Did You Know … Week of August 18, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Have Your Say About Did You Know… If you’d like to respond to an article here, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment.  If you have ideas for future editions – remember, Did You Know… is weekly – go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. If you have general feedback, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. BC Electoral Reform Referendum Within the context of BC’s referendum, here’s a review of a book called Democracy’s Shadow, which posits there are two kinds of politics: the politics of faith (populism) and the politics of skepticism. Excerpt: “From Ancient Athens to Rome and from Great Britain to the United States, democracy has taken many forms. It has advanced the social enterprise of people and pluralized decision making to the masses and away from the elite cadres of the ruling class. Nevertheless, democracy has its darker features.  Matthew Goodwin looks at democracy’s long shadow and the populists and demagogues that have cajoled the system for their own selfish gains. This read will entice any monitor of current events and political theorists alike.” Excerpt: “The crucial point about these competing models, however, is that they are inseparable. They need each other. Without politics as scepticism, the salvation-seekers risk dismantling the checks and balances and morphing into authoritarians. But without the salvation-seekers, the sceptics risk being taken over by political quietism; becoming far too readily accepting of the status quo and too slow to pursue change or reform.” Locally   Big Oil – Kevin Taft DATE/TIME:  September 13, 2018; 7 pm (Doors 6:30). LOCATION:    Native Sons...

Did You Know…Week of August 4, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Did You Know…Must Reads will not be published next week, August 14, 2018. BC Electoral Reform Referendum For those of us confused about the Pro Rep referendum please watch this excellent video with Sonia Furstenau from Shaw.  She explains it so clearly and passionately.  There are 2 segments in this video and you may need to scroll back to the beginning to see Sonia.  The second segment is with Fair Vote Youth and also worth watching.  Each around 28 minutes.  There is going to be a Facebook Live town hall with Sonia Furstenau on August 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. Locally Stotan Falls and 3L Developments From the Save the Puntledge Triangle! Facebook page: “If you’re just tuning in to the story now, catch up on the current status of 3L’s ‘RiverWood’ proposal by reading the work of several local journalists at DeCafNation.net, My Comox Valley Now, the Island Word, and of course in the Comox Valley Record. Then read through 3L’s proposal contained in the latest CVRD agenda package, read the RGS and come to terms with how it was created and why, and do your own myth-busting. 3L (short for ‘Lemare Lake Logging’) is run by former North Island logger David Dutcyvich who owns the land around Stotan Falls (including the Falls and the riverbed itself, thanks to the archaic laws we inherited). 3L wants to break the zoning of our Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) to permit a development of now 1,000 units (was 750 before) across the river and outside RGS boundaries, in an area lacking the basic infrastructure of roads, water and...

Did You Know…Week of July 28, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Have Your Say About Did You Know… If you’d like to respond to an article here, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment.  If you have ideas for future editions – remember, Did You Know… is weekly – go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. If you have general feedback, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. BC Electoral Reform Referendum Part 1: Watch this and this. These are young people talking about the BC referendum, which is great. And this one is the second episode done by Shaw, with Sonia Furstenau. It’s a very good overview. Part 2: Look at who is opposing electoral reform and what interests they are trying to protect before accepting their arguments. Read more. Excerpt: “Knowing that … “false majorities” would not be possible under a proportional electoral system creates a huge disincentive for governments to reform the electoral system. In a system that is typically dominated by two major parties, both may prefer taking turns wielding unbridled power based on false majorities over the alternative of sharing power and co-operating with other parties on an ongoing basis.” Part 3: Watch this debate on proportional representation. Nathan Cullen is much more adept at discussing PR than his opponent, MLA Mike Morris, whose main argument seems to be that it’s unconstitutional. There were over 100 people in the audience, which is encouraging. Part 4: Fair Vote Comox Valley was at the Comox Valley Pride Picnic in the Park event July 28. It was great to see so many other community groups supporting the LGBTQ2 community.  ...

