Posts Tagged ‘election’

To a Greenie re Vacation

Hypocrites!

You believe that Global Warming is caused by humans releasing CO2 and what do you do? Fly to the Arctic and back again for your Adventure Canada NW Passage Cruise! What does that do to YOUR CO2 footprint?

I also recall your wanting Canada to sign a climate treaty which will oblige us to tax fuel (carbon) so heavily that fewer folks will be able to… fly!  (Unless its tax deductible, LOL). So you want to blow your CO2 now, before a carbon tax kicks in. Nice trick.

In exhibiting how wasteful/ inconsiderate or whatever you are, you’re actually demonstrating the need for an undemocratic (treaty based) carbon tax as the only way to curtail your selfish habits. You’re then apparently happy to vote for a future government to force this carbon tax onto your children/ grandchildren and their entire generation. Attila the Hun would be impressed!

Further, for some inexplicable reason, you think it appropriate to do your traveling in the Arctic, the region most susceptible to global warming impact, and in the company of fellow travelers, who if I recall from your previous Arctic trip, were oh, so concerned about Global Warming! And oh so convinced humans are responsible for CO2, despite humans being a minor contributor (compared to natural releases such as melting permafrost, warming oceans).

Makes sense to me!  I can see how jet fuel burned high overhead as well as during takeoff would gently !increase your traveling comfort in that normally frigid region. And I can certainly appreciate how the looong moisture & CO2 laden contrail behind your jet traps heat from the sun – the entire world gets blanketed by this high altitude fog which must be trapping a lot of heat. Funny eh, how they never mention that. Guess they don’t want to actually solve the problem – say by banning plebian air travel – they just wanna grab people’s money away so they can’t do it!

Me, I’m very happy to hear of your travels – and slightly envious, lol. My more sanguine climate evidence allows that real live Vikings raised cattle and grew corn on Greenland a millennia ago as described by Diamond in his book Collapse. You might take a copy with you although that historical nugget might interfere with your sanctimonious belief that warming is anthropogenic and must be stopped – by others!!  My mind is worried less about an unstoppable warming cycle than about gullible human responses driven by alarmism, manipulation and greed.  We are nowhere near a repeat of those warm Viking conditions, but if the cycle continues, well, there will be plenty of extra space for those displaced by supposedly rising oceans. The entire Nunavut, almost 2 million sq kms, now supports only slightly more people than Innisfil, a small town north of Toronto.

And if you happen to notice any potential ranching sites on your tour’s Greenland leg, please let me know. The way Canada is going, maybe setting up shop in Viking territory would be a better bet than sticking around while whichever party strategic voters elect in October places our sovereignty under the control of corporations via the many treaties being slipped surreptitiously past our sleepy puckbrains…..  ZZZZZ

Bon Voyage – but let’s dismiss global warming alarmism.  Humans cause plenty of real specific problems that we actually can solve – without losing our democratic protections.

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Big Media: Big Candidate Bias

Turnout is at all time lows.  Cynicism at highs.  Decline the vote and none of the above  initiatives increase.

Mark Twain: If you don’t read newspapers, you are uninformed.  If you read newspapers, you are misinformed.  If you ingest TV news or talk radio consider yourself contaminated.

Ok, ok, I know.

Thanks to the internet, we might eventually dispense with the old adage, also from Twain: Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”  I’d like to pick a fight.  I buy ink by the teaspoon.

Big media seared my brain when they played up a photo of PM contender, Robert Stanfield fumbling a football (after many successful catches) as if this was policy!  Trudeau later trounced Stanfield.  I remember a contrite CBC commentator admitting their role decades later.  That’s why Stanfield is now called the best PM that Canada never had. Canadians put up with this? Sheep.

Canada is down to half a dozen corporate entities that own most media outlets so it is easy to blacklist any journo who goes against the grain.  Big change from the old days.

Many writers have expressed disgust and pointed out the consequences more eloquently and academically than I can.

PACT, Party for Accountability, Competency and transparencey) points out that debates exclude a very legit Green Party while a contrary comment asks how could a debate include all 60 plus TO mayoralty candidates.  Compromise?

For now,  I’ll focus on the upcoming municipal elections. Here’s a local example of how big media discourages consideration of lesser known candidates.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/04/29/meet_the_longshots_mayoral_candidate_diana_maxted.html    By: 

Why the discouraging (series) title: Meet the Longshots?  Why not something more neutral like Mayoral Candidate X focuses on Y?

Note the juxtaposition of adjectives:  “Once a week .. we’ll introduce you to an obscure candidate vying to be Toronto’s chief magistrate.”

