I have been cleaning up my inbox and looking at some of the stuff I have sent to the Fair Vote Canada list. Here is some stuff that is worth looking at. FVC is going through some woeful problems right now.
The latest news from FVC is that they are trying to raise another $25 000 to hire an extra part time staffer. As I said before and will have to say again because nobody is listening, now is not a time to be hiring anybody. Any new employee is likely to find his her self in an untenable situation.
Before we can get down to that kind of stuff, the entryists need to have been made exitists. We still have as president Doug Baillie, who has sabotaged the efforts of the Toronto chapter to hold an election. We need Baillie to bail out, too.
Another interesting piece of information is about all the things which member support has allowed FVC to do in the last year. This includes, welcoming Bob Rae to our advisory board. This is strange wording. It implies that Rae is getting some sort of stipend to be on the advisory board.
Most of these other things, such as start ten new "teams" across the country, and hand in a petition, could be done with little or no money. It is also nice that we bought some advertising in the Tyee newspaper in B.C. However, maybe we could do it in the other provinces as well.
Is there one of these "teams" on Toronto? Exactly what do these teams do? I mean, besides the petition?
I can find nothing about these teams on the FVC web site. But, wait, I can't find out anything anymore. There is no information about who is on the executive board. Nothing about the name and number of chapters, teams, and other entities. There is not even information about the referendum.
No real links to local chapters. No minutes of meetings anymore. It looks like an organization usually looks when I hostile take over is underway and the people with a fiduciary obligation to protect the integrity its integrity cannot or will not do so.
It all looks pretty sad.
It is about time I got something going on the FVC ginger list again. Nothing at all has been put up here in September, and things have been happening. But I have been busy with some other stuff; you shall hear, you shall hear.
I wrote this just before the "Democracy on Danforth" meeting and then forgot to send it off. I have just redrafted it and it will make a good preamble to my comments on the very interesting discussion.
I was just getting over a very bad cold. My ears had finally popped; that is the sign that it is almost over. While that was going on I lost interest in these other things and just expanded my knowledge of celtic and derived traditional music via Youtube and Vimeo.
I ran across June M downtown and she handed me a couple of her posters to put up in my building. Alas, I do not think they are going to get put up because the manager has not approved them. I think it looks too much like a "political " thing to them.
This is a problem with the poster and other promotional materials for the event. It looks too much like an NDP rally. I think the deepers are trying to own the issue and paint the Libs as the anti reform party. This is not good for the FVC cause.
I could have put the posters up along the Esplanade but they would not have been up long. Pristine pole fanatics are especially numerous around here. I discussed this problem briefly with June before my bus arrived to bring me back to my cocoon.
I was going to go out and help with the postering on the Danforth. I arrived at the rendezvous point way late and besides, was starting to have some trouble with my feet. I greatly underestimated the time it would take for the 72 bus to get up there.
I found one member of the Toronto action team having a difficult time getting some posters up and getting into a bad mood about it. He was reduced to trying to break the tape with his teeth. I tried to get out of him where the rest were. He was in a bad mood and muttered about going up and down the Danforth and how there were only 150 posters.
I headed up the Danforth and found some of the posters on the north side. I was puzzled by the logic of placing the posters. A couple were faced out into the roadway. Were people supposed to read it as they drove by? It was not a lovely bit of postering; the tape was torn off rather than cut.
Ahead were two girls putting up a poster. I was not sure if it was the same poster. They started walking back up Danforth and I went by them to see that the poster was an FVC. But when I turned to follow the girls they had mysteriously vanished.
I walked around the area for a bit but could see no other posters or posterers. My feet were getting to me. So I went home. I heard later that the poster party was considered a success. But June told me that most of them were taken down soon after.
Ah, the science of posterology. I used to do some postering for various causes. I learned the tricks from a real expert at it. I should write out a short paper for FVC people, and anyone else interested, about how to do postering properly.
It can be a very effective way of communicating, but it is difficult. The trouble is that it is in a grey area that is not strictly illegal but not regulated, and disliked by many people. It usually has to be done repeatedly.
The poster itself was not the most effective. The letters needed to be bigger. The whole poster should be at least legal sized. A landscape view is best. The information on it should be easy to remember because most people will not write in down.
I wonder if they put it on eventbrite and other media? Or e-mailed posters to the libraries and community centers in the area? Whatever they did, they got a pretty good turnout. About that, in my next post.
I have just sent out a couple of forwarded messages which should be of interest to FVC people. I forgot them temporarily, too.
Most important is the latest message from Maude Barlow about the vote rigging scandal. I encourage anyone who has not signed that petition yet, to do so. All the electoral reform in the world will mean nothing if partisan fanatics and special interests with money are going to suppress the vote. Ask any American. People must not let the issue die but keep pursuing it until it is resolved properly.
