Please do not squander the reprieve you have been given by the delay in the Keystone Pipeline. As it's name implies, the Key-stone is the essential link that connects two halves, two halves of an arch or two halves of an economy or a nation. I ask that you harken back to our first Prime Minister, and consider this pipeline to be our last best chance at the arduous task of nation building. Make it run east to stimulate good infrastructure and chemical jobs across Canada, and eliminate eastern reliance on future-vulnerable oil imports. A north-south pipeline gives the Americans too much control of essential refining and plastics capacity.
What do you want your legacy to be? Right now it appears you are content to dismantle Canada and let it become a wholly owned subsidiary. Free Trade benefits some but it takes more than economic efficiency to build a nation. The notion that global free trade has merit is built on myths of stability and untruths such as faux-statistics (unemployment, GDP, inflation) being used to hide the deplorable erosion of our democracy-building middle class, now demolishing itself thanks to idiotic low interest enticements.
My son began his engineering career working for a company that until a few days ago was a proud Canadian integrated chip maker. No longer will their executive decisions be made in Canada. At Davos, you complained that Canadian executives were not doing their bit to build the full capacity of their companies in research, global marketing, etc. Why should they, when the Prime Leader takes the easy route, going with the globalist flow, and opening our tiny economy to the predations of always-richer tax-haven multi-nationals and the straight jacket of foreign kangaroo tribunals? Given the damnable short-termism of politics and stock markets, why bother - every young company is just waiting for a good buyout offer from foreigners anyway? This you know, but have done nothing (but chatter) to correct or discourage. Research-in-Motion will be seen by history as a temporary aberration, like Nortel.
Once the Key-stone joins Alberta and Texas, and the infrastructure and industries built around it, there will be no reason for anyone to consider Canada as anything but a pit of raw material or Canadians as anything but unsophisticated 'hewers of wood and drawers of water'. Most of our children will only be able to drill rock, cut trees or stock shelves for a living instead of creating products for the world and profits for our people. They will lament the easy decisions taken by Conservative governments, anathema to John A MacDonald.
I ask you, for our children's sake, to do something FOR Canada besides signing away our rights and opportunities.
First of all, before I begin, let's do a little test. Can you list five basic ingredients of Canadian democracy? Another way of putting this is to list our basic rights. We are supposed to have learned about this in school but I suspect that many people cannot. I hope I am wrong since we are told that everything we see around us in the West depends on the proper functioning of these basics. Try to list them in the order of importance.
Having trouble? Please try hard. It is very important.
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other means of communication.
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.
6. (1) Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in, and leave Canada.
(2) Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right
(a) to move to and take up residence in any province; and
(b) to pursue the gaining of livelihood in any province. -
OK, go back over our lists, and this time, ask yourself if that's all there is to Canada. I submit that it is not. But I also submit that what is taught in schools would generally stop as per my list. What about you? What else could be added - jump to the forum and add your thoughts. Then I'll post them here and add a few of my own.
Bob Green Innes
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
The NOTA party won -- 50.8%. That's because only 49.2% of voters voted. NOTAs (none of the above) stole the election by staying home. McGuilty only got 37.6% of 49% or 18.5% overall.
Whether it is running for FCP or running for CAP, my main concern remains the worsening plight of the ordinary person and family under the heel of the increasingly heavy pressure of rules, taxes and lower wages imposed by corporations, elites and their bureaucratic buddies who are ripping us off and tearing the protections of Canadians to pieces. (See next article.) My real sympathies (and frustrations) are for the NOTAs, which some people call the NOPE party. The election results show a clear trend. According to the Spec, turnout was 56.9% in 2003, 52.8% in 2007 against 48.2 this year.
Halton, Hamilton Centre and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek continued to have turnouts below the provincial turnout. Only 47.1 per cent of Halton voters cast a ballot; 43.6 per cent in Hamilton Centre; and 46.4 per cent in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
At this rate of decline, I calculate that in 2062, only the 637 candidates running will vote, accurate to 5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. They will resort to an eating contest to decide the winner. Food to be taken from food banks.
