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Friday, November 30, 2012

Electoral Cooperation = frustration and likely failure

We are in the midst of a series of evolving crises, environmental, climate, democratic, public trust and you can probably see food security and poverty on the deck waiting for their turn at bat. With this in mind I find it maddening that so many partisans are either dismissive of cooperation or want it all their way.  A quick look at comments over a couple days can be summarized as

1. it’s our destiny to rule so why don’t you just step aside

2. it may have been your destiny but now its ours so stuff it.

3. We don’t really care if the system gets fixed to ensure 1 megalomania party can’t control everything because we aspire to be that party

4. Scoring points on each other over old grudges is more important/satisfying than working for the greater good.

5. We lost because you exist. Our inability to sell our message is because you suck

While I can’t see into the inner workings of other EDAs I suspect that many local organizations are far more practical or accommodating than the party chiefs. Mulcair, like Layton before him runs a party that has policy to implement PR yet it seems they are always the first party to shun cooperation with statements about how limiting voter’s choice is antidemocratic. This is true to a point but if an EDA votes to cooperate for the greater good the only voters who are disenfranchised are those who are not engaged enough to actually join the party. Honestly, if you are that concerned pay your $10 and get involved, anyone who feigns concern about not having a candidate yet don’t belong to “their” party is a fool. Also here is no inherent right to vote for a certain party, no law saying you must run candidates everywhere, besides any party that believes in Proportional Representation should be willing to negotiate, compromise and form coalitions; that’s how a PR elected parliament works. Also if denying a voter the right to choose your party is anti-democratic what would you call not demanding ALL party leaders be allowed in the debates? The prevailing rationale to avoid cooperation is very weak and self serving rather than idealism.

I also have to wonder if the NDP is actually serious about PR? I hope I’m wrong but its just human nature to grab for all you can get and with the NDP’s improving performance the brass ring is that much closer. Does the prospect of actually winning make them much more comfortable with a winner take all system? Provincially the NDP has under achieved on electoral reform when in power. I understand that PR is not cooperation but supporting one without considering the other does not seem rational, especially if cooperation is the means to your goal of PR.

The Liberals on the other hand are still smarting over the demotion to 3rd party status and are hell bent on regaining total power NOT sharing. For all his qualifications (I think pretty boy is a qualification, I just don’t know for what?), Trudeau is far from a progressive candidate and supporting PR and actually fixing the problem for the future is not going to fly with a party that feels entitled to rule unfettered. Besides the Liberal party prefers AV, a non-proportional system some think will propel them into permanent power based on their strength as peoples 2nd choice. Sure there are pro PR Liberals but since Bennett is not running for the leadership I don’t think they plan to fix the system as much as play it.

Joyce Murray’s 1 time cooperation bid is somewhat promising but what’s going to stop the Conservatives next time? No electoral reform, no point. The bigger problem is the idea of combined primaries which appears as a cynical attempt to gain an advantage, more LPC members = winning most of the primaries. It’s pretty much guaranteed no Greens would win in these joint nominations and few NDP, that’s not a formula for trust or cooperation.

I would prefer the EDA’s work it out without the “Mother Ships” interfering, that or actually do some detailed polling in 30-40 ridings and find how the votes would split depending on who wins the nomination and its not always going to be the party with the most members. In the recent Calgary election the Greens garnered a lot of Red Tory voters who could not stomach voting for a Wild Rose type Conservative or a Liberal, had a Liberal won a combined nomination much of that GPC support may have stayed Conservative for zero gain.  In some regions it might make more sense to let one party run normally while two combine forces and in others where the partisanship is really over the top between the EDA’s it might actually make sense to pick neutral Independent that all 3 parties might support, the same formula is not goint to work everywhere and if we are only doing this just once it has to be done to full effect.

Greens have proven we can draw quality candidates and be competitive in selective ridings. Depending on the region this means we can win, be the spoiler or draw Red Tory votes that other parties may not have the potential to do. We are more than willing to cooperate to defeat Harper and I don’t see that a little respect and a voting system that represents all Canadian voices as too much to ask. From the vast number of comments I’ve seen this is not going to happen because the NDP see blood in the water and want the Liberals destroyed while the Liberals hold on to their old arrogant sense of destiny and refuse to endorse a truly fair voting system. We Greens who have the least bargaining power need to show we’ve won something for our cooperation and PR is the only prize we’ll accept.

My riding is a crappy candidate for cooperation so I must sit back and watch the opportunity slip away; it’s all very frustrating and may well drive me from this game altogether.   Perhaps I'll start blogging pro CHP just to split the right wing vote and toy with the looniesRecommend this Post

Monday, September 24, 2012

These Targeted Conservative Propaganda Letters are getting to be a little much


Last Friday night after a couple tall boys at Barbarella’s Diamond’s Cabaret my colleague , Tony Clement spoke in great detail about all that really complicated sciencey stuff and the Government's need to connect to those who think Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Minister Clement has made similar statements in most gentlemen’s clubs throughout the Ottawa area and several foreign capitals in this Government's continued support of Star Trek over Star Wars. I find myself admiring Star Trek a great deal after seeing Tony’s collection of action figures and those photos of Orion Slave girls; they are much hotter than Carrie Fisher in a bikini.

As Minster of Industry, Science and Technology I believe Canada needs Mudd’s robot women, replicators, synthahol and phasers, provided we stop wasting all that money on archaeology and palaeontology, Geez a million year old planet what kind of crap is that?, everyone in MY ministry knows its only 6000 years old because I told them so.

