Friday, September 26, 2008

I Refuse to Vote Strategically

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I left a bigass comment over at Excited Delirium and I'm recycling most of it here. I've been seeing a lot of interest in strategic voting. All sorts of schemes and ideas are popping up that are aimed at preventing Harper from attaining a majority. I won't be supporting any of those schemes. Here's why.

While I want to stop Harper as much as the next progressive, I think there are a couple problems with these types of tactics. The Greens and Libs are doing something like this with the so-called Red-Green deal in 2 ridings. The Liberals in May's Central Nova Riding are not moving en masse to the Greens, though. The numbers would work if every bit of the support for the parties that bowed out went to the agglomerated vote. It won't. Denied their party of choice, some voters will simply stay home. Polls include fence-sitters. Some of the weak support may go to the Cons.

With the way the NDP has been campaigning so vigorously against the Liberals, how many NDP supporters would vote Lib should their party decide to withdraw its candidate?

As a Green Party supporter and worker, I would have a hard time strategically voting Liberal. The Liberals haven't earned my vote. They've been particularly ineffective in opposition and allowed themselves to be bullied into acquiescing to every threat made by Harper. As a result, they staved off an election for a few months but managed to enter it looking like the hand-sitters and abstainers they became.

If we wanted a two-party system, we'd have one. Canadians want a choice. NDP supporters want to vote for the party that best represents their views. Ditto for the other parties' supporters. Democracy isn't about narrowing down our choices to allow us to vote for the lesser of two evils. We want to vote FOR something. These sorts of schemes require us to vote AGAINST something. I don't have any hard evidence handy, but I suspect voters are more motivated to actually get out and vote when they are doing something positive as opposed to something negative.

The system is broken. Unfortunately, of the 60% of Canadians who actually vote in federal elections, few realize how broken it is. I've been thumping the PR bible for years. I've watched as eyes glaze over when I start to explain how the FPTP system is undemocratic. People think, "one man, one vote" equals democracy. Period.

The large parties have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. They are not only the chief recipients of disproportional representation, they are also they very ones who have the legislative clout to change it. Why would they? There's no groundswell of public support for change.

There's the old saying that in a democracy, you get the government you deserve. Here in Canada in 2006, 64% voted against the Cons. Since then, the Cons have ruled us as though they had 100% support. We did not get the government we voted for. We do not deserve to be lorded over by a party with only 36% popular support. Ergo, we do not live in a democracy.

665,000 Canadians voted for the Green Party in 2006 and elected zero MPs. Those 665,000 have a better understanding of the patent unfairness of the system than the voters who elected MPs with 36% popular vote. This time, it is entirely possible that well over one million will vote Green and still not elect an MP.

Sadly, it may take a strong dose of un-democracy to convince enough Canadians that we have a broken system in need of reform. So be it. When we engage in schemes and vote trading and candidate trading and all sorts of strategies to play the game by the unfair rules, we only perpetuate acceptance.

I voted strategically once when I thought I could help stop an undesirable candidate from being elected. I felt slightly nauseous afterward and the experience still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils. I refuse to vote against the least desirable. I will continue to vote positively. I will vote for the party and candidates that best reflect my values, whether or not they stand a snowball's chance in hell in our unfair, archaic first past the post system.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Green Grandma on YouTube

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I been spendin' a lotta energy the last coupla few years tryin' to kick the stuffin' out of a bigass misconception folks seem to have about the Green Party and more specifically, about Green supporters. I'm talkin' about the dumbass notion that Greenies is a buncha treehuggin' teenagers or idealistic university students or hippie commune dwellers.

Sure, there's a few o' them types in the party but the average Green Party member is a far cry from the hackneyed stereotype. I'm active in my local GPC riding association. Mostly, it's a group of 50+ grandparents, retired professionals, small business owners and just plain everyday folks like live up and down every street in Canada. I been to a few bigger Green Party events in places like Trawna (centre of the universe) and Guelph and Waterloo. Lookin' around them rooms, I seen that the average age was about 45 or 50. Mostly, they dress better than me but that don't take much.

Anyways, I just thought I'd like to share a YouTube ad from the Green Party candidate here in Haldimand-Norfolk. I met ol' Stephana Johnston a few times last year when she was workin' fer Fair Vote Canada agitatin' fer proportional representation in the Ontario referendum. Now, she's our Green Party nominee and I'm happy as Larry. Like I said, I'm a 59 year old grampaw. I figger Stephana's old enough to be my mum. She's smart as a whip an' she's got more energy than the Nanticoke coal station.