Seriously and sadly, the trend is unmistakable and sends a clear message. Democracy, the worst form of gummerment except all the others, is doing what it usually does, descending into crisis before solving the problem. Expect riots, strikes, slowdowns and work-to-rules, or is that works-to-rule. Whatever. In the US, mayhem may well become the new order and huge FEMA camps will be bursting even as NAU (North American Union) and unFair Trade with Europe deals are signed, unnoticed by hockey mad Canadians. Maybe illegals will rise up and reclaim Texas and Florida for Mexico. The law and order element of our political systems will be .... right in their element! Once I figure out how this blogging thing works, I'll be putting my vast prophets toward the purchase of a couple of shares of prison stocks like GEO and CXW. To avoid re-hypothecation I'll keep them in the shoebox where the cat sleeps. Maybe the dividends will pay for my domain name unless the mice eat the certificates first.
My situation in Hamilton East fared slightly better under the FCP banner than with CAP. 173 vs 92. OK for the minimal (but non-zero) effort, but even if, by dint of strenuous exertion, I doubled, tripled or quadrupled my count - so what? Still nowhere near. Small parties got 998 votes out of 39,155 according to the Globe and Mail site
I can't exactly say 'better luck next time'. Fixing the joint is our duty not my duty. It seems that voters either turned their back on the whole thing or turned their back on real alternatives. I doubt if the numbers would have changed had voters been told properly about their right to 'decline their ballot', a shocking revelation. When dangerous dark clouds pile up, one's first choice is home port. If voters were forced to vote as in Australia (see below), the FCP and other small parties would have done better, although the Greens seem to be plateauing here as they have in Europe.
More to the point, it seems that all the smaller parties are failing to surf the wave of discontent that kept the NOTAs home. The Greens aren't trusted because of their antidemocratic treaty and subsidy based solutions. The Libertarians, who got double my vote, seem to capture the NOTA spirit better, but can hardly form a government if they don't believe in one. The FCP couldn't seem to get much beyond it's religious core despite significant efforts to focus on broader issues, and along with CAP, suffers something from an apolitical name with a faintly radical flavour. Coalition of Families might work better. Nonetheless, the FCP, in my biased opinion, would have made the best choice for a small party, less extreme than Greens or Libertarians, but that same quality is perhaps our downfall when storm clouds are gathering so ominously.
Where is the radical when 'radical' solutions are needed? The problem is that by historical standards, it is all Western gummerments that are radical, with tax, inflation, regulations and family breakdown approaching extreme levels usually found only in wartime. Libertarians are far less extreme in historical terms. Even if I do not completely accept their logic, I always enjoy the 'challenge' of listening and think they would make an excellent single member voice in the Legislature. If Ontario and Canada had a Ron Paul, CBC might have something worthwhile to talk about.
Bob Green Innes
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
We have come to a serious juncture in our history. From political and economic developments in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, we can see the future in store for us if we are not prudent. Unfortunately, Boomers, led by Pied Piper Pierre Trudeau, threw prudence out the window a generation ago, along with traditions, common sense, long standing protections and robust institutions that made Canada a stable and prosperous nation. These have been replaced with a clever fad and media driven cornucopia of unsustainable new-age ideas that undermine family, communities and institutions in favour of big government, big corporations and the lawyers that grease their wheels. Lulled by seemingly endless benefits loaned into existence from the next generation, many voters have become selfish and apathetic. Now they are wondering what is going on. False promises beguile unwitting citizens and zombie voters into agreeing with so-called progressive notions from Free Love to Free Health Care and their most coveted scheme, Free Trade and globalisation. Like any Ponzi scheme, early participants get lucky, latecomers like Gen Xers get stiffed with big student loans, few full-time jobs and no escape hatch since bankruptcy laws changed. As wages, pensions and good jobs are exported to China, we have a recipe for disaster - demographic, democratic and economic. This is playing out despite politician's promises although many are clueless because of false data (inflation, GDP, unemployment) and incessant distraction by the entertainment industry and corporate media.
Thus, voters are bamboozled into accepting non-traditional ideas that benefit big government, big business, and by extension big unions. These ideas, concocted in boardrooms, backrooms and clubrooms, are disseminated by media cronies. For a small but significant example, please do some research on the controversy surrounding water fluoridation, which his been sold to the public as being beneficial for teeth, but which is increasingly found to be detrimental for the whole person, teeth included, not to mention the environment.
Various political parties are forming to oppose the big three on such issues but I believe the Family Coalition Party (FCP) is the provincial party that best speaks to that which matters most to any society - fundamental good balance between economy and the basics of life, family, community and the environment. These are now being attacked by technology, corporatism, taxation and legislation and a selfish apathy that leeches vitality from our core.