Ridicule is the first defence of the status quo. Ask yourself why.

Photo chopped off the top of her head? = brainless? Fair?

Interview questions

1 You want to be mayor, not a councillor. What makes you qualified to run Toronto?  Holy moley, a typo in the Star!

2 And how are you going to do that exactly?

These questions sound reasonable, even necessary.  A sneering hack pretending  diligence, toughness.

3 OK, so here’s the big question: You’re up against big names like Rob Ford, John Tory and Olivia Chow. How are you going to get your name out there?

For candidate Jeff Billard | Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/04/15/meet_the_longshots_mayoral_candidate_jeff_billard.html   By: 

Somewhat different questions.  BTW, there were other  germane questions about platform which I excluded so as to not try your patience too much. Still here? Thank you!

4 Some politicians start out running for school board or council before vying for mayor. Did you consider that?

5 How do you feel about major debates featuring only the high-profile candidates? 

6 What level of vote support would you consider a success? 

Let’s unpack.  First, the Star pointed out that these questions/answers were excerpted from a full interview.  Meaning these are supposed to be the most cogent information gleaned from candidates.  BS.  You can be sure that candidates got excited about their pet idea, but little of that reached the article.  What did reach us were inadequate answers to impossible questions.  Why impossible?

For Q1 & 2, who do you think runs Toronto?  The mayor? If you think that, especially under Ontario’s weak mayor system, think again.   Reality: full time bureaucrats run the city.  The mayor is only ONE vote –  on a council of 45.  The creation of actionable motions  and related reports falls to said bureaucrats.

Since the mayor can be outvoted so easily, he can only remind councilors that he/she is the only person elected by the WHOLE city.  If the public wants that vision and voted for it, then the mayor has a basis to call for cooperation.  Other than a few perks, THAT’S ALL.

Ergo, manipulative question.

The issue is crucial.  If most candidates want a grey city and one itsy bitsy candidate wants a pink city, then why should the media deflect attention away from pink?  Given exposure, the people might prefer pink over grey.  But we the people can only choose what’s ‘allowed’ by our unelected, unaccountable corporate masters.  No dark horses, no young mayors for them.  Sheep.

Q3 is just meant to belittle a candidate without a webpage.  Necessary?

Q4,  Trick question on running for mayor vs councilor.  Councilors have a 90% incumbency rate for a reason.  Unless they really screw up, their helping of  constituents, name recognition, picnics, occasional meetings are likely to leave a positive impression.  Even if one issue rubs a constituent the wrong way, there is always another more  favourable  issue.

So as Mr Billard pointed out, unless one is a malcontent, going for mayor is the straighforward best strategy.  Plus its much easier to put one’s views forward in the many interviews and debates.

Not to mention the crucial developer-fundraising issue that favours incumbents.  Arrg.

Q5.  Unless Mr Billard harped on it, the exclusion question is just there to introduce negativity and divert attention from the positive elements of his platform.

Q6 just drives home the point this candidate doesn’t stand a chance and would be a wasted vote.  Despite my support for decline, there is no such thing as a wasted vote.

Conclusion.

If you’re a candidate, avoid mainstream media like the plague.

If you’re a voter, avoid mainstream media like the plague!

Don’t worry, the best info is on the net. Even better, phone candidates of interest.

I guess we should be happy the Star didn’t use the perjorative word ‘fringe’.  If  you run across similar examples, please let us know.  What tricks have you noticed? I’ll edit this page accordingly.

Till then, I remain, your unelected curmudgeon! (Not that I didn’t try!)

 

Nose Holding Not Election Solution

 I take strong exception to the premise of an article by Ryan McGreal in Raise the Hammer, especially the statement: ‘Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by FORMALLY DECLINING TO VOTE, the end result is the same.’ [Emphasis added].

While spoiled or blank ballots cannot be attributed to clear motive or sentiment, Election Ontario has confirmed that a declined ballot means essentially ‘none-of-the-above’.  Please visit http://curmudgeonreport.com/2014/05/24/o… and scroll to comments for their wording.

None-of-the-above means either one (passively) doesn’t like any candidate, or more actively, one detests all candidates. It might also mean that even if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote, since no such candidate ever really stands a chance to be elected, let alone be a part of government.

None-of-the-above is also starting (I hope) to be attached to the message that what is really needed is MMP or some form of proportional representation.  A new party capitalizing on the phrase, advocates for direct democracy, whatever that is.

