Saturday, April 25, 2009

BC Referendum on Voting System

This ballot is going to be given to you at the upcoming election in British Columbia on May 12.

Its another referendum vote, and its an important one.

It is going to ask for your opinion about which electoral system BC should use for MLA’s:

  • Keep the current system (they call this "First Past the post”, more about this later); or

  • single transferable vote (they call this “BC-STV”, and I’ll discuss this later too).

Each group, “First past the post”, and “BC-STV”, received funding from the provincial government (about $500,000 each). Its REALLY important that we (the voters & taxpaers) get our money's worth in this referendum! The best way to do that, is to get as much information as is available, then make a choice, and MOST importantly, FILL OUT THE BALLOT!

Here is some ways to get information:

The site for those that want BC-STV:

Here is a short synapsis of how advocates of the BC-STV say the system will work:

The following is a video created by the pro STV group, and it explains the benefits of the STV system:

Also, you can google “BC STV” or go to YouTube and do a search there for “yes STV”.

Pro First Past the Post
This is the First Past the Post site:

The First Past the Post organization has concerns about the proposed STV system. In a nutshell, they say the system is complicated, and it is difficult to understand how your vote will be counted. Have a look here:

Here is a video about the concerns of STV:

Other No to STV Sights this is Mike Culpepper’s site on the Single Transferrable Vote question. It has lots of resources and information for further edification.

Bottom Line:
Learn as much as you can about this topic AND THEN VOTE!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Political Integrity

Yes, that's right. Political Integrity.

There is a large part of our population that believe that the phrase "political integrity" is an oxymoron.

I do not.

I have worked for politicians, in BC, the Yukon, and Alberta, and have to say that there are many politicians with integrity.

The majority of politicians are truly public servants.

While I didn't always believe in their policies, I know that they did, and that is sometimes what matters. Underlying even their policies was a desire to make where we live a better place for the citizens. To me, that is integrity.

President Obama has integrity. There are some historical Canadian politicians that have integrity: Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Tommy Douglas; and world leaders: Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Nelson Mandela.

Use your imagination to think of more. Not just politicians that you like or agree with, or were charismatic. Recall them from the broader spectrum: from the left, the right, socialist, capitalist, even historical and religious leaders like Jesus, and Buddha. They too were politicians.

I do not suggest that there are no politicians without integrity, of course there are. However, this is not about them.

How do you tell whether a politician has integrity? Easy: are they honest? Do they keep their word?

Are they willing to stand up and face tough questions?

Do they acknowledge the little people in their community?

Do they work to make life better for their constituents?

Do they propose solutions or do they sling mud?

Are they accessible? Do they answer the important questions from the people they serve?

Take the time to find out. That's your job. Don't just dismiss all politicians. Remember that you have a responsibility too. It is not just about whether you show up in the voting booth (but that is an important component too), its about making an informed choice.

Don't be afraid to find out who has and who does not have integrity.

Take part. If you don't have the answers, ask questions. Then listen carefully to the answers.

There are politicians that have integrity. They do exist. Find out who they are and what they are going to do for your community, for your country. Support them. They need you just as much as you need them.

Be an citizen with integrity. You may be surprised that you will discover politicians with integrity. They exist. They want to serve.