The resulting consequence is that demographics has become the central driver of much that ails us economically - few young people relative to us big spending, big idea boomers. Children are not wanted so we are sold on immigration without addressing demographic problems that attack fundamental Canadian values like Sharia law, polygamy, female circumcision. The 3 main parties all sing the politically correct globalisation agenda but deny the global reality of conflict over such issues. Human rights regulations, and political correct policies stifle debate because the presumption of innocence has dangerously vanished. We need a complete revamp and reversal of many policies in many departments. The FCP, while not addressing all the issues that concern me, has, of all the provincial parties, the clearest understanding of perverse consequences of modern ideas, and is Ontario's best hope for a revitalised society.
The FCP policy page gives a general summary of how our vision of smaller government plays out. Essentially, we are trying to rebalance the interests of the family and individual, which have been crushed by the interests of corporations which see the loss of Canadian jobs as an efficiency. In addition, we are trying to pare back on the governmental intrusion into the business of family by means of regulations and brainwashing of children in dumbed down schools. I believe these aims are expressed in a way that points the direction, rather than being an audited plan which would be impractical for a small party to do. As outlined below, voters should not consider a vote for FCP as a vote wasted. Rather, your vote should express your will about what must be done. If folks' votes do not reflect what they want or think, how is anybody to know what the public really wants? On what is political will based? It is the strategic vote that is the wasted vote since it is counterbalanced by someone else and fails to transmit any message about what you want.
Bob's idiosyncratic hot button issues, not all of which are in the FCP mandate but which would form his field of vision if elected:
crushing of little people and family life under taxes, regulation, liability and political correctness (while pandering to corporations and lobby groups),
export of job opportunity while ensnaring youth into servitude chained by unbreakable student loans. The next generation is being screwed by old fogies. This relates to Free Trade, now being extended to Europe and to excessive credentialism.
loss of traditional values and protections (identity theft, mortgage fraud)
creating criminals out of the little people via regulation, excessive police aggression (G20), tribunals (guilty until proved innocent), gun control (rural areas),
why can't Ontario treat HST issue as did BC? Democracy breaking down - need referenda, MMP, term limits, recall, open government
property rights review - fundamental rights vs. permanent corporate takeover, water issues (Nestle)which makes it impossible to protect our environment.
shorting stocks and companies, excessive bank leverage and derivatives, Ontario Bank,
sell-out of resources and industries to multinational and foreign interests, Free Trade becoming unFair Trade - heart of the Stelco issue.
incandescent light bulb ban (scheduled for December 2011)
green subsidies that make the poor subsidize the rich (eco star appliances, rebates, solar panel tariffs)
climate gate, carbon tax, carbon trading with corrupt regimes
globalisation, tax havens, corporations have too many rights, taxation (carbon) without representation (via treaty)
big media, big lies, bigger bamboozles- ownership too concentrated, too biased toward corporate agenda (developers, fluoride industry, banksters, government incumbents)
My engineering background has given me a practicality that enables me to cut through the BS that emanates from the incumbent parties. My experience with the Canadian Action Party, outlined below, gives me a broader perspective on important financial and unFair Trade issues.
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
Yep. 92 votes above zero - getting warm in here! But dead last. Hard to see from the results if these are just random votes for 'none of the above' (the NOPE party as it's sometimes called) or actual votes from voters interested in the Canadian Action Party and our ideas (described two articles down). Clearly and unfortunately, my efforts produced little if any results. My main effort was a small flyer (1/3 page), single colour on normal paper with a sketch instead of a photo delivered to just under 6000 houses plus about 500 apartments which received only a business card with limited information. Various messages on the flyer were tried. In addition, Hamilton had only one "debate" on Cable 14 and questions posed on Raise the Hammer were answered. The lack of signage was obviously a significant factor in not being taken seriously, outmoded and wasteful though the concept might be. Some felt our 8 syllable name was not descriptive enough compared to say, the Libertarians, who got four times our vote. Not to mention being too long for the ballot as outlined below. All the sillinesses of 'democracy' at play with no comprehension of the validity of our message.
The two Commies got 233 votes, the Libertarians 385, the PCs 468, and the Greens 1450 making 2628 total for the NOPE party or 5.4% of the vote. One might wonder if the PCs were being confused with the Conservatives. The only other literature I noticed was from the 3 main parties and a little from the Greens. Wayne Marsten was returned with 21,931 votes. He will soon give his usual vow of allegiance, not to his constituents, but to the Queen. Last but not least, I'll take a parting shot at the PARTY OF NON VOTERS, who for reasons without reason, continue to thwart Canadian democracy.
