Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I wish I were paid for conducting an internet poll

Last week, I decided to conduct an AV or STV style internet poll on who would be the best candidate for mayor of Toronto in 2010. I used the website DemoChoice to conduct my poll. That website let me include up to 32 names as potential candidates. The people I placed in my poll included well-known people outside of Toronto's city council such as John Tory and George Smitherman. I also included 29 of the 44 city councillors. I selected councillors that had name recognition. I also included private citizen Enza Supermodel Anderson because she's hot!

No one paid me nor suggested I conduct this poll on behalf of any candidate. It would have been an honour to have conducted this poll on behalf of a candidate; it would have been more of an honour to have been paid lots of money!

An unknown person emailed about my choice of potential candidates. I guess I didn't satisfy him/her.

I will be conducting a new poll sometime around January when potential candidates start to confirm their candidacy for mayor of Toronto. In my current poll, I did not list former Winnipeg mayor, Glen Murray, who now lives in Toronto. I only found out after I started the poll that he might become a candidate.

Here is the letter from the unknown commenter, Undivulged Name:

"Dear "Skimpy": (as in applying as little thought as possible to creating this "poll" without lots of spaces for write-in names, or an apology for offering a premature group of names).
But then, maybe guys like you prefer to vote for a NAME. There will be, obviously, other as-yet undeclared potential candidates out there, even one quite interesting one I've already heard of who's not on your list.
C'mon, skimpy...are you trying to damn us to another four years of spinning our wheels? Or are you perhaps in the pay of someone on the list?
It's time to wake up and smell the coffee. THIS ISN'T A POPULARITY CONTEST. We're not choosing a NAME; we're choosing the LEADERSHIP OF OUR CITY.
Investigate closely every single one of the names you have proposed, and you'll find out how (--unlike a real prize candidate who will hopefully step forward, and who will be necessary to do the job properly--) shallow your list is for the role of leader of this city: no thought-through ideas (a.k.a. "vision"), no leadership potential or concept of a citizen-centered development of the third or fourth largest city in North America. Not one.
Your kind of choice is reminiscent of how we got Miller last time. Let me remind you. The media gave the city three choices, based upon each only having a NAME: an ineffectual former council member that turned out to have nothing to offer, a former president of the Liberal party that kept telling the media that he didn't want to be elected, and an incumbent who had done little to nothing for the past three years. The media finally "hijacked" that election down to one choice, and told us who to vote for in its headlines.
Like you're trying to do in your little exercise. Get real! When the time comes to register the candidates, there will be a couple of dozen names on the list you never even heard of. I for one want to know who the best person for the job is.
Don't you?
NO? OK, then YOU vote for a NAME, Skimpy. And while you're at it, why don't you tell us all which NAME should be included on OUR list of possibilities? During the election, Skimpy, be sure to ignore all but three or four of any other declared candidates so we don't get sidetracked away from your choices when you're telling us who to consider. This is a nice head start. "

EQAO board member, Lorna Earl, conflict of interest allegation

What's that old saying? "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

In 1997 Lorna Earl helped design the first EQAO standardized tests for students in grades-three, six, nine, and ten. Eventually she was appointed by Dalton McGuinty's government to become a board member for EQAO.

Recently, it has been found that Earl is a director at Aporia, a consultancy business, to help school boards improve student performance in the classroom. While this may or may not be the same as getting the students to perform better on the EQAO tests, Aporia would not be able to the same kind of service to the school boards without the use of the EQAO assessment data for each school--assessment data designed by Lorna Earl.

Right now, Aporia is dependent of the EQAO test results when offering its services to the school boards. Lorna Earl who is a director at Aporia is also a board member of EQAO. That seems like a conflict of interest to me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vote for mayor of Toronto for 2010

The mayor or Toronto, David Miller, will not be running for re-election in 2010.

Vote for the new mayor of Toronto using the preferential ballot link as shown above. Or you may click on the link.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Susan Delacourt: we are shoppers/eaters, not educated citizens

Susan Delacourt writes about Stephen Harper choosing to go to a donut store instead of attending a meeting at the United Nations. His action shows what he thinks of Canadians. Through his eyes, we are shoppers and eaters instead of being educated citizens.

H/T: Aaron Wherry, Maclean's

Monday, September 21, 2009

MIT Project "Gaydar": I might be gay based on my Facebook site

I guess if I have a lot of gay Facebook friends, then I must be gay.

I wonder if I had a lot of black Facebook friends, would I be black?

A couple MIT students predict your sexual orientation and political leanings based on your Facebook information.

Time to go read some tarot cards.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I love those crazy right-wing tea parties

You Tube

I think those right-wingnuts should worry about Obama Canadianizing the American alphabet: X, Y, cZar!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stopping the Internet Repooooooooooorn Party!

My comment for this blog:

I suspect Conservative MPP Gerry Martiniuk added the schools to his anti-porn Internet safety crusade because stopping library porn alone won't get the public interested. By adding schools, he can gain more support for his anti-porn bill. Also, he must know already that most school boards in Ontario already have filtering software to prevent students and staff from viewing pornographic and other so-called unacceptable sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Hotmail, Twitter, MySpace, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. I tried the last one myself. I can't get on this site at any school where I teach. I have even been prevented from seeing some Toronto Star articles because naughty words have appeared in them. I did get blocked out of a Vatican web page for some reason. OMG, I didn't know why. Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UJA: Blacklisting them only stifles the exchange of cultural knowledge

The United Jewish Appeal published a petition that supports the Toronto International Film Festival. It opposes blacklists of Israeli artists.

We don't need another blacklist

We applaud the Toronto International Film Festival for including the Israeli film community in the Festival's City to City program. The visiting filmmakers represent a dynamic national cinema, the best of Israel's open, uncensored, artistic expression. Anyone who has actually seen recent Israeli cinema, movies that are political and personal, comic and tragic, often critical, knows they are in no way a propaganda arm for any government policy. Blacklisting them only stifles the exchange of cultural knowledge that artists should be the first to defend and protect. Those who refuse to see these films for themselves or prevent them from being seen by others are violating a cherished right shared by Canada and all democratic countries.

I wish the UJA could have told their friends at B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress that supporting the blacklisting or banning of Deborah Ellis's book, Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak Out, in schools only stifles the exchange of cultural knowledge that the author should be the first to defend and protect. Those who refuse to read Three Wishes for themselves or prevent it from being seen by others are violating a cherished right shared by Canada and all democratic countries.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maclean's Forum in Toronto: Our Democracy is Broken

For those of you who would like to attend the Maclean's forum called Our Democracy is Broken, it is being held at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto on Wednesday, September 23. The cost is $20 plus a $3 service fee. It is $15 for Maclean's magazine subscribers, students, and seniors.

The moderator will be Peter Van Dusen from CPAC. Panelists include Andrew Coyne and Paul Wells from Maclean's, former leader Ed Broadbent, Eddie Goldenberg, John Ralston Saul, and Tasha Kheiriddin.

I hope many people will attend.

Maclean's forum: Our Democracy is Broken

St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
7-9 p.m.
Tickets $20 plus $3 service fee--$15 for Maclean's subscribers, students, and seniors.

Naomi Klein and Judy Rebick must be sending out the secret police

Yes, Mesdames Klein and Rebick are prepared to send out secret death squads to go after all people who support the Toronto International Film Festival's choice of Tel Aviv in the City-to-City Program. I must infer this truth based on a column that I read in the Toronto Star by Martin Knelman. In the column, Mr. Martin writes:

In the view of those who have fought back by protesting the protest, those objecting to TIFF's Tel Aviv series have stooped to the methods of the most notoriously repressive regimes of past and present, from Stalin to the Taliban, all of whom sought to silence artists and stifle free expression.

Since Toronto is in North America, I don't think Klein and Rebick would send out the death squads to murder supporters of TIFF and Tel Aviv. They'd probably send out bounty hunters in order to snatch these supporters and place them in front of death panels. Punishment could include a transfer to the Attawapiskat reserve in Northern Ontario. The supporters could suffer a slow and painful death if held inside the empty but contaminated school in Attawapiskat.

One may revolt at my twisted sense of humour. Mr. Knelman made some convincing arguments until he compared the protesters to the repressive Stalin and the Taliban. He wrote about some Israeli film makers who produced films that were critical of the Israeli government. One example he cited was Ari Folman's animated movie Waltz With Bashir.

Personally, do I object that Tel Aviv is not represented in a miserable plight? No, I don't. Everyone's version of Tel Aviv may be different from others just as my version of Toronto--suburban and relatively well off--may be different from someone else's--downtown and down-'n'-out. If someone wishes to make a movie about the lives of Israeli-Arabs/Arab-Israelis living in Tel Aviv, they can choose to do so. Four years ago, when I was in Paris, France during the riots, I saw two different versions: the poor suburbs that with flames shooting up from burning vehicles and a city-centre with a tentative sense of normal peace. On the television in my hotel room, it looked like all of Paris was burning.

Thankfully, Mr. Knelman didn't call the protesters "anti-Semitic." He should be careful when he compares these people to the evils of Stalin and the Taliban. I believe "Comrade" Klein and "Suicide" Rebick would agree.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If Canadians vote this fall,...

...I will be supporting the Bloc Québécois.

First and foremost, I support proportional representation. I do not wish to see either the Conservative or Liberal Party form a majority government with a minority of the votes. One way to prevent this is by supporting the Bloc which can win a lot of seats with a high concentration of votes in Quebec. Since I do not live in Quebec, I cannot vote for the Bloc. I can donate money which can either be a big or small amount. I can place a Bloc logo on my blog. I can encourage my friends living in Quebec to vote for the Bloc.

I won't be voting in the next federal election because we do not have proportional representation. I do encourage Quebeckers to vote for the Bloc.

No to bogus majority governments.

Screw the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system.