Archive for May, 2014

Voters, Decline Your Ballot

Well, the previous post was a bust, no?  Hoping to instigate a party for the downtrodden and … nada.  Not so much as a comment. Well, maybe it was a silly idea, given the short election cycle and the fact that my attempt to advertise in the Globe and Mail was dumb  since Globe readers are the most winningest in the system.

So if the rest of us ain’t a winner, I guess we’re the losers!? Party of Losers? Why not? The System here has three parties, let me reiterate: Party/Big Gov’t, Party/Big Biz, Party/Big Unions.  Each pretends to work for everybody, Joe the Plumber, the family, etc. As long as losers keep swallowing this lie, the status quo continues. As the pension & debt issues (unfunded liabilities) go unresolved, the music is building to a mighty crash. Wagner! Until the losers get their own party, there is no use for non-voters to vote.

As I said in previous blogs on this subject, ppl who don’t vote say: ‘ They’re all the same, they all lie, they do what they want anyway.’ If you want to see this spelled out, watch, if you can stomach it, TVO’s The Agenda. Their May 21 episode featured a number of such non-voters and a couple of  cynical System wonks who explained matter-of-factly why it is necessary for politicians to lie, etc. They give no solutions other than avoiding the Greens and being a smart enough lie detector, one who can guess the reality behind the lie and what will really ‘go down’. Natch, he didn’t really want you to wake up – and start a new party to properly represent the losers.

If you’re in the bottom third or the middle third, if you feel like you’ve been losing, what to do?  Well, you could pick a fringe or independent candidate that you do like.  However the way they/we’ve been dismissed by the media makes it so unlikely for any such candidate to ever be elected, that your vote, while at least honest, would be wasted. If you try to vote strategically, then you’re being dishonest and if you’re dishonest, it’s illogical and kinda dumb to expect the politician you vote for to be honest.  As they explained.

The only thing left to do,  is to make your unhappiness known to the System. Fortunately this can be done, more or less, by going to the polling station and asking to DECLINE your ballot. As Elections Ontario suggests below, declined votes are counted as people indicating  NOTA – none of the above. They also count  SPOILed  and BLANK ballots. Ballots are spoiled by goofs, scribbling, sloppy marks outside the allotted spaces or multiple marks. It is more difficult to ascribe an intent to a blank or spoiled ballot, since there could be ignorance, language difficulties, confusion etc .  and there is no way to decide for each case.  DECLINE your ballot instead.  Imperfect but better than nothing.

If you’d like to help spread this message, I think we should post yellow stickies with the words ‘DECLINE YOUR BALLOT JUNE 12’ printed in bold.  Stick them everywhere, including on election signs. The better they stick, the more they say, the more ppl will be educated about their real options.

Results for my riding in previous election

  • “Rejected as to marking” 153
  • “Unmarked” 49
  • “Declined by Voter” 14
  • Total Voter Turnout 39,743
  • Names on list 89,908

So let’s say 100 to 150 people wished to express NOTA, but only 14 did so semi-explicitly.  I asked Elections Ontario to give us an explicit option on the ballot and am still waiting for a response.  Perhaps you’d like to send them an email too.  If we got together, maybe we could ask for an injunction to force the issue?

 

Response from Elections Ontario to my request for info. 

Thank you for contacting Elections Ontario.   Electors do indeed have the option of submitting a vote of non-confidence. According to the Ontario Election Act, an elector may return a ballot to the Returning Officer to decline to vote:

“Declined ballot 53. An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word “declined” upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 53. Under the act, the declined ballot is recorded and thus the does satisfy the option you suggest of a ‘none of the above [candidate]’ ballot casting. The declined ballots are recorded and would serve that purpose. This information is recorded under the Ballot Statement of the Poll.”

