Thursday, April 30, 2009
Support BC-STV (Single Transferable Vote).
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tieleman criticizes STV by quoting former BC Green Party leader Colleen McCrory who stated that STV was not proportional enough. He doesn't offer any suggestions about which proportional voting system he would favour. There's the Pure List system and Mixed Member Proportional. The Pure List system would create one super-sized riding for BC. MMP would approximately double the size of the constituency seats and create list seats for the whole province. I don't think Tieleman would favour either model.
Tieleman loves the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system. However, he won't admit it. He writes, "STV would create enormous ridings of up to seven MLAs and 350,000 people that would take away local accountability and responsibility of MLAs to voters." Never does he defend First-Past-the-Post. Never does he promote First-Past-the-Post. It would be nice if Tieleman could say, "First-Past-the-Post maintains small ridings with only one MLA for 50,000 voters. That MLA is locally accountable and responsible to his/her voters (and the MLA will toe the party line according to his/her leader's demands thereby negating local accountability and responsibility)."
Tieleman complains about fractionalizing of STV votes. I wish I could understand his concerns about fractions. Maybe, he did not like doing fractions as a young boy in elementary school. I wish he could mention that under his cherished First-Past-the-Post voting system, someone's vote may be worth zilch if that person wishes to vote for a candidate who has absolutely no chance in winning. I would rather have my vote fractionalized under BC-STV than have it worth nothing under First-Past-the-Post. At least if my vote is fractionalized, its fractional parts are still worth a sum of one.
"If you want change, work for something better than STV," Tielman writes. I can understand someone who may oppose STV because he or she wants Mixed Member Proportional or honestly advocates to keep First-Past-the-Post. Tieleman doesn't do this. He just complains about STV.
Mr. Tieleman, I do not wish to know which system you are against. I want to know for which voting system you advocate. Besides your unmentioned First-Past-the-Post, which system is better than STV?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
No, I did not get caught.
If you are travelling southbound on Don Mills Road, watch out for the speed trap at Moatfield Drive just south of Hwy. 401.
Many people are driving on Leslie Street, Don Mills Road, and Victoria Park Avenue because the Don Valley Parkway is closed this weekend for repairs.
View Larger Map
Saturday, April 25, 2009
In the BC Legislative Assembly, there were 60 men and 17 women out of 77 sitting members at dissolution. That's about 78 percent men and 22 percent women. These members of the legislative assembly were elected under the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system.
While the poll on www.trystv.ca is may not be 100 percent accurate as the sampling is not random, supporters of the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system who claim that BC-STV will result in the election of fewer women are likely misleading the voters of BC. In the Australian Senate, about 35% of the senators are women. After about one or two BC-STV elections, it is likely that the percentage of women in the BC Legislative Assembly will increase.
Vote for BC-STV on May 12.
[Remember to try my sample STV pizza poll above and the FPTP polls to the right. Currently, the STV poll results show a range of chosen pizzas that will satisfy the meat lovers, vegetarians, and cheese-plus lovers. On the FPTP polls, the meat lovers are winning in each poll.]
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I can't understand why The Globe and Mail would suggest that British Columbians reject the BC-STV voting system which 58% of them supported in the 2005 election and go with a half-proportional voting system that is sort-of-similar in structure but way less proportional than the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system that 38% of Ontarians supported in the Ontario's 2007 referendum on voting reform. MMP is a great highly proportional voting system. Unfortunately, the opponents of proportional representation exploited the list issue by stating that the political party "hacks" in Toronto would choose the candidates that would get on the party lists. While this was false, people living outside Toronto believed this line of thinking.
If British Columbians were to vote on The Globe and Mail's suggested mixed PR Parallel Voting system, the opponents of proportional representation would exploit the list issue again. The would falsely state that the party lists would be created by party elite hacks who come from Victoria and Vancouver. Why would the people of Dawson Creek or Prince Rupert support a mixed PR Parallel Voting system that the opponents state would give voters less say over electing their members of the legislative assembly?
The Globe and Mail's hidden suggestion that BC voters reject BC-STV and wait to vote for some crappy Parallel Voting system is really a way to keep the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system in perpetuity. The Globe and Mail seems to prefer to keep power centralized in the premier's office with the leader and his/her inner staff having total power over the people of British Columbia. If British Columbians want better representation and a stronger voice in the legislative assembly, support BC-STV in the referendum on May 12. If BCers want to support some sort of Parallel Voting system, do so after one or two BC-STV elections. The people won't get a chance to change the voting system if less than 60% of the people support BC-STV this time. It will mean keeping the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system in perpetuity.