The undaunted and energetic leader of the Canadian Action Party, Chris Porter caught the spirit of CAP - We'll be back - bigger and better at the very soonest opportunity. Our remedies are too good to stay quiet about.
Bob Green Innes
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
At this point, this is only a question, and one only in my own mind, a mind that is quick to form dark cloudy links. Let us hope that I'm totally wrong.
First we had the disqualification of the Green Party candidate in Hamilton Center. I must admit that I didn't give this much thought, even cheered a little as I've become disillusioned with the Green Party. The issue seems to be paperwork not in on time which on the face of things, would seem to be a legit reason to exclude a candidate. Not being familiar with similar situations, I can't say if this would have been different if it was the Conservatives who screwed up.
The second situation is more subtle and looks like a little Gerrymandering. In my riding, three polls were shifted to a more distant polling station so residents had to walk right past their nearly empty local polling station (3 polls) and go a further 4 blocks to a busy polling station sporting 8 booths. A simple screw up? Hey, we're all human so I'm inclined to think so, plus why would anyone jeopardise their career for 3 measly polls? Given the long history of this manoeuvre, one should ask - did someone know something and strive to discourage voters in those three polls from casting their ballots? The incumbent of 16 years is an NDP. Did he know of dissatisfaction in those areas? While I can't say for sure, I would guess that those areas might be a little less of the strong union support for the NDP that occurs in other surrounding areas. Well, I certainly can't prove anything and other than trying to ask the DRO (district returning officer) for a reassuring answer, I'll just leave the question out there for others to ponder. Maybe you'll notice some other fishy stuff going on. Or hopefully not.
Thirdly and annoyingly, but not specific to Hamilton, candidates from my Canadian Action Party found that on the ballot, candidates were identified only by party initials, not by the full party name as for all other parties. Perhaps the name and its French equivalent were too long for the ballot but one has to ask about the propriety of such a decision. Since this was not a voting machine vote, couldn't the ballot have been a bit wider?
Fortunately, I found out about the poll screw up in time to divert my efforts elsewhere, so I doubt it will affect my results very much, but had I not known and done the work, I would be quite upset. We will see tonight.
Being green at electioneering, I was a bit surprised at the relatively small size of the polling areas. There were 212 polls in the riding, making the head count average just over 400 voters per poll. This sounds like enough voters to ensure a secret ballot but with the advent of much increased advanced voting, is there not an increased possibility that peoples' choices could be deduced? It seems a stretch, but only because voting machines were not used this time around. I believe we the people will have to be vigilant against convenient temptations however, since every time voting is segmented into ever smaller units, possibilities for cheating or other forms of fraud increases. I was surprised to see during the count (which I scrutinized at my polling station), that for instance, voters were recorded each half hour. Some hours were very light so if voting machines were used, it might be possible to reconstruct later on, who cast which votes.
We seem to have entered an age where all is not as it seems. After severe abuses of the 19th century were slowly curtailed, I think we had better hang onto what remains of our democracy with both hands. This means saying NO to any further monkeying around with voting machines, internet balloting, advanced polling or other convenient but risky behaviour.
Bob Green Innes
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
In recent years, I have run in this ward (4/ Hamilton East-SC) in the 2006 provincial election for the Family Coalition Party and municipally as a trustee candidate for the Public School System. The common thread is my concern for financial prudence and the ability of ordinary families to support themselves amid a narrowing economy and a welter of unwelcome restrictions and changes. These changes are pressed upon us by corporations and elitist interests through the media they control.
This thread continues in my decision to represent the CanadianActionParty.ca (CAP) in the Federal Election of 2011. I'm thoroughly opposed to the hegemony of the traditional big three parties - the Party of big Gummerment, the Party of Big Business and the Party of Big Unions who are really three interdependent parts of the same team. Big bureaucrats, if they must privatize, prefer big corporations over small entrepreneurs. Big biz can live with big unions and together, they have learned to love regulation which sweeps small entrepreneurs out of the competition. Thus, each part is an essential cog in the tripartite system. The Green Party is adding itself as another beneficial appendage because it promotes big subsidy systems that only big green business buddies can fulfil - think Samsung windmills or the smart meter market dominated by Spokane based Itron Inc. Thus, no matter which of the big 4 parties voters return, multinationals will continue to dominate our lives. This might not be so bad if they were honest - but they merely exist to siphon wealth out of the country using unfair tax loopholes. Were it not for those loopholes, they might well not even be profitable. The efficiency of big business is often illusory, based on a falsehood.