For more information on the voting process, please consult our online guide here – which includes mentions of declining a ballot:

http://www.elections.on.ca/NR/rdonlyres/E61AA9C4-CA1B-4F0B-AAB4-85EB9884950B/0/VotingInOntProvincialElections.pdf

Declined ballots are counted and documented along with the rest of the poll results. For example, the link below directs you to the 2011 General Elections Results, and as you will note, there is a section for “BALLOTS DECLINED BY VOTERS”

http://www.elections.on.ca/en-CA/Tools/2011GEPollByPoll.htm

We hope this helps.

Sincerely, Elections Ontario

51 Rolark Drive Toronto, Ontario M1R 3B1

E-mail: info@elections.on.ca

Elections Ontario http://www.elections.on.ca 1.888.668.8683 Fax: 416.326.6210

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Voters – Fed Up yet?

A special welcome to non-voters – this site is for you.

And yes, I’m certainly fed up.

  • Secret trade deals, jobs lost to China & tax haven corporations, Globalism
  • Corruption, hidden expenses, junkets, brown envelopes.
  • Gravy Train, overpaid civil servants, gold plated pensions – for them.  Austerity, white elephants (ie. windmills), service cuts for us.  Income trusts gone.  Canada Post near gone.  Gas plant a minus half billion.  Traditions gone.
  • Unsustainable problems (fiscal, social, environmental), non-transparency, no term limits, useless backbenchers, back room politics, social engineering, handouts
  • Banksters, bail outs, bail-ins, bonuses, overspending, debt/pension time bomb (bad money), inflation, bad statistics,
  • and a media that promotes all this

Just my pet peeves- dozens more.

Then there’s all the folks who gave up voting or who voted strategically.    Now’s our chance to change this scenario.  If we don’t change  democratically now, you will see blood later.   It’s like they’ve got the fences built and they’re trying to close the (technology) gate from which there will be no escape.

Non-voters feel ‘There’s no use voting, they all lie, they all do the same thing anyway.’  That’s because the Party of Big Government (Liberal), the Party of Big Business (PC), and the Party of Big Unions (NDP) have become in effect, one big party which I call The System.  Others call it The Establishment. The system benefits its corporate sponsor.   They get away with it because of OUR apathy.  However, the System is becoming unstable, like a stool missing a leg.  Occupy thought it was 1% vs 99% but this is inaccurate –  a third of the people, enjoy the system.  They vote!  Duh.

Let’s not argue over a false left-right paradigm.  Bigger government or smaller government is no longer the critical issue.    Canada is being sold off to tax havens by corporations, who now buy politics in the back room to rob us of our jobs, rights, privacy, data, democracy and wealth.  They’re rushing us to sign trade and climate treaties to nail the democratic coffin shut (rules & taxation without representation— ie rule by new appointed, extranational tribunals).  Same thing around the world.

Are you sickened by how this affects the common person?  Do you think there must be a better answer than globalism –  or fascism or social capitalism or  oligopoly or whatever you call it?  If so, we should do something, the obvious thing being to start a new political party from the ground up.  A party to focus on common people left out of The System – non-unionized workers, unemployed/ part timers, independent business people (mom & pops, self employed), farmers – the 66%.  If we started a Party of Non-Voters, it would be the biggest party by far. Not a bad name either!

The place to start right now is in Ontario, with an election pending on June 12.  There is still time (barely) to form/ register a party and run, even if only a few candidates.  A few new/ misaligned MPPs can make a lot of noise in the legislature.  If we do it right, we’ll gain attention and credibility.  We can see the trend for independent parties in Alberta,  Saskatchewan and Quebec–why not in Ontario?

What’s essential right now is to form a core group in different ridings, of people who are willing to be a candidate.  Without candidates, we can’t form a party.  What a candidate needs is determination not to lets little things like money, time, experience be excuses to take no action.  Starting something like this can be quite modest.  Just getting registered is a victory.   Talk to your friends and see if you can find some support, donations, etc.  in your riding.  Everyone can help (and vote).  Maybe we should call it Coalition of the Willing!  Just kidding.