Did You Know…Week of July 21, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week Spreading the Word If you have friends who are interested in any of the content of this blog, please feel free to share it far and wide. The fact that it comes from the Greens of North Island-Powell River (NIPR) doesn’t mean it is only relevant to people in that riding.  Because all Greens are part of the Global Greens, we need to think outside our riding boundaries and connect with each other.  Encourage your friends to subscribe to NIPR communications. Let’s connect across this vast riding, this vast country, and this vast but ultimately tiny planet. Have Your Say About Did You Know… Reader responses to last week’s blog Well, we got a bit of a dialogue going on the website last week. Check out the comment on the story of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and the response to that comment, AND the comment on the New Zealand government’s plans and the Irish government’s divestiture of fossil fuel investments. PLEASE, go to the website and comment on any of the links in the blog. If you’d like to respond to any article, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment.  If you have ideas for future editions – remember, Did You Know… is weekly – go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. If you have general feedback, go to NIPR’s website and leave a comment. BC Electoral Reform Referendum Part 1: Policy Note is doing a series on proportional representation. It includes a number of articles, and has links to videos on the 3 possible systems. Honestly, the CBC video seems ambiguous enough that...

Did You Know…Week of July 14, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Thinking fairly about BC’s referendum on PR This article is an intriguing, philosophical take on why proportional representation is a more rational choice than first past the post. What is the connection between astroturf and the PR referendum? “Given the stakes involved, I’m not surprised to see the recent flurry of ill-founded fear-mongering by astroturf groups created by powerful businesspeople, backroom strategists and grumpy ex-politicians to spread confusion about the upcoming referendum on B.C.’s electoral system. Their efforts show just how important and urgent it is to switch to a more fair system.” Read more. In case you’re still unclear about the astroturf connection, read this…and watch this video from 2008 where David Michaels talks about his book, “Doubt is Their Product.” Locally   Merville Water Guardians – Forests and Lands Ministry Meeting DATE/TIME:  Monday, July 16, 6:30-8:30 pm LOCATION:  Merville Hall Gay Pride Part 1:  Drag Queen Story Hour DATE/TIME: July 26, 10:30-11:30 a.m.  LOCATION: Courtenay Library Join us in collaboration with the Vancouver Island Regional Library as they host an exciting new event. Drag Queen Story Hour will feature our favourite Drag Queen, the beautiful, Miss Vikki as she reads from her favourite picture books to our kids. This is the first one of its kind for the Pride Society of the Comox Valley in an effort to support gender diversity and literacy in a fun, inclusive environment. Part 2:  Pride Flag Raising Monday, July 23 Town of Comox – 9:00am Village of Cumberland – 10:00am City of Courtenay – 12:00pm 19 Wing Comox - Base Ceremony Tuesday, July 24, 10:30 a.m....

Did You Know…Week of July 7, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   What are the features of the three proposed systems? Part 1: Gisela Ruckert from Fair Vote Kamloops talks about the systems on BC’s referendum. Part 2: Another video explaining the three systems. Part 3: Simone Weil believed political parties should be abolished Andrew Nikiforuk’s essay on Weil reveals just how prescient she was back in the 1940s. Nikiforuk doesn’t address proportional representation and whether this mitigates the tendency of the party system towards the stifling of democracy. But, given that parties are here to stay for the time being, can we hope for a better democracy if the referendum passes? Excerpt: “Weil measured the performance of political parties against three critical things that matter in life: truth, justice and the public interest. She found that they dishonored all three principles because a party’s essential character was anathema to such pursuits…To Weil all political parties possess three dangerous traits: they work as machines to “generate collective passions;” they strive to exert pressure upon the minds of their members with propaganda; and they have but one goal — to promote their own growth “without limits.” Read more. Part 4: Injunction being sought to halt the referendum The Independent Contractors and Business Association (ICBA) and the Canada West Construction Union have filed a request for an injunction to stop the referendum. One of their issues is that the referendum spending rules and time limit are violating their (ICBA’s) freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They feel that five months and $500,000 for one major opponent and $200,000 for each...

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