Here's her new YouTube ad.

I see she's got a dang good history and record posted up on her website. I reckon the ol' gal's gonna give Diane Finley a run fer her money. Diane's got more money but she sure as hell ain't been spendin' much time here in Norfolk and Haldimand counties. Most folks I talk to say Diane's all washed up. She's been a no-show on everything anybuddy cares about and she only shows her face when she's got some money to dole out buyin' votes.

The Grits got a pretty good guy in Eric Hoskins. Trouble with Eric is he ain't been around much neither. He's what some folks call an Ottawa insider and Dion's hand-picked candidate. From what I hear-tell, he left the area after high school and never came back until Dion wanted him to run fer the House o' Comments. He shouldn't have any trouble gettin' more votes than the absentee MP Diane Finley, though.

I'm votin' Green and I feel dang good about votin' fer ol' Stephana.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Snobby JimBobby Sez "Canadians ARE Stupid"

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, before I start in pissin' everybuddy off, I'm gonna say that as a Green Party member, I wholeheartedly disagree with what John Bennett did yesterday. I've emailed the gal I adore and I'm hoping for a speedy resolution to this dumbass problem.

UPDATE: Re Leftdog issue, I have it on good authority that there will be an apology today. I hope it's quick and I hope it's a well-worded "real" apology.

Now for the part about how that down-home, folksy, treehuggin' grampaw shows his disrespect for the Canadian voter.

I don't lump all Canadians together and I don't think all Canadians are stupid - at least not about everything. I don't think Canadians who disagree with my POV are stupid just because we disagree. I want to respect Canadian voters and, of course, I do respect decisions made democratically in fair votes. But, dang it all, as much as I want to respect all voters, I can't help but wonder about the intelligence of many.

I'll try not to generalize too much but that won't be easy and I'm a lazyass, as everybuddy knows. Here's some of my evidence of Canadian voter stupidity:

  • Many, if not most, voters distrust politicians. We know that politicians often break their campaign promises. Not too much stupid about that.

  • However, knowing that politicians lie, we consistently vote for the one who tells the biggest, fattest, most-unbelieveable lies. The more they tell us just what we want to hear, the more likely we are to support them -- despite repeated evidence and countless examples of the promises being broken.

  • When it comes to issues that relate to taxes, the gullibility level increases exponentially.

  • Despite the fact that we know (or should know) that taxes pay for roads, schools, hospitals, doctors, parks, food safety, national defence, democratic representation, police, firefighters, and about a jillion other things that our society values and needs, we are always ready and willing and eager to reduce taxes. Worse, we believe lying politicians wjhen they promise to cut taxes in a cynical and self-serving attempt to take advantage of our stupidity.
Politicians -- I'm talking about old school, old-line politicians -- need to be very careful about telling the truth. The truth hurts. The truth can cost them votes. If the truth is that Canadians are gullible and ignorant, they value votes more than the truth and will be considered loose cannons or naive neophytes should they dare to say that Canadians are stupid.

I'm not running for office. I don't speak for any party or organization. I absolutely don't speak for the Green Party. I support the Greens and I'm a member. I am not a spokesperson - official or unofficial.

I'm sure I'll be called naive or an elitist or a poor politician.

I'm not naive. I've been around the block a few times in my nearly 60 years. I've been kicked down, put down, voted down and pushed around; hired, fired and conspired against. I've listened to professional, experienced politicians tell me lies and I've even been stupid enough to believe some of those lies.

I 'm not an elitist. You'll have to take my word for it, though. My income is well below the national average. I worked as a self-employed tradesman most of my life. Currently, I try to make ends meet with a home-based online business. I went to university for a few years but I never finished and there ain't any letters after my name.

I would make a poor politician. I've been approached to run for MP and MPP in my riding and I've declined every time. Last night, I was at band practice and my fellow band members were asking why I wasn't the local candidate. I told them it's mostly because we've got more qualified people willing to stand and they'll get more votes than me. What I didn't mention is that I'd make a piss poor politician. I just can't charge into a room with a big grin and an outstretched hand. I'm not that much of a salesman and I have a nasty habit of speaking my mind without regard for whether it's politically correct or expedient.