Many FVC people might be interested in Rootham's project of developing some useful new media for the voting reform movement. You could help with developing it or just be a user of it.
It seems to me that this computer game would be very useful for gaming out possible scenarios. Thus, a very useful tool for actually deciding on a voting system, setting boundaries, etc. I am rooting for Rootham.
A by-election is happening in Toronto center. I live there. The liberal will be Christia Freeland and the NDPer will be Linda McQuaig. As well, somebody who lurks on this list is running for the Greens.
So I have several sentimental choices about who to vote for. All of these people are journalists. Deverell the Green is a semi retired one. McQuaig is one of my favorite writers. Freeland works for the...I think it is the National Post.
Freeland has written a book lately called "Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else". I might read it if I get the chance, although these days I get impatient with middle class people who have just lately discovered class, and class warfare; like they think they have found something new. Nonetheless, she is an Albertan transplanted to Toronto, just like me.
I have practical considerations about who to vote for in this by election. The Conservatives are not a factor around here. The Greens ran a strong campaign a few years ago and I did some work for the candidate then. But since then they have written the riding off. If they are not serious about winning, I am not interested. Sorry, John.
The Greens, provincial or federal, cannot seem to get themselves together in this riding. A couple of times in the past decade, I have attended meetings which were supposed to be about refounding a local riding association. One time I even got elected onto this "riding association".
Both times I saw plenty of the usual NDP operatives at the table. Both times I never heard anything more about the local Green association. This could be why the Greens seem to have given up around here.
The biggest factor in politics in Toronto center is the very nasty NDP organization. The problem with the NDP generally is this loathsome "we own the tracks" mentality. But it is really bad in Toronto Center, with the most militant elements based here.
This is why the NDP cannot get anywhere in provincial or federal politics here, despite having the city wards under control. People who would normally vote NDP, the large low income community here, under pressure from the yuppie gentrifiers, hate them. They have no use for the overbearing attitudes of party cadre types, who assume they own the low income communities, but do absolutely nothing to represent their interests.
The local councillors are very "left" mostly because of "incumbency" and the fact that nobody ever runs seriously against them. Why, I am not sure, but there are openings for somebody who really addressed the interests of the people who keep this riding liberal at higher government levels. That is, the immigrants, the very low income people who hate NDP for the reasons given but are not stupid enough to be taken in by Conservatives, and many of the middle class professionals.
So, what does all this have to do with Fair Vote Toronto? We have a green dog in the fight. He will not win and will be lucky to make back his deposit. The Greens were the first party to promote voting reform. But now the NDP seems to be won over. There seems to be a fight going on within the Liberals.
What should FVC Toronto be doing here to further the cause? We can ask the candidates at forums what their position is, but they do not always answer straightly and forums are out of fashion these days in elections. Of course, each candidate should be asked directly and the answers published.
Tomorrow I am going to try to find these people, not all of them have offices yet, and ask on my own behalf. I am wondering just how many FVC people live in Toronto center? But with such answers in hand, we can plot strategy.
If Chrystia is not four square for voting reform, then FVC-T activities should focus on defeating her. Do nothing directly, but do an information campaign urging voters to ask their candidates if they are supporting voting reform. But if she is a voice for PR in the Liberals, she would likely be more valuable to The Cause.
I might even have to vote NDP this time around, and they just might win because they have finally found a credible candidate. They have not nominated another Michael Shapcott or Cathy Crowe, both opportunistic assholes totally despised around St. Jamestown and Regent Park.
Paul Ferriera, now an MPP from York, cleaned up the crap going on in the Toronto center riding associations. But when he decided to run somewhere else, the bullies and blowhards regained control. I assume now with a candidate running who is not part of that clique, that they have once again been curbed.
So, with some of the crapola going in within FVC, how do members who also live in Toronto Center find each other to begin forming a working group? If you are out there, give me a holler.
Before I finish I should mention the Leadnow/Cooperate for Canada folks. Their strategy seems to be to prepare for the next election, then focus on a few ridings where Conservatives could get in by vote splitting. Then, compel the Libs and Deepers to cut the crap and cooperate. I am not sure how they plan to do that, but it seems to involve holding some sort of "primary" to decide which candidate and party has the best chance.
Would a by-election somewhere be a good dry run for their plans? But Toronto center is seemingly not a good candidate because Conservatives are scarce around here. It is a battleground between The Libs and Deepers.
So what could FVC ask these two? It seems we have two questions; 1) how to you understand voting reform and the public consultation needed to implement it? And 2) how to you propose to implement an electoral alliance to insure the defeat of Harperism?
So, again, I wish I could get together with any other FVC members or sympaticos to form an election action group. Hello?
FVC is really not very good at horizontal communication. Why is that?