The interests of the little guy are lost because the little guy, facing many barriers such as language and bamboozled by the media into only considering the main contenders, and therefore frustrated by results of voting, has mostly stopped voting at all, even though they/we would, if considered a party, outnumber any other party. The little guy is in a position to kick serious butt but refuses to do so. I believe this will change after the situation has become much more dire, which it will in the not too distant future.
Some people might be shocked, thinking that CAP is perhaps just a fringe party. What is more fringe, stupid or radical than the Harper policies? How about putting a 'fatwah' on legitimate Canadian businesses (ie depleted well recovery businesses like Prime West or Shining Bank or Harvest Energy) that were then destroyed or sold off to foreigners - that's what happened in the busting of Canada's Royalty Trusts. How about multiple restrictions on personal rights and freedoms every Canadian once enjoyed, just to please Uncle Sam, whose military riles up people worldwide? Ordinary Canadians were shocked by the G20 breaches of proper conduct. How about stomping small businesses out of existence with excessive regulations, like butchers and health products, just so multinationals can take over? How about lying to Canadians about how our banks didn't need any bailouts? How about lying to Canadians about how our military was going to leave Afghanistan THIS YEAR? Now we are attacking Libya with radioactive missiles! How about undermining ordinary Canadians and widening the gap between the rich and poor, not deservedly because one is lazy and the other creative, but because rules are changed which allow corporate leeches to advance their job destroying strategies? How about new obsolete fighter jets we'll pay through the nose for. Not to mention the unprecedented undemocratic moves Harper has made.
Most Canadians are bamboozled by a complicit mainstream media into accepting these debauches as necessary.
When I looked at the choices we have at the moment, the Canadian Action Party had by far, the best thought out policies that actually tackle the root causes of our distress. The pillars of the CAP platform are:
democratic reform to stop Harper's disgusting abuses
replace free trade with FAIR trade, restore our sovereignty,
restore traditional civil protections eroded by the US led war on self induced terror,
Monetary system reform to stop banks from bleeding taxpayers and corporate tax reform to stop the bleeding into secret tax havens
Fix our mixed up environmental policies which allow degradation (oil sands) but soak ordinary workers to pay for subsidies on expensive green systems, CO2 treaty payments while suffering nonsensical measures like lightbulb bans.
These are not cosmetic tinkering with non-essentials, these are fundamental to restoring Canada to what it once was - a country fair and reasonable for all. While CAP does not have a complete slate or a complete platform, the essence is correct and the opportunity for giving ordinary folks a new voice focused on their real needs, is immense.
Only CAP and possibly the Greens offer visions for the future. I decided that the Green Party was not my preferred choice because their environmental policies are essentially tax-and-spend policies, which I oppose, and because their support of the Kyoto Treaty would give our taxing powers over to non democratic foreign tribunals, thus rendering our democratic protection (no taxation without representation)impotent and Canada a non-sovereign country, a vassal state. The media prefers that Canadians do not consider this vital aspect. Many of us are already suffering enough at the hands of such treaties and if Harper returns with a majority, are about to be enmeshed with even more treaties (Europe, North American Union)and the transfer of Canadian wealth and sovereign control to others.
Thus, the Canadian Action Party as the only logical choice for disaffected voters in 2011.
Of the above pillars of the CAP platform, the most important, but also the most difficult to explain, is the monetary reform, which simply means restoring the Bank of Canada to the rightful place in our system that it enjoyed until Trudeau started bypassing it by borrowing money for deficit spending from the commercial banks. In addition, the anti inflationary protection was sidelined. This involved making banks deposit their reserves into the BOC at little interest which of course, they did not like. The essence of this reform is to stop bleeding taxpayers by paying such huge amounts to banks ($80 million per DAY) in interest on Canada's huge debt.
