Now there is something to write for troll busters again. I was at the "Yes In My Backyard" festival at the Toronto Reference Library on saturday afternoon. The Toronto Fair Vote Chapter had a table there. June MacDonald and Gary Dale, among others I did not recognize, were staffing it.
At my first circling of the hall, I waved at them as I went by. I had an interesting conversation with a lady who had a plan for feral cats in Toronto. This is what we used to call strays. She decries that there is no money available from government to deal with the problem properly but her and her volunteer friends are doing what they can.
Basically, they trap the cats, spay and neuter them, and put them back out in their own little home. That way they do not multiply but fill an ecological niche by keeping the rodent population down. A few things about this plan do not add up for me. Cats eat mice, not rats. Rats are too big of them. Rats are taken care of by dogs of the terrier class, or by coyotes or the coywolves. I have also heard it said that stray, er, feral cats are a main food source for feral dogs, coyotes, and coywolves in Toronto.
But I guess this keeps cat lady and friends busy. It is an interesting plan though. Maybe here is a solution for the proliferation of feral busybodies like the Mez bunnies. Trap them, "fix" them and put them back in their natural habitat.
But what stops an endless supply of new pests from being dropped into the streets? There are all these children of privileged upbringings who have no brains, who cannot get anywhere in the real world, but who need something to prey upon. Maybe we need some kind of critter that eats Mez bunnies. More about that momentarily.
I also bought an interesting little pamphlet about balcony gardening. It has some useful info about growing hot peppers and other condiment and spice type plants; the best use for an apartment balcony garden. It is hard because they need a long growing season. I like hot peppers in my chow, but I am not happy with the consistency of peppers I get from the market.
So, maybe by next year I will have a supply of peppers, to enable me to put even more pepper into my writings.
But I went over to the FVToronto table again. June announced that I am being one of the enablers. She thinks she and Gary are actually foxes, and all the real trouble is with the national council. Hm.
Well, I thought, if a real wild fox was as incompetent at eating rabbits as the FVT foxes are at eating RaBITs, it would starve. I asked them again just what this mediator had to say. All June would say was that the Mez bunnies dominated the discussion and were saying bad words to them, oh dear.
All of this is talking around the basic question of why they did not remove Mez when it became obvious he was up to no good purpose. They never did answer that but talked about how they were moving on without Mez and starting to speak to city potentates about proportional voting. They have come up with some new literature.
One of these explains that getting PR in the Toronto city government is crucial. If it cannot be done here with a long tradition of multi member wards, it cannot be done anywhere. I could have pointed out that Toronto politics has a number of other long traditions, including interference from a provincial government bureaucracy which does not like big cities.
We also talked briefly about real ideas for a PR system in Toronto. I asked her what she thought about STV in Toronto, if the ridings were large enough, at least six members. She said she thought two or three were enough, just to get people used to multiple member districts. I thought people were supposed to already be used to that in toronto.
But again, what about why they have so much trouble getting rid of Mez? Again Junie was oblique. She talked about how Mez had come by their table earlier in the day and asked if they needed any help. He looked at the other people who were hanging around the table and decided that they looked like they had enough help.
This extra help Junie had were mostly some grumpy looking old ladies, often a very good repellant of people like Mez. So, if this was enough to make Mez go away then why could they not do it three years earlier? June then asked me if I would like to be a door man.
This is a euphemism of bouncer or "master at arms" or whoever. For some reason I often get asked this kind of thing. I guess it is because I am big. But people do not see the physical disabilities I have. Besides, I am no spring chicken. Yet they want to nominate me to put the bell on the cat, or be the person to get charged with assault, or just slandered around as "violent".
Really, to throw out interloper types like Mez is a committee effort. People need to be clear about what they are going to do; no loose cannons or jerks who will start trying to work both sides. The way creeps like Meslin work is that they take people out one at a time; if people have sense to not let anyone be isolated, this does not work for them.
Maybe these people are finally starting to learn that; hence the very well staffed table. But they are not learning very fast to tell the truth about things. I asked some more about exactly what the problem is with this national council. June said that we need to talk about it. I handed her one of my cards. I just got some snazzy colored ones to announce my snazzy new skype and twitter accounts.
So, we will see if June decides she wants to talk about it for real. In the meanwhile, she thought I needed to be sweetened up so she handed me handfuls from this bowl of chocolates they had put out on their table. Maybe she wants to give me diabetes.
But it seemed I had learned all I could about the Fair Vote follies. I headed off home, and as soon as I finished writing a discussion paper for another group I am devoting more time to, I will write this.
This other group is just starting up. It is at the stage FVC was at over a decade ago. I think it needs to learn something from FVC's experiences. For one thing, FVC is finally starting to be organized into chapters, but there was resistance to this for a long time.
Just as vast Canada will not work except as a federation, popular organizations within it will not work except as federations. I have already mentioned my recommended solution for the FVC problems; get rid of the present national council structure and have a small executive appointed by a council of the chapters.
But how to get from here to there? It will be difficult if, as I believe, the national council has come to be stuffed with Ottawa apparatchiks for various political parties and quasi governmental organizations. Especially since they have control of all means of lateral communication, especially the official e-mail list.
That is why I started this list, but obviously this is not a sufficient solution. I still cannot reach the people who really want to hear what I have to say. This is only the people who were on the official list, or on the official web site, and only the people who have recently posted, which as you would agree are not the best people.
So, here is the question I throw out to whoever I can reach; how do we get a ginger group going in FVC for a clean up and restructuring? I am hoping that now the idiots see that I know how to deal with them, some more sensible people might start to come forward.
So what ideas are out there?