As for the notion of holding one’s nose, what Ryan advocates is strategic voting. The problem is that if one doesn’t vote for what one actually believes in, but pretends to be a supporter of another party, one is actually being dishonest. If voters are dishonest, why should politicians be honest? The classic notion of public virtue seems to be dead these days, for it applies to all, not just politicians.

The other reason to not hold one’s nose is that Ryan advocates voting for ‘the system’.  If you are a winner, carry on, vote for the team that caters to your group. But the people being squeezed by the system should not be fooled into voting against their own interest, even if nobody actually represents their interest. Whether they get squeezed by higher taxes, lower employment, lower wages, higher prices, inflation, instability or a dozen other ills, hardly matters. Lives will get worse if the system, encouraged by all those foolish votes, continues to squeeze.

The SYSTEM comprises big government, big business and big unions, with a party assigned to each. Those outside this system (mom&pop shops, homeless, students, non-unionized workers, independents, farmers, etc.) should beware false promises being made trying to suck us in.  Folks on Welfare  are particularly vulnerable since many think the NDP represents their interest, as opposed to actually being agents who prefer to keep them where they can be served by a union worker (ie, not solving the underlying problem, or at best advocating outright socialism). Each big party will always reward its constituency at the expense of the rest of us. So unless you’re winning, decline your ballot.

As for those who stay home, I’ve become more tolerant to the point of  even encouraging this strategy. One can see the hand wringing going on over low turnout. Sooner or later this will translate to political action before the pretense of legitimacy is completely lost.

Nose holding is not an honourable solution. Don’t do it.

None Of The Above – a New Political Party

My prayers have been answered.  A new political party is born in Ontario.  Its called None Of The Above Party, (abbreviates to NOTA)!  Isn’t that wild?  Somehow this party has come into existence, been approved by Elections Ontario and fielded a slate of eight candidates, six of them in Mississauga–home of Hazel McCallion, possibly the oldest mayor in the world.  Did some of her famous practical reasoning rub off!  

NOTA is the brainchild of businessman Greg Vezina (pronounced Vesna or Vezna) who received honourable mention on TVO’s The Agenda May 29  show Pushing Out the Vote.  Good on Greg.  I then watched a friendly interview on NOTA’s facebook page.  My first impression was favourable despite NOTA having a thin platform.  Greg is one of those people, unlike me, who pay attention to the minutiae of politics (who-did-what-to-whom) and who I think would be quite valuable as an MPP, bringing concerns energetically to the floor that no other mainstream party would dare mention.  And if one or two managed to get elected– a miracle of the first order– I doubt Ontario or democracy or the economy would sink into the ocean any more than under the already crushing weight of our monumental provincial debt.  And it certainly is a development which brings into sharp focus that disenchanted voters are staying away in droves.

A more positive take is that NOTA would likely serve as a lightening rod for disaffected voters, who would undoubtedly fill the ears and minds of NOTA notables with all manner of issues that should be voiced at Queens Park.  Just what the doctor ordered, as my dad used to say.

Definitely this election just got more interesting.

Here’s the rub.

As detailed in my previous blog, I’d sent an email to Elections Ontario requesting/ demanding that voters be given the option of explicitly – ie. without confusion- indicating their displeasure by being able to select ‘none of the above‘ as a final option on the ballot.  I’d hoped that such a strategy would serve to increase turnout, and would serve to bring the stark reality home to politicians just how disillusioned many of us are.  Did I get what I wanted?  Nope.  Since NOTA has no candidate in my riding, I still cannot make clear my frustration except by declining my ballot, which,  as I said, is not explicit and could happen for any number of reasons.  Perhaps I’d have an argument with the returning officer or just get out of  bed on the wrong side that day.

What to do?  Should I take Elections Ontario to task, in court or otherwise for allowing a confusing party name?  Like if they gave me what I asked, they would have to print,  for the Mississauga riding, a line showing ‘none of the above‘ just below the line showing None Of The Above!! Confusing, no? Couldn’t the party have been called Disillusioned Voters Party?  Hey, like stuck cars on Toronto’s DVP!  🙂

I’d hate to give Elections Ontario an excuse to force  NOTA party candidates off the ballot.  And the idea of allowing a non-entity / non-person option onto the ballot is a bit far fetched, potentially necessitating another run-off election if more voters selected ‘none of the above‘ than any of the real candidates.  A good idea, imo, but one that would have to be legislated into existence as noted by nota.org,  an unrelated (US) website.

Hmm, what to do?  Let me know what you think and please stay tuned.  Hopefully you’ll be able to see my questionable visage somewhere in Mississauga helping this fledgling effort along.

Bob Curmudgeonly Innes

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

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.