The most controversial aspect of CAP's platform is to insist on Fair Trade, not Free-for-Corporations Trade, which is what NAFTA is. This system, while it has many benefits, is at the heart of many of the ills we face - the growing gap between rich and poor, temp work, wage erosion, benefit erosion, loss of good jobs, proliferation of dead end jobs, etc. No one wants a return to high tariffs and other protectionist measures but the fact is that what we have is not working for increasing numbers of people. It must be changed and so even while I generally feel open trade is a good thing, I join with my colleagues in insisting that NAFTA must either be fixed or thrown out. Obviously, with only a dozen candidates, abrogation of NAFTA could not actually happen so a prospective voter should consider this as only an opportunity to give voice to the concerns of those who are being pushed down or out not as an immediate vote against NAFTA.
Tied into both NAFTA and to security issues, is the growing sense that security concerns are trumping the protections that ordinary Canadians expect from their government. When regulations and restrictions are prompted into being by corporations eager to squeeze small competitors out of the market, then the old adage that one only worries when one is doing something wrong is turned on its head. Now many of the ordinary things Canadians did every day are becoming increasingly punished, restricted, or outlawed. Thus, the 'system' makes ordinary people into criminals and rulebreakers. Increasingly, such rulebreaking is dealt with through automatic fines, regulatory injunctions, or even worse, by tribunals in which one is guilty until proven innocent, a reversal of the traditional rights of the people. The Canadian Action Party seeks to restore civil protections and to repudiate the whole military industrial complex imperatives that make such heavy handedness seem to be essential.
I hope this short synopsis of the Canadian Action Party gives the reader the essence, as seen through my eyes. Further details of our platform and insight into the problems we confront are to found at our websites. For an abbreviated version, please visit votecap.ca and for videos and more detail please visit canadianActionParty.ca
With regards to voting for a small party with no chance to actually deliver goodies to voters who seek benefits for themselves, Jesse Ventura said of a voter's duty:
"Well, it's a simple thing... You got to remember an election is not a horse race. You're not there to pick the winner. You're there to vote your heart and conscience, and pick the candidate that most represents what you believe in.
The Canadian Action Party certainly embraces what I believe to be the best ideas for Canada and I hope you find us to be worthy of your vote.
Bob Green Innes
If you're too rushed to read, just click the LISTEN button.
Canadians have been through quite a few elections in the past few years and it is becoming apparent that voter turnout and voter fatigue continue to be real problems. Or are they? Why should anyone care about voter turnout, especially when families are still being squeezed, unemployment, while improved, is still high, Stelco is strikebound and all public programs are under immense pressure.
When the election writ was dropped, I had become so disgusted by how things are developing in Canada, and the manner of our governance, that I had to provide folks with some alternative to the three main parties which I call the party of big business, the party of big gummerment and the party of big unions. Looking down the list at Elections Canada, the Canadian Action Party attracted my attention as a party that seemed to feel as I do, that Canada has been steered away from its beneficial roots and traditions by unwelcome forces outside our borders. So after some discussion with them, I decided to try to do something in my riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, in short, to be a candidate on their behalf.
The first requirement was to gather the necessary nomination signatures. Going around the area and talking to folks, I found a lot of negative antipathy out there with respect to politicians, even wannabes out to make a point. We heard plenty from people in the street saying things like:
politicians are disgusting.
politicians are all the same
no matter who gets in, nothing changes.
Nothing for us, it's all about them.
The fact that I agree and that I'd never been one didn't matter! People expressed varying degrees of anger, disgust, resignation, apathy, or simply nothing at all - a blank stare at the canvasser or wannabe politician.
I was given lots of excuses for not wanting to interact. Too busy, not voting anyway, no speaka d'English, unwilling to sign anything, don't want to get involved, closed faces, closed minds.
Others expressed various degrees of willingness, from folks loving our message to folks who made me tie my tongue for a sig!! Love 'em all.
Folks already committed to another candidate, were split on whether or not they should support a new voice in the system - no benefit for their party so why would they - or who flatly disagreed (too many parties already). Others felt, what the heck, everybody should have a say. Bless 'em!
But it was the people who said they would not be voting that bothered me the most.