Please leave a message here.  What’s on your mind?  Let us know what you’d like to do, especially if you’re from Ontario.  We can then hook up and figure out platforms, party name, and all the good stuff.

Bob Green Innes.

Hamilton.

 

 

 

HotDocs.ca – select review

HotDocs Festival 2014 Toronto –

a Smash Hit on our way to the Great Smashup.

Dozens of cutting edge documentaries from cutting edge directors, many of which looked into the many hearts of darkness in our world, but few of which had answers. I’ll just give a brief comment on each as to why I felt this way.  I won’t try to duplicate more expert /comprehensive reviews – my concern is that the public is being fed a consistently singular message in many guises and that this message is dangerous to our future wellbeing.

I enjoyed 10 of this year’s crop despite developing an overarching feeling that they stuck pretty much to prevailing orthodoxy, at least among Toronto’s theater crowd.

The Trap: What Happened to our Dream of Freedom, 2002,  Adam Curtis

The most impressive, thorough and hard hitting of my selection by far . Three one hour segments – its a marathon. Mind bending too. This trilogy will find great resonance with the tin foil hat crowd and to my mind adroitly plumbs the messages we have been getting from our elites in the last century. Curtis follows thinkers as they bifurcate the concept of liberty into two camps: Positive and Negative Liberty.  The positive type is what  most revolution promise:  specific solutions such as Communism, Fascism, etc which all degrade into tyranny.  Negative Liberty is the ideal of being free to just do what you want (within reasonable limits).  Negative because of there is no specific prescription for society. Each person pursues  selfish fulfillment. He provides much support for these competing visions of liberty but having outlined the dangers of Positive Liberty and the limitations of Negative liberty, he blithely suggests we need Positive Liberty with some vague modifications. As if. So it looks like he is all for continuing a cognitive dissonance dialogue until such time as his masters, the globalists and the Georgia Guidestones deign to give us an answer. Probably just after WW3.

The Beijing Ants, Ryuji Otsuka.
This shaky doc was the polar opposite of The Trap, with little message to recommend it. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it even as many folks walked out. Well, that’s because I’ve a secret yen for China and was interested in finding out the pitfalls of renting an apartment in case I get there some day!  Quite different than here so it’s a good how-to, imo. Orthodoxy was preserved by the many shots of dense pollution over Beijing. Ok, so pick Kunming or some smaller city in the outlying provinces unless you have business in the capital.

Evaporating Borders, Iva Radivojavec.
Compelling and complaining but failed to explore the reason WHY mass migrations are so tolerated/ encouraged. Natch. They don’t want us to know. But we know, don’t we?!

The Writer With no Hands, William Westaway.
Chilling but confusing conjecture on the disappearance of Hollywood screenwriter Gary DeVore. Much evidence seemed to point to CIA/ military involvement, at least circumstantially, but nothing conclusive.  Should we worry or not? Being an inveterate worrier, I’d say we should, if only to shine a light, especially given the evidence of military assistance to ‘suitable’ projects.  Why do we tolerate this interference?

Ukraine is not a Brothel, Kitty Green.
Ooh lala, now that’s an unexpected offering from a dyed in the wool feminist! Who’da thunk. Lots of bare boobs, perhaps to the point of gratuitousness. Other than that though, the message is about what you’d expect from a feminist – women good (albeit duped) dupe-man bad, religion bad. Arch villain Victor given short shrift despite his prodigious contribution to the possibly legitimate Femen movement.  BTW they should stick to women’s issues, not politics, imo . No exploration of whether feminism is sustainable, so the irony is fitting.  See more below under last movies.

