Tuesday, May 17, 2005

BC Rail sold to liberal-friendly CN rail

"Not only did they sell it, but they sold it to a Liberal-friendly company. CN chairman David McLean was involved in Campbell’s 1993 Liberal leadership bid, as reported by Richard Warnica in The Tyee on Monday, and signed Liberal donation cheques totaling over $36,000 under the CN banner in 2002 alone."

Read the full story here.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Ready for change? I am! Change the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party with one vote.

There are two main groups voting for the Liberal:
- people voting for self interest (the 10% upper echelon)
- people who think there is no better option.

I'm afraid the first group can't be helped. They are in power and whatever I might have against them: too bad. The second group is a lot more interesting: why do they think there are no options, and how can this be changed?

First of all, this group feels that the NDP isn't a real option. I can somewhat sympathize with these people although it must be said that the current BC NDP does consist of many new members as well. But there are other viable options out there, one of them being the Green Party. Unfortunately the Green Party is harmed the most by the greatest deficit of the First Past The Post system: strategic voting. Considering the terrible track record of both the Liberals and the NDP I'm convinced the Green Party would have a major chance to win this election, if it wasn't for strategic voting.

But we have the opportunity to beat the system tomorrow. No liberal or NDP'er or Big Business Media wants you to think about this: all parties mentioned rather cling to their undeserved power, given to them by "the advantages" of the FPTP system. But there is a new way and it is called STV.

Are you tired of this terrible monster called FPTP, only creating a polarized division between "the lefties" and "right wing", between Big Business and Big Unions? Are you ready for real positive change?

Vote STV!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

US Army and Navy Recruiting

Do you remember the saying what if they gave a war and nobody came? Well, this saying from the 60s is becoming a current reality again.

The US Army and Navy has a hard time recruiting.

“In April, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the third month in a row, short by nearly 2,800 recruits, or 42 percent off its target. And for the first time in 10 years, the Marine Corps missed its recruiting goal for the last four months.”

Therefore these recruiters started some new “marketing techniques”: threatening potential recruits.

The Army has ordered a one-day suspension this month of its recruiting efforts, already made difficult by the Iraq war, to confront incidents of misconduct by its recruiters.
The incidents included a Texas recruiter (Sgt. Thomas Kelt) threatening a man with arrest if he did not show up at a recruiting station for an interview and Colorado recruiters telling a high school student how to get a phony diploma from a nonexistent school, Army officials said.

Read this story here

Or here the actual voice message here (from Democracy Now!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Paul Willcocks' YES for BC-STV

Read his full story here .

Find out more about BC-STV

Iraq moving towards open civil war

Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh delivered an address at an event entitled "Can Freedom of the Press Survive Media Consolidation?"

Read more at Democracy Now!
Hear it here (audio) | See it here (video)

People avoid paying fees for B.C. parks

B.C. Government documents show that fewer people are visiting provincial parks since parking meters were installed. According to Eva Riccius (spokesperson for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) only a quarter of visiting drivers put money in the meters which also contributed to low revenues of about $800,000. That's less then 20% of the projected revenues of $4 million to $6 million.

"The money raised from the meters was supposed to be put back into parks, for picnic tables and hiking trails, but with the revenue shortfall where does that leave our parks today?” said Gwen Barlee, WCWC policy director. “We’re calling today on the BC government to rectify the mistake that was made and immediately remove the parking meters from our provincial parks."
Read the full story here

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

BC Green Party and the US war on Iraq

Adriane Carr, leader of the B.C. Green Party responds to a letter by Will Offley.

"We find it utterly reprehensible that public service pension funds would be invested in corporations that contribute to the devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people. We fully support divesting public pension funds from any companies that are so involved. Thank you for bringing this important issue to our attention."

Read the full letter here.

Prime minister, it's time to go.

"Canada's Liberal minority government says it will not resign despite losing a key censure vote in parliament." Read the full story here. (BBC)

Even when Prime Minister Paul Martin loses a moral authority to govern he wont have any of it. Somehow I'm not all that surprised; in B.C. we've heard it before. Gordon Campbell did not resign after being caught drunk driving on Hawaii either.

In this light it is not surprising that many people have lost respect for politicians when drunk driving and being voted out by the majority of the House of commons are no reasons to step down.

B.C. Pension Funds investing in US War on Iraq

Did you know that $4.6 billion in (British Columbia) pension funds have been invested in corporations producing, among other things, the munitions, missiles, landmines, cluster bombers, attack choppers, tanks, fighters and depleted uranium weapons for use by U.S. armed forces in their occupation of Iraq?

Some people are fully aware of this, including Carole James and Adriane Carr, but are unwilling to raise the issue: "There has been no formal response from James or Carr yet, but the position of both is increasingly clear from their echoing silence."

Read the full story at Resist.ca

Canada's right to choose

"While media attention in Canada focused on the U.S. concerns over the availability of counterfeit or pirated products at home, the coverage missed the real story. Just weeks after the Canadian government announced its plans for copyright reform, the U.S. has injected itself in our policy debate by criticizing our future laws as well."

Read Michael Geist's full story here (p2pnet.net).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Why Victoria B.C. Police should stop using the taser gun

"MONCTON, N.B. - RCMP in New Brunswick are investigating the death of a psychiatric patient whom police shot with a Taser outside a Moncton bar"

Read the full article here.

"Authorities are investigating the death of a 44-year-old man who died in a jail cell hours after he was shocked with a Taser stun gun early Friday morning".

Read the full article here.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Norman Spector calls STV "a dumb idea"

According to his column of Friday May 6th he is a proud British Columbian. Why? Because of the May 5th debate; judging from the debate "it would be unfortunate if we gave up our system now (first past the post in comparison with STV) when it is working properly. This is like saying that you're proud of the latest commercials from Honda, General Motors and Toyota, and therefore it would be unfortunate to look for green alternatives.

What's really unfortunate is that many journalists (including Norman Spector) consider a TV debate in the presented format will give the reader a good view on their political agendas. Observing all the half truths (and many times plain lies) presented at recent debates, how could a journalist be proud of this? Shouldn't it make any self respected journalist "mad like hell" that politicians get away with their own propaganda talk without being countered by real journalism?

Of course, Norman is right, the FPTP system is "working properly". The question is: for who? Read Norman's own analyses why STV is "such a dumb idea".


Read also Owleye's blog "Single Transferable Everything - A Response to Norman Spector"