Thoughts on a better Canada

Friday, April 22, 2011

Voter Apathy

I wanted to share a few facts on voter apathy for those that think their voices do not matter. For those that think they will abstain from voting because 'What difference does it make?'

It needs to be recognized that making voters apathetic is a strategy. It is a strategy employed by a government in power. Certain demographics will not vote for the Conservatives (mainly). Look at the 18-25 year old demographic. These people intend to vote primarily Green. From the point of view of the party in power...that's not good. It would be better to make those people not vote from their point of view. Because, since they are in power, a vote not cast against them is nearly as good as a vote cast for them.

So how do they make voters in that segment apathetic? Well, it is really quite easy. You become a bully. You make sure that you ignore every voice from that demographic. In fact, you make sure that whatever it is they are concerned with, you belligerently do the opposite. The more you make it seem like that demographics voices are not being heard, the more apathetic they become. If their voice isn't heard, why use their voice; in other words - Why vote? Does this sound familiar? It should, because that is what has been happening in your government.

If you were planning on not voting take this to heart. Or, if you know someone who is planning on not voting - let them know. If you are planning on not voting - you are being played; you are being manipulated; you are being controlled! Do not let them control you. Get out and vote!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Strategic Voting - Why it doesn't work

Ok - I have some thoughts on strategic voting. First, I get a lot of people saying 'I think you would be the best person to represent our riding, Bryan, but I am going to vote NDP so that the Conservatives don't get in'. It seems like a valid and logical assumption. The problem is that all these folks that want to vote strategically assume that they are the only side doing this. In fact *both* sides are doing the same thing. You see I also get comments like 'I think you would be the best person to represent our riding, Bryan, but I am going to vote Conservative so that the NDP doesn't get in again'. I get these in about equal proportion.

So you see what is happening here. These people are effectively canceling each others votes out by voting strategically. So the results are no different on election day than if they hadn't voted strategically. Well, there is one main difference - the Green party has way less votes. This sends a message that the Green party is way less popular here than it is. This sends a message that you do not care in this riding about the environment, etc.

This is actually supported by evidence. I read online today that no elections results have changed as a result of strategic voting. The same can be said of vote swapping - for as many people swap the vote one way - others will swap it right back.

We need to get back to basics here. Vote for who you believe in. If all the people that believed in the Green Party and myself would vote Green this time instead of voting strategically - we may even elect a Green MP. Wouldn't that be something? You can be the first riding in Canada to do so. You can make history - right here in BC Southern Interior.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Update on the Castlegar All Candidates Forum last night

It was a good forum, everyone was quite civil. What I did notice though, is that people are far more frustrated and angry at the Harper government that I had even anticipated. The conservative candidate spent a lot of time trying to dodge bullets (figuratively). One paper said early on that this would be a tight race between the Conservative and the NDP candidate...but I am thinking it is more likely a race between the Green and the NDP.

Kyoto - easier than one would imagine

The past governments - both Liberal and Conservative waffled on their Kyoto requirements saying they were too difficult to attain. I submit to you that they are not even trying! Without even looking at asking corporations to do anything, I can find small things everyone could do to meet these requirements. The fact is, our government did not even think of asking people to do this. Perhaps they are unable to think outside the box...perhaps it's time to elect someone who does. (That would be me :) )

For us to meet our Kyoto requirements we each need to reduce our CO2 by 10580 lbs. Thats a lot. But when we add up activities we can remove from our can see it all adds up.