Ai WeiWei, The Fake Case, Andreas Johnson
Please pardon my fascination with China, again thoroughly enjoyable. One comes away with a clear sense of the struggle between an artistic but eccentric individual (designed the Bird’s Nest Stadium) and a state struggling to advance their society while coping with many different nationalities and languages, never mind stubborn individuals. Look at the problems Canada has coping with one distinct Quebec. We in Canada should not feel smug, especially when John Doe of the G20 debacle was incarcerated 250 days longer (without trial) than Ai Weiwei. So if we are to fix the many problems in Canada, which is worse, a dangerously misguided police force or an insurmountable media-fed zombi-ism combined with an efficient police that demanded over 1 million files from our internet ISPs in the last year?

Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD.
Touching and vital study of an experimental (but expensive) program that attempted with much success to treat the whole child instead of just the symptoms of acting out. Not a dry eye left the theater. However, those who like myself decry the use of Ritalin will be disappointed, since the pre-existing medical regime for each child was maintained on or off as before.

The Songs of Rice, Uruphong Raksasad
A cinematicly confusing collage of images from several south Asian nations. Too disconnected, poorly shot to figure out, especially for western city slickers. Tended to reinforce existing Waspy notions of what these countries are like, so let me challenge Canadians to watch the wild and wonderous / thunderous gunpowder propelled ‘helicopter’ fireworks and reflect on how our sanctimonious city school fathers wouldn’t even allow old fashioned (inexpensive) playgrounds to stay in our schools. Wow, what a rite of passage for those young folk. Puts us to shame if you ask me.

The Malagasy Way, Nantenaina Lova.
This film examines the intersection of culture and exploitation with recycling as a possible answer to the environmental and employment conundrum. These last two directors looked from their point of view but can a sophisticated audience do anything but look down our long noses at the antiquated practices we saw?   (even if honestly ingenious).  Recycling is such a politically correct solution but our high-mechanized high-overhead probably unsustainable solutions make no room for the low tech possibilities depicted- except by shipping boatloads to Asia and then complain when children desolder circuits and clean plastic bags. Thus we continue to bury too much in landfills.

In retrospect, the greater challenge for modern Canadians is to reflect on the Malagasy traditions as represented by proverbs, several of which were given.  ie A family that stands together is a rock, a family in discord washes away like sand.  Canadians by contrast have almost totally destroyed such wisdom, if we even had any in the first place.  Our only equivalent would be our religions and institutions and our laws to some degree.  Proverbs are easily remembered and passed through generations by Malagasy orators.  Are we deliberately taking down our wisdom through movements like Femen  with their anti-religious/tradition message?   Much as I admire them, LOL.

Everyday Rebellion, T. Arash et al.

Last doc i caught and perhaps the most powerful.  Or maybe it was the cumulative effect.  Explores efficacy and methods of non-violent protest in various nations, attempting to prove it more effective than the violent kind, especially under brutal dictatorships (Syria, Iran).  I had wondered if it would be an honest film or just made to pacify restive populations.  Why would a fellow like Bush Jr. want democracy anyway?  Is it because they manufacture consent so easily?  The excellent quality (cinematics & organization) suggests asking where they got the juice from – the ‘system’? I’ll have to leave this to the better informed.  Cognitive dissonance.

Regardless, I felt overwhelmed by the discipline & evolved methodology combined with courage of those involved (Occupy, Femen). A few Femens appeared after the show (recruiting?) – wow, these women are not sluts.  These  are special people, so courageous, so beautiful, so honourable, so vital.  The person I talked to heard/considered my criticisms/ suggestions, a rare event as most people cannot actually listen to another perspective from an ordinary person.

I’ve decided my role is to write but researchers who study this stuff (and who claim effectiveness mentioned above), say the primary engine is ‘street work’ combined with parallel political efforts.

I was amazed to learn that…. arrg, seniors moment!! Will edit later.

—-

I wish I had been able to see all the docs , though I also wish that subtitles could be arranged for better visibility and less eye shifting for the curmudgeon. The presence of 700 volunteers was also impressive, if a little unsettling – these young people need paying jobs to support their studies for heavens sake – but that’s a potential HotDocs topic for another day.