Did You Know … November 10, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Top B.C. court rejects group’s attempt to stop electoral reform referendum Remember the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association? “The lobby group representing over 2,000 companies wanted a suspension of a cabinet order-in-council on the referendum and an order prohibiting the counting of ballots while it challenges the referendum process in court. [B.C. Appeal Court Justice Gregory] Fitch disagreed that the lower court erred in not recognizing that the association’s claims of irreparable harm would result from a limit on third-party advertising during the referendum (emphasis added) and that public confidence in the democratic process would be eroded.” Read more. Just to refresh your memory of how responsibly the ICBA is engaging in the referendum debate, here are some of the images from their Facebook page: You can tell by the numbering that there are seven more images in a similar vein…and no, they’re not trying to be funny. As of Nov. 9, 3.7 per cent of referendum ballots returned so far According to Elections BC, the Courtenay-Comox riding has returned 11% of the 121,888 ballots received by Elections BC to date. This is a tie with the Boundary-Similkameen riding. North Island has returned 8.7%. Powell River-Sunshine Coast riding has returned 6.5% of the ballots received. It looks like ridings where Fair Vote groups have been most active are getting a good return of ballots. Of course, we don’t know what the votes in those ballots are, but just that level of participation is encouraging. I think Elections BC is updating that website daily.  Understanding the referendum – final FVCV...

Did You Know … Week of October 13, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Understanding the referendum – upcoming information sessions DATE/TIME: October 15, 7-9 pm LOCATION:   Fanny Bay Hall, 7793 Old Island Hwy DATE/TIME: October 27, 1:30-3:30 LOCATION:   Rotary Room, Florence Filberg Centre DATE/TIME: November 12, 4:30 pm LOCATION:  Courtenay Public Library DATE/TIME: November 15, 2:30 pm LOCATION:  Courtenay Public Library DATE/TIME: November 17, 2:30 pm LOCATION:  Courtenay Public Library Jamie Deith, a systems designer, extremely knowledge on electoral systems, has created a quiz which leads you through an enlightening questionnaire to help determine what you value in a voting system, and identifies if you lean toward FPTP or PR. If you lean toward PR, this quiz will identify which of the three proportional systems in this referendum most resonates with your values. Be forewarned, you will have to do a simple math equation to prove you are human before you can access the site. This is because the opponents to proportional representation seem to be attacking proponent sites. Sample ballots for PR systems If you would like to check out sample ballots for the three PR systems in BC’s referendum, check them out here. Fact checker for proportional representation Check out myths, misconceptions and untruths at this fact checker. This site was hacked twice, shortly after it first went up in June and again in September; check out that article here. How first-past-the-post distorted New Brunswick’s election results One journalist’s take on the New Brunswick election outcome. …but hopes are dashed for another minority government No deal: Green Party won’t formally side with Liberals or PCs in N.B. Read more. Locally   Women...

Did You Know … Week of September 8, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   An information night on proportional representation Feeling confused about the systems on offer in this referendum? Join Barb Berger of Fair Vote Comox Valley and Jamie Deith for what promises to be an interesting and enlightening evening. Jamie Deith has devised an exercise that he will conduct with the audience, an exercise that will clarify what values are most important to YOU in a voting system. You won’t want to miss this event! DATE/TIME:  September 12, 7-9 pm LOCATION:    Comox United Church, Beach Ave., Comox Meet the big business lobbyists desperately fighting to stop BC’s electoral reform referendum This is what the Independent Business Contractors Association of BC is putting on their Facebook page: This is an important article to help you understand what we’re fighting for in BC. These groups are bringing out the big guns. For anyone to be this hysterical about improving our voting system, you know there’s got to be big money at stake! Read more. Six reasons why electoral reform in B.C. would be good for the climate First Past The Post is a winner-takes-all system that allows a minority of the electorate to empower leaders who disregard existing climate policy, public will, and the burning reality of “Hot House Earth.” Read more. Word of the week: Whiplash  /ˈ(h)wipˌlaSH/The feeling in your neck from years of watching hard-fought climate policies, electoral reform promises and international agreements drop to the cutting room floor for political expediency, while court decisions overrule what seemed like inevitable political outcomes.  From The Narwhal Locally   Rise for climate action Events took place outside Nicholas Simons’ office,...

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...

Did You Know…June 30, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Helen Clark, former PM of New Zealand, on proportional representation Have a listen. Why would business/company owners file an injunction to halt the referendum? Read more. Challenging a colonial inheritance: PR and First Nations Read more. Is democracy even possible anymore? “It’s a widespread belief that once democracy takes hold, citizen commitment to the system grows stronger with time.” But is that true? Excerpt: “[Researchers] found “deeply concerning” trends: citizens in several Western European and North American democracies had grown more cynical and distrustful about their political system and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives.” Read more. Locally   Courtenay/Comox third bridge could kill Hollyhock March and Kus-Kus-Sum This blog has written numerous times about the Kus-Kus-Sum project. (In fact, this writer was at the Nomadic Tempest show just last night.) This project is tremendously exciting. So the City of Courtenay is working on its Transportation Plan for the next 20 years and is considering a third bridge which, according to Decafnation, “would wipe out the Courtenay Airpark, part of the Airpark walkway, destroy the estuary’s last remaining intact ecosystem at Hollyhock Marsh, undermine the Kus-kus-sum rehabilitation project and create another major signaled intersection on Comox Road at a point that regularly floods during winter storms.”  Read more. There is a survey for the Transportation Master Plan: Take the survey here. FURTHER READING: See the study’s open house display boards; The city’s Master Transportation Plan webpage. Potlatch 67-67 2018 marks the 67th year since the Canadian government’s Potlatch Ban was lifted, after it was imposed for 67 years. Hence the...

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