[Please remember to vote in my STV pizza poll on the top of the web page. Also, vote for your favourite pizzas using the First-Past-the-Post voting system using the polls found on the right side of the web page. Three imaginary pizzas are being offered in both polls. Which way is better? For FPTP, roll a die. If a one, two, or three appears, you will get the pizza from that poll. If a four, five, or six appears, roll again. ]
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Go to Try BC-STV. Have fun and tell your friends about the website and BC-STV!
H/T: Challenging the Commonplace
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Take the polls to your right and leave comments below.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The Ministry of Education in Ontario is posting demographic information about students attending publicly funded schools in Ontario.
Don't think that parents don't use this demographic information in deciding which schools their children should attend.
[My edited comment posted on Peterborough Politics]:
Here's an excellent article on how parents use statistics to get their children into certain public schools in Toronto:
Parts of Toronto Life article:
"While the public education system is usually touted as the great equalizer, many neighbourhoods have a Jackman-type [public] school, with better amenities and better test scores than the others in the area. Often, those schools are closed to kids who live out of district. As the troubled schools in this city get more troubled, and the schools with the best scores generate better reputations, parents feel more pressure than ever to give their kids the best the public system has to offer. They’ll lie, cheat and go into extreme real estate debt to make it happen."
"'There’s a large ESL component there,' says one father of two who lives in Chester’s catchment. 'There seems to be a lot of Yugoslavians. We spent some time in the schoolyard but couldn’t really relate to the other parents, and we didn’t want to put our kids in that situation.' They enrolled their kids in Frankland, a school similar to Jackman in demographics and test scores. 'We’re not prejudiced. We just didn’t feel comfortable, and people don’t go to schools where they’re uncomfortable.' Jill Worthy, the TDSB superintendent for most of the schools in the Danforth and Riverdale area, said much the same thing: 'What some parents want is a more homogeneous environment, a less multicultural situation. They fear their children will be a minority within a school’s majority culture.'
I will add also that parent councils at different schools raise various levels of funds.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Motion: This House believes it's time for the US administration to get tough on Israel.
Michael Scheuer, founder and former head of the CIA's Bin Laden tracking unit, supported the motion by mentioning that the new [Obama] administration needs to break ties with both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No nation as a right to exist. Israel is the most arrogant and treacherous of US allies. He also commented that democracy building is a silly foreign policy goal that the US should not be pursuing. Countries have a right to defend themselves; they don't have a right to exist.
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, spoke against the motion. He mentioned that one should not assume that radical organizations will disappear should the US choose to get tough with Israel. The US needs to smartly support Israel. The biggest threat comes from Iran.
Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Israeli Knesset and a senior member of the Labour Party, also spoke in favour of the motion. The US must get tougher with Israel, but not indifferent. He commented that the relationship between the US and Israel is like a parent who doesn't know how to say no to a child.
Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, also spoke against the motion. He said that the US should not single out Israel as this will weaken Israel's security. He supported US engagement with Syria, Iran, and Hamas. Mr. Dershowitz did recognize that Arabs in Israel do face discrimination. However, they are better treated than Arabs anywhere in the world.
During the question and answer session, after Mr. Gold mentioned that he was not for the 1967 boundaries should there be negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, Mr. Berg rebutted on why the Palestinians would not be willing to come forward. Mr. Gold replied that the demographics have changed in the West Bank.
Mr. Scheuer argued that both Messrs. Dershowitz and Gold are arguing for the status-quo. He also said that the US is under threat by others in the world by supporting Israel.
Mr. Gold quoted an editor-in-chief of a London based Arabic newspaper that the biggest threat to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region comes from Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons(--not Israel).
A Canadian student, Kelly Spitz from Toronto, asked a question about the US needing to improve its international reputation. Both Dershowitz and Gold mentioned that voters in western democracies have elected pro-Israeli governments. Mr. Gold boldly declared, "And the Prime Minister of Canada is the strongest supporter of Israel in the world!"
Mr. Scheuer said that the US should make them grow up by stopping support for Israel. The US has no business building democracies around the world.
Hopefully, the Doha Debates will have video (March 25, 2009) on its website.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Doha Debates (Don't click the Doha Debates link if you do not wish to view the results of the motion.)
Motion: This House believes it's time for the US administration to get tough on Israel.
I encourage everyone interested in the Middle East to watch this debate. It airs on BBC World on Sunday at 3:10 a.m. Eastern Time, 11:10 a.m., and 3:10 p.m.
The Doha Debates, a forum for dialogue and free speech in Qatar, took place in Gaston Hall last night for a discussion entitled “This House believes it’s time for the U.S. administration to get tough on Israel.”
In its first event in the United States since its founding in 2004, moderator Tim Sebastian, founder and chairman of the Doha Debates, was joined by Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Israeli Knesset and senior member of the Labor Party, and Michael Scheuer, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Bin Laden Issue Station, affirming. Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and current president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, spoke against the motion.
The Hoya (Spoiler alert!)