The reasons to vote are plainly stated in every school textbook, government brochure and citizenship course. To no avail. How can people avoid the obvious self defeating logic of not voting? One wonders how deeply folks think about democracy and our system of doing things (or anything for that matter). But then, if voting for an available candidate runs counter to one's interest, like in a one party state, and if the smaller candidates have no hope of being elected, then the question is valid. The simple answer is this:
In a democracy, it is critical for the public to know what you think, even if the politicians then ignore you! Critics can't always justify raising the roof if they don't know you don't like something. If you don't vote, or even if you vote strategicly, you are shielding your real thoughts from public awareness. That makes no sense when voting and speaking openly are your rights. For various reasons, polls are not a substitute. It is better to spoil your ballot than to not vote at all. This is because they cannot think you are lazy, and also because this public display of your commitment encourages more or better choices to emerge the next time around, if not sooner. (The polling station will explain how to spoil your ballot.) If this seems strange to you, ask yourself what would happen if everybody spoiled their ballot. Would something not have to change?
Voters should not feel that a vote for a small party, or even an independent, is a wasted vote. It brings your choices into public view.
We have not yet considered duty, which is not mandated in Canada, as it is in Australia. Canada is poor at fixing problems, and would benefit from Australian rules developed after a similar period of low voter turnout. Their system also includes preferential voting and proportional representation.
Yes, voting is compulsory for every Australian citizen aged 18 years or older. If you do not vote and do not have a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote, a penalty is imposed.
Further, I believe that voters who refuse to vote actually place democracy in harm's way - it is indeed a dangerous practice that should be punished. The reason is that it is far easier for special interests to swing the vote when fewer voters turn out. This may explain why the system here has never made voting mandatory - 'they' have found a way to sideline you as much as possible, without appearing to do so directly! Money plays a big part in supporting candidates favourable to entrenched or foreign interests. Through their media influence, they can bamboozle the people - but only so much. At some level, the people know when they are being had. Therefore, the real (and only) bulwark against money influence is people power - electoral numbers. To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.*
There are more of us, than of them. This may not matter often, but when the chips are down, it does. Are the chips down?
Bob Green Innes, Canadian Action Party
*John McCrae, In Flanders Field
PS. After more confrontations with non voters, it did occur to me that if one is 1) truly happy with the status quo and 2) believes that things will not get much worse, and 3) if one really doesn't care which of the big 3 parties win, then one might be forgiven for finding voting to be a waste of time. It's just that I do not believe that non voters truly fit with those three criteria - especially with the NDP coming up in the polls all of a sudden. Thus, excuses for not voting are a crock.
On April 27, 2006, the Ontario government announced the end of a bizarre venture. Canada's first large privately run prison, a 1,200-inmate maximum-security superjail in the cottage country north of Toronto, was a failure and would be taken over by the province.
1 Did Ryan McGreal find an alternative to spending a Billion? - Melbourne's Makeover. 2 Can Hamilton can have its LRT cake and eat it too? Maybe. Nov 23, 2010. 3 Also a look at whether RTH risks irrelevancy by boosting LRT too much.
This website is finally getting to be something organized. Alas, just as it's getting into full swing, it's getting full! I'll be keeping this site alive for various purposes, but I'll be more or less migrating to my page at Hubpages.com, probably with a trailer here.
In case you had some difficulty with broken links, please be patient. I'm just changing files over to php so if something doesn't work, try changing the extension from .html to .php. PHP cuts the storage requirements and facilitates the updating of anciliary sections like this one. Master files are used that are pulled into every page (links, header, footer, favs, breviations, etc). For anyone interested, the clever command that is used for this is 'include', the syntax for which can be found on the net. Very cool, no?
Next: I'll also be starting to group blogs on the same page - why not - saves storage space too. New table for miscellaneous??? (For now, I'll just stick odd stuff below.) Eventually I may get code to improve the comment section but in the meantime, i found an online forum site which makes things easy and fast. First though is to bring some order to the numbering system which right now is conflicted between normal chronological postings, logical pointing system, and page groupings in reverse chronological.
Also need to ensure font is not too small on newer hi res screens. Please use your browsers zoom feature as needed - or complain!
As you can see, Netfirms is hosting this site. My frugal buddy Johnny suggested it as the most economical site for a modest blogger. The two domains and the two sites cost about a case of beer per year which i guess is justified. There is limited storage and limited bandwidth but that's ok for now. They offer pagemaking services but being a control freak, I prefer to stick to my own understandable system. Hope you enjoy.
For other items or requests, please feel free to email me. Sorry for the spambot-fighting inconvenience but I've learned not to provide the normal link or the inbox becomes clogged or breaks down completely. Please paste the following then remove the spaces and add the usual symbols where noted:
r o b e r t i n n e s (at sign) r o b e r t i n n e s (dot) c a.