We in the Harper Government are proud of our support for obedient cybernetic wives and advanced energy weapons and will encourage the space channel to offer more Star Trek reruns, perhaps with bonus Ezra Levant commentary


Hon Gary Goodyear, PC, MP

  Ok,  I made it up, but I didn't make this up and really the implications should concern us all.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Shelob Lives

That is all!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Doing the Math on Peter Penashue’s stolen election.

Peter Penashue spent about $88,000 ($4000 too much) on this election to the riding of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 meaning he spent about $21 for each vote he received. In theory that additional $4000 at $21 per vote could have generated an additional 190 votes which was 3x his margin of victory. Would it not be reasonable to think that the illegal $4000 in spending bought Penashue’s victory?

Not scientific I agree, but still it leaves you wondering how this extra money changed the vote in such a close race. This margin is far lower than many of the elections currently being challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada over robo call allegations.

It also has me questioning the lax penalties of $1000 and/or 3 months in gaol. I would suggest that both the party, the EDA and the Candidate should be fined 10x the amount of overspending. This would force the Candidate to ensure his books were right, ensure the EDA reigned in the campaign team and maintained oversight, and it would make the Party pay closer attention to what the EDAs were doing.

As it is $1000 and/or 3 months in gaol are simply the costs of doing business and will defer few zealots from breaking the rules considering the prize.

Also an issue in Penashue’s campaign was the apparent borrowing of money from a First Nations community fund to run his election after they started bouncing cheques. It starts sounding really shady when you find out this fund was run by his brother-in-law and is supposed to be used to boost economic activity not be used as a family savings and loan.

Another ethically challenged Conservative MP with a questionable claim to his seat, must be Tuesday... er.. or Wednesday, maybe Friday.  When will it stop?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Al Jazerra doing the kind of journalism main stream networks shun

Kudos to Al Jazerra English.Recommend this Post

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Canada’s Road to Interventionism

At no time during the 2011 election did I notice a promise from the Conservative party to base more troops abroad and interfere in other Nation’s business and yet today I see Canada is looking for 7 additional foreign bases/staging areas. While they claim this is for humanitarian relief and “just in case”, I believe this signals our graduation from occasional lackey to full time minion of the U.S. war machine.

You see this is all starting to make sense now; the F35 with its stealth ability can be based out of Singapore integrated with U.S. air power including the AWACS and in air refuelling needed to make these planes function properly. We would support the U.S. on a number of missions including the containment of China. If Israel doesn't snap and do the job itself we could eventually base Canadian F35s in Kuwait to threaten Iran. 5 more bases, 5 more areas of possible foreign entanglement.

It seems obvious now that his plane with its stealth strike ability, short range and slow speed was never intended to defend our north but to bolster our strike capability abroad. The F35 cannot properly fulfill its domestic role therefore the government is either incompetent (quite possible) or lying about the plane’s true purpose.

My bet; a couple years into the F35 deliveries, long after it’s too late to kill the first contract, we will suddenly learn we need a second plane for the far north. Of course the Americans who are pushing our new agenda in the first place will magnanimously offer up their delivery slots for the second plane which can begin deliveries immediately.

Ok, so maybe I'm getting a tad paranoid about this government but when you start buying planes with no practical domestic mission and then start looking for foreign bases you have to stop and wonder what’s really going on.

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Monday, June 4, 2012


In reality I've been blacked out for some time simply because I find it hard to write about our political situation without it turning into a hateful expletive filled rant. I did however attend my local c-38 protest this last weekend and will endeavour to raise my voice in every way I can to save Canadian democracy.Recommend this Post

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Labelling radicals or creating them?

When the NDP members went to Washington to lobby against Tar Sands their actions were labeled treacherous by our Environment Minster Peter Kent. Funny that, protecting the environment is supposed to be his job, not defending industry.

This week Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural resources accuses everyone opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline of belonging to “environmental and other radical groups”

In both cases government members dismiss the democratic right of opposition, in the first instance MPs were basically told they should stay at home and STFU about important issues and in the second case that the public should be considered radical if they disagree with government or care more about the world we live in than the profits of oil companies.

Sure we have procedures to voice our concerns and ask questions about these mega projects but Oliver sweeps these aside as fraught with loopholes and illegitimate “stacked” hearings that actually allow citizens to speak on the issues. Have no doubt that just like the debate in the HOC last fall the Northern Gateway hearings will be cut short limiting public input, data, and circumventing the proper procedures. Rather than have hearings “stacked” with real people with legitimate concerns the majority of voices heard will be those supporting dirty oil and the pipeline project.

The "Harper" government is continuing its old trick of demonizing anyone who speaks against it. No longer however are they content to prey on senior diplomats, appointees and bureaucrats, now it is forbidden for any Canadian citizen or group to have an opposing view to the ruling Junta. Those that speak out are quickly labeled as treacherous radical enemies of the state not worthy of a voice at the table.

Take a group of people, almost any group will do and belittle their beliefs, tell them their voices don’t matter and destroy those things they care about with no recourse and you’ve got a great recipe for creating REAL radicals. This is essentially what the Conservatives are doing to the environmental movement.

Now I will never believe that putting long term human survival and proper stewardship of the environment before profit is radical but blowing stuff up to achieve these ends IS.

I WOULD NEVER endorse such actions but it would not surprise me if the Conservative methodology (even more so than their agenda) will create new versions of the Earth Liberation Front, more Wiebo Ludwigs, or some devotee of Derrick Jensen will take this quote and reinterpret it. "Every morning when I awake I ask myself whether I should write or blow up a dam. I tell myself I should keep writing, though I'm not sure that's right".

Harper wants to label and silence “environmental radicals” but in hindsight I think we’ll agree he did more to create them than silence them.

I hope Canadians will rise up politically before someone takes this path
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