So, since I'm not running for office and I'm confident in my own knowledge that I'm not an elitist, I'm not afraid to say that some Canadians are stupid. Sometimes, they're only stupid when it comes to certain things. In fact, I don't think their are too many 100% dumbasses walking amongst us or puttin' their X on the ballot.

It might have been Mark Twain who said this old proverb that I'll try paraphrasing.

Some of the people are stupid all of the time. All of the people are stupid some of the time. All of the people are not stupid all of the time.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bully-in-Chief Harper Even More of a Chickenshit Than I Thought

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, not only is he afraid to debate the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May, he's afraid to admit that he's afraid.

PM won't say if he threatened debate boycott

OTTAWA - Websites and watercoolers are abuzz Tuesday over the exclusion of Green party Leader Elizabeth May from the election leaders debates.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper doesn't want to talk about it. The snub of May - and Harper's role in keeping her out - is all the rage on the Internet.

Harper refused to confirm that he threatened to boycott the televised debates if May was included.

He deflected the question after apologizing for another awkward matter - a tasteless Conservative ad depicting a bird defecating on Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

Harper has said it would be unfair for May to take part in the debates because she has already touted Dion as a better choice for prime minister
The article is here.

There was a photo accompanying the article but it failed to get a good head shot of Harper. I've fixed that little problem.

UPDATE: Layton is attempting to defend the indefensible. (h/t - Scott)


Going Green. Update your Blog Template

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I'm joinin' in with my boogin' buddy Scott from Montreal and usin' an idea from the Gauntlet. I've changed the font in my boog to green. It's meant to protest the exclusion of teh Green Party leader from the televised debates. Whether yer a treehuggin' Greenie like me or if yer just a democracy lovin' Dipper or liberal minded Liberal or even a conscientiously-objectin' Conservative, you can do yer part an' tell the Canajun boogeysphere that you disagree with the cowardly and undemocratic actions of the chickenshit bastards who don't want voters to hear what the Green Party has to say.

It's a simple fix. Look for a style attribute and edit it. You'll see something like "color:#000000" or "color:#bbg". Just change the part after the # to 006600.

If you want to do it and you have trouble, email me and I'll look at your template and give you detailed instructions.

O' course, changin' the font colour on my little boog or a hunnert little boogs ain't gonna change the world or bring democracy to North Zimbabwestan. It's just a symbolic kick in the pants to a buncha pantywaist poltroons.

If you wanna do a little bit more, here's some assholes you can write to:

Stephen Harper:
Conservative Party of Canada
Election Headquarters
#1204 - 130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5G4
Toll free: (866) 808-8407
Phone: (613) 755-2000
Fax at: (613) 755-2001
Jack Layton:
Canada's NDP
300 - 279 Laurier West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J9
Phone: 613-236-3613
Toll Free: 1-866-525-2555
Fax: 613-230-9950
TTY: 1-866-776-7742
Gilles Duceppe:
Bloc Québécois
3730, boul. Crémazie Est
Montréal (Québec) H2A 1B4
Téléphone : 514 526-3000
Télécopieur : 514 526-2868
Email :
Constituency Office
1600 - 90th Avenue SW
Suite A-203
Calgary, Alberta, T2V 5A8
Telephone: (403) 253-7990
Fax: (403) 253-8203
Constituency Office
221 Broadview Avenue
Suite 100 (Main Office)
Toronto, Ontario; M4M 2G3
Telephone: (416) 405-8914
Fax: (416) 405-8918
Constituency Office
1200 Papineau, # 350
Montreal, Québec; H2K 4R5
Telephone: (514) 522-1339
Fax: (514) 522-9899
Hill Office
House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario; K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900
Hill Office
House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 995-7224
Fax: (613) 995-4565
Hill Office
House of Commons

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-6777
Fax: (613) 954-2121

You can visit to sign a petition to pressure the Broadcast consortium to make sure that Green Party leader Elizabeth May is included in the leaders' debates. You can also let the broadcast consortium know of your disagreement by contacting them at:

John Cruikshank, Publisher, CBC news
(416) 205-6300

Robert Hurst, President of CTV News

Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President of News Canwest Global
(416) 967-1174

Pierre Dion, President, Groupe TVA Inc.

Ronald Cohen, National Chair, Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
P.O. Box 3265, Station D Ottawa, ON K1P 6H8

Glenn O'Farrell, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
P.O. Box 627, Stn. B Ottawa, ON K1P 5S2
613-233-4035 ext: 326


Monday, September 08, 2008

Bastards! They're a buncha bastards!

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, ol' JimBobby's chewin' nails an' fartin' tacks. The big, strong men-in-chicken-suits have pushed their chickenshit weight around and managed to make sure the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May, got excluded from the televised debates.

Nevermind that polls have consistently shown that 77% of Canadians want the Green leader in the debates. Nevermind that 660,000 Canadians voted Green in 2006. Nevermind that the Green Party is one of only 5 parties to receive federal funding. Nevermind that Canadian taxpayers shell out over $1 million a year to the Greens. Nevermind that the Greens run candidates in all provinces.

Nevermind democracy, you wimp chickenshit bastards.

Harper, Layton and Duceppe have conspired to deny Canadians a chance to see the leader of the only growing party in a head to head debate on national television. Harper, Layton and Duceppe do not care what Canadians want. Harper, Layton and Duceppe are enemies of democracy.

Did I mention that they're a buncha chickenshit bastards?

The Greens are running against Liberals in 305 of Canada's 308 ridings. How can they be the same as Liberals when they are running against Liberals in so many ridings?

The Greens have at least 29 major policy planks that are unique to the Green Party. These are policies that, in many cases, are diametrically opposed to Liberal policy. Here's a list of those uniquely Green policies:
  1. “Income-splitting” to reduce the tax burden on middle class couples.
  2. A continuing role in Afghanistan but within a transformed U.N. mission, legalizing and regulating the poppy trade for medicinal use, and bringing in more Islamic nations into the peace-keeping, security efforts in Southern Afghanistan through the U.N.
  3. An end to asbestos mining and export to developing countries. (truly outrageous that for all the talk about asbestos, only the Green Party is prepared to call for banning mining and export.)
  4. The phase out of nuclear power and uranium mining.
  5. The reform of the Divorce Act to make family law less of a battleground.
  6. To launch a national dialogue toward a Guaranteed Livable Income.
  7. The legalization of marijuana, to be controlled, regulated and taxed.
  8. The six month notice to get out of NAFTA with immediate re-negotiation of key provisions.
  9. Support for open source software and net neutrality.
  10. National shift to GE-free, organic agriculture and regional food self-sufficiency.
  11. Creation of a federal Department of Tourism
  12. Protect drinking water at its source (no other party will do this--the BC NDP jailed citizens for trying to protect drinking water).
  13. Amend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to enshrine the right of Canadians to an ecological heritage that includes breathable air and drinkable water.
  14. Pass federal legislation to prohibit bulk water exports.
  15. Establish a National Parks completion budget; protect at least half of Canada's Boreal Forest in a network of large interconnected protected areas as called for in the 2003 Boreal Forest Conservation Framework
  16. Zero waste, including laws requiring lifetime stewardship of products
  17. A cancer prevention strategy that includes a toxic-free Canada -- taxing toxics and pollution; ending the production and use of the most dangerous toxic chemicals by 2012.
  18. Pan-Arctic waste management strategy.
  19. Shift funding from mega-freeway projects like Pacific Gateway that encourage urban sprawl and use the funds instead for public transit.
  20. Implement Genuine Progress Indicator (or Index of Well-being)
  21. Enact "living will" legislation to give person the choice to die with dignity.
  22. Explore establishing a new crown corporation to bulk purchase and dispense generic drugs - to bring down the costs of pharmacare.
  23. Pass pay equity legislation; immediately implement full pay equity for women employed in the federal sector and develop tax incentives for companies to meet gender and pay equity.
  24. Press professional societies to remove unnecessary barriers recognizing the professional credentials of immigrants.
  25. Canada must support and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  26. Revamp CIDA to focus on developing community-based green economies, poverty alleviation and programmes to combat and adapt to climate change.
  27. Declare Canada a nuclear free zone.
  28. Reform WTO, IMF and the World Bank, placing these under the authority of the UN General Assembly and shift the direction of international trade away from free trade to fair trade.
  29. Scrap the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership).
Today is a dark day for Canadian democracy. The blame goes squarely to Harper, Layton and Duceppe. I will not watch the debates between these tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumbasses. Craven cowards who used their collective might to thwart democratic debate. Bastards! Dirty, rotten, chickenshit bastards!