Did You Know … Week of November 17, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week BC Electoral Reform Referendum Quote pick of the day, from York University professor, Dennis Pilon: “There’s lots of arguments in favour of our current system - it’s just they’re not democratic ones. They’re great for dictatorships.” Fair Vote Comox Valley and Fair Vote Campbell River are both out talking to voters at events this weekend. Elections BC reported, as of Friday, that 18% of ballots have been returned. Please ask all your friends and family in BC to send in their ballots. Or better yet, drop them off at their local Service BC centre, due to the rotating mail strikes. Provincially   The growing pains of BC water law An excellent article by Gavin MacRae of the Watershed Sentinel, special to Decafnation. Excerpt: “BC’s original Water Act was a relic, drafted when Vancouver was still a fledgling city and before Canada’s first airplane took to the skies. It would govern water use in the province for over a century, until in 2016, a long overdue replacement arrived: the Water Sustainability Act (WSA). Conceived after a long period of public consultation, the WSA aims to “address the new challenges of the 21st century, including climate change, population growth and increasing pressure on water resources.” … and so, the POLIS Water Sustainability Project is very important “Anybody, I would challenge them, name me something you think is important, whether you think it’s the economy, or local livability (sic), or food systems, or good health — all of it ties back to water. So as a society we better get our water management and water governance right....

Did You Know … Week of November 3, 2018

Must Reads from Last Week   BC Electoral Reform Referendum   Proportional Representation lawn signs Members of Fair Vote Comox Valley are getting a lot of questions about why there aren’t pro-PR signs around the Valley. The No side has lots of signs – and a lot of very large signs – and supporters of PR are getting upset that the Yes side isn’t putting out signs. So, here’s the answer: Fair Vote Comox Valley HAS been putting out signs, and they are being stolen. As far as we know, signs in people’s yards are being left alone, but virtually all the pro-PR signs on public land have been removed. I say “removed,” but really I mean stolen. Barb Berger of FV Comox Valley has a letter to the editor in the Comox Valley Record. What is astonishing is a comment in the online version from Darryl Pippin, who is involved with WiseVoteBC, which is directly connected to Bill Tieleman and Suzanne Anton’s official opponent group. Pippin accuses Barb Berger of “making widely (sic) inappropriate accusations without some backup.” He then proceeds to make WiseVoteBC the victim by talking about how one of their signs was defaced. He then proceeds to threaten RCMP investigation – of the defacement of their sign, NOT of the theft of FV signs. Lest you think this referendum is an interesting side-show and you don’t really need to get involved, watch the video on the goose-stepping soldiers. Read this article about how wealthy BC Liberal donors are bankrolling the opposition to proportional representation. Remember that the Independent Contractors of Businesses Association of BC actually went...

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…Week of June 23, 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… 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 “The case for [PR] is fundamentally the same as that for representative democracy. Only if an assembly represents the full diversity of opinion within a nation can its decisions be regarded as the decisions of the nation itself.” — Encyclopedia Britannica Referendum Ballot Questions BALLOT QUESTION #1:  Which system should British Columbia use for provincial elections? (Vote for only one.) The current First Past the Post voting system A proportional representation voting system BALLOT QUESTION #2: If British Columbia adopts a proportional representation voting system, which of the following voting systems do you prefer? (Rank in order of preference. You may choose to support...

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