Stop Mowing Lawn (87 lbs)
Commute From Home (540 lbs)
Programmable Thermostat (1800 lbs)
Change 5 bulbs to Compact Fluorescent (700 lbs)
Wrapping Hot water Tank in Insulating Blanket (1000 lbs)
Recycling (850 lbs)
Turn thermostat up 2 degrees in summer and down 2 in winter (2000 lbs)
Low flow showerhead (350 lbs)
Wash in Cold or Warm Water (500 lbs)
Uses a Clothes line to dry in summer (700 lbs)
Bottled Water (157.5 lbs)
Reusabel Coffee Mug/Thermos (65 lbs)
Carpool (790 lbs)
Inflate your tires (250 lbs)
Change Car Air filter (800 lbs)
Unplug Unused Electronics (1000 lbs)
Switch to Tankless Water Heater (300 lbs)
Tell the Post Office to Set you up as 'No Junk Mail' (105 lbs)
Reusable Grocery Bags (356.2 lbs)
Shower Together (300 lbs)
Reusable Wrapping Paper (333 lbs)
Stop Sending Cards (50 lbs)
Total 13033.7 lbs

As you can see, this is way more than the amount required under Kyoto. I don't know about you, but if the government asked me to stop mowing my lawn and stop getting junk mail...I would have been all for it.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I went to see the movie 'Avatar' with my oldest daughter. It was a stunningly beautiful movie. But that aside - it had a great message to it of respect, environmentalism, etc. The plot was one that is familiar but I can forgive that as their isn't a lot of originality in Hollywood blockbusters these days.

But I began seeing blogs the last week or two claiming the movie is 'Anti American', 'Anti Canadian', etc because it is 'Anti Corporation'. This baffles me. The movie was about a corporation so greedy it was willing to wipe out a native species and their home to increase the bottom line for their shareholders. This is a particular type of corporation: Evil. So being against a corporation with evil practices is anti-Canadian? When did this happen?

Should it not be the reverse? All Canadians should be against corporations with practices like this. In fact, I would posit that we Canadians are more like Avatar's native 'Na'Vi' tribes than the corporation in the movie with our great abundance of natural resources and environmental beauty. And like the Na'Vi our resources, etc are always under the radar of the Corporation that would take all and leave a wasteland.

The question is when do we, like the Na'Vi, rally to create positive change in our country? The answer is right now. We don't even need to go to war to do it. We only need to vote. (Vote Green)

Proroguing it!!!

If it has rogue in the title - that's nearly all you need to know. If a missile went 'rogue' or a super spy went 'rogue' we would know its a bad thing. This time its parliament. Mr. Harper has decided to prorogue the government....effectively shutting it down until March 3rd. Realize that any acts that were in motion...even if they were 2 seconds from clearing....are now wiped away by this action. This is really not a good sign.

While proroguing parliament is not a new thing per se, the use of this in the last 2 years is slightly disturbing. Its use, in recent times, seems solely for self serving purposes for Mr. Harper and the Conservative party - not for the good of the country. Its politicizing at its we should all be wary and scathing of this move.

Besides - its like declaring a snow day for a third of a year. We should collectively ask Mr. Harper if he and the rest of the Conservative MP's would kindly put 1/3 of their MP salaries back in the federal coffers so compensate us for this absence.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I have some thoughts on Copenhagen. They are this: The countries of the world are behaving like children.

Seriously. We know that things need to be corrected in this planet. We know that it is within *our* power to make things better. And what do we do? We act like schoolyard kids.

"I won't do it if Timmy won't do it"

"You do it first chicken!"

"No you do it!"

"Make me!!"


Even when I was a school age kid - this kind of behaviour made me slightly vomitous. But there was always a kid with some cool to him (or her) at these things that would step up and say "I don't care what the rest of you losers are doing - I am doing it"

Why can't we (as a country) be the cool kid. Who cares what the other countries are committing to? I mean really....Who cares? Let's be the cool kid and step up to bat. Let's make our own internal commitment to do whats right!

I guarantee that as soon as we step up to bat and announce that we will do the right thing regardless - make cuts in emissions to pre-1990 levels - the other kids will fall in line and do it too.

This world needs a country to lead the way - to show them how its done. Canada could be that leader and should be that leader...but instead we are an international laughing stock.

Do you really want more Conservative MP's that support this behaviour?