Sunday, February 13, 2011

Okay short post

These are my two favourite political parties in Canada:

Some good Canadian movies, you can watch them fully on the national film board website.

Residual posting

I was going to write a post but instead I got distracted and wrote a comment on another blog:

When reading this article I thought that it missed part of the point. Although it touched on it in couple times but I don’t believe it was properly articulated.
As a younger person concerned about the food that I eat and food security it seems to me that a large part of the problem would be reforming land use in the developed world. And this has been brought up here, e.g. meat consumption per capita is enormously energy intensive, management intensive systems are more productive than energy intensive systems, using human waste as a direct input for urban agriculture (why not the vast amounts of table scraps too).
There seems to be problems with our agricultural practice at every turn, and yet I can’t help but feel like this article supports the over arching structure of it. Maybe my opinion is somewhat naive, seeing as how I didn’t grow up through the green revolution, but I can’t help but feel like trying to apply western practices else where in the world could produce anything but failure. We can’t even set up democracies there!
The amount of pollution it produces is unmitigated. Have you seen pictures of algae blooms? Fish kills in the united states due to raw animal sewage being dumped rivers.
“Unsustainable fishing can be replaced, to a substantial extent by aquaculture, as discussed in this Scientific American article.”
Sea lice linked to aquaculture are decimating wild fish stocks. This is not sustainable.
The colorado river already doesn’t reach the