go to the Social Research Links in Other Countries (Non-Government) page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/internatngo.htm

12. CRINMAIL - September 2008
(Child Rights Information Network - CRIN)

From the Child Rights Information Network (CRIN):

18 September 2008 - CRINMAIL 1017
* CRIN REVIEW 22: Children's Right to the City
**NEWS IN BRIEF**

16 September 2008 - CRINMAIL 1016
* WEST AFRICA: Psychosocial support to children in difficult circumstances [publication]
* INDIA: Ministry proposes change in law on SC status for children [news]
* TOOLKIT: Child rights situation analysis [publication]
* UNITED KINGDOM: Concerns over sex offender alerts plan [news]
* GLOBAL: NGO Group for the CRC launches new website [news]
* NIGERIA: Forum on the Participation of NGOs at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights [event]
* EMPLOYMENT: ECPAT UK
**NEWS IN BRIEF**

Earlier issues of CRINMAIL
- links to 300+ earlier weekly issues
, many of which are special editions focusing on special themes, such as the 45th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Source:
CRINMAIL(incl. subscription info)
[ Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) ]

- Go to the Children's Rights Links page: http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/chnrights.htm


Disclaimer/Privacy Statement

Both Canadian Social Research Links (the site) and this Canadian Social Research Newsletter belong solely to me, Gilles Séguin.

I am solely accountable for the choice of links presented therein and for the occasional editorial comment - it's my time, my home computer, my experience, my biases, my Rogers Internet account and my web hosting service.

I administer the mailing list and distribute the weekly newsletter using software on the web server of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Thanks, CUPE!

If you wish to subscribe to the e-mail version of newsletter, go to the Canadian Social Research Newsletter Online Subscription page:
http://lists.cupe.ca/mailman/listinfo/csrl-news

You can unsubscribe by going to the same page or by sending me an e-mail message [ gilseg@rogers.com ]

------------------------

The e-mail version of this newsletter is available only in plain text (no graphics, no hyperlinks, no fancy bolding or italics, etc.) to avoid security problems with government departments, universities and other networks with firewalls. The text-only version is also friendlier for people using older or lower-end technology.

Privacy Policy:
The Canadian Social Research Newsletter mailing list is not used for any purpose except to distribute each weekly issue.
I promise not share any information on this list, nor to send you any junk mail.

Links presented in the Canadian Social Research Newsletter point to different views about social policy and social programs.
There are some that I don't agree with, so don't get on my case, eh...

To access earlier online HTML issues of the Canadian Social Research Newsletter, go to the Newsletter page:
http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/news.htm

Please feel free to distribute this newsletter as widely as you wish, but please remember to mention Canadian Social Research Links when you do.

Cheers!
Gilles

E-MAIL:
gilseg@rogers.com


*************************

2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

*************************

Each year, the Dept. of English & Comparative Literature at San Jose State University holds a competition to compose the opening sentence to the worst possible novel, inspired by Bulwer-Lytton's notorious "It was a dark and stormy night"

The winner of 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is Garrison Spik from Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

Here's his winning submission and some honourable mentions.

----------

Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."
(by Garrison Spik)
----------

As usual, Mr. Riddle came home from work, and, as usual, took the toy poodle, Fluffy, out for her walk, and, as usual, Fluffy "did her business" at the usual places, first at the bush, second, on the sidewalk, and third, in the grass, so that there, on the pavement, was evidence of Fluffy's evening sojourn: Mr. Riddle's little poodle's middle piddlle puddle.
(by Dr. Ford Sutherland)
----------

Watching Felicia walk into the bar was like watching two fat Rottweilers in yellow spandex and spike heels that had treed a scrawny bleach blond cat at the top of a skinny flagpole that for some reason had decided to sprout casaba melons.
(By Melissa Alliston)
----------

When he concentrated, his thick black eyebrows furrowed, looking not unlike a pair of Hypercompe scribonia caterpillars on a collision course over the bridge of his nose, but unlike them, his eyebrows would never evolve into giant leopard moths, and would find better places to hover after nightfall than around her 40-watt backporch light.
(by Jane Auerbach)
----------

Earthy ochre and russet hues in the lifeless leaves which rustle under his feet, and spiral down from the majestic trees above, signal that October has now arrived, but of course he knew this already because he has a calendar above his breakfast bar in the kitchen.
(By Roz Black)
----------

I heard her husky breathing as she came up the stairs, breathing exactly the way a sled dog breathes after competing in the Iditatrod as she sauntered into the room her hips swiveling from side to side like a Sherman M-4 tank with a 75mm gun forcing its way through the hedgerows of Normandy after D-Day in 1944.
(By Bruce Hannem)
----------


It was a dark and stormy night, except when the lightning flashed, because then it wasn't dark; it sort of turned the windows into a giant disco ball for a moment, but eventually the thunder and lightning stopped and it settled down to a steady light rain, so then it really was dark, but it would probably be a stretch to call it stormy.
(By Laura Loomis)
----------

Carey, unnerved by an affair that had suffered through weeks of volatility, walked unsteadily, her dress etching complex runes in the fine patina of dust along the antiquated floor, to a rose-scented box of love letters in a vain attempt to find solace, like a security fund struggling to find liquidity in the US sub-prime mortgage market.
(By Ray Pasimio)
----------

Like almost every other post-Hegelian neo-hipster angst monkey at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Rene flatly rejected the labels society placed upon him.
(By Bob Salsbury)

Source:
http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/scott.rice/blfc2008.htm
*Check the above link for dozens more 2008 submissions

See also:
http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

***************************
And, in closing...

***************************

15 Truly Odd Geographical Facts
http://listverse.com/science/15-truly-odd-geographical-facts/


Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row
http://dilbert.homelinux.org:8081/linuxkungfu/finalmeals.htm

Monstrous Aviation: World's Biggest Airplanes
http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/09/monstrous-aviation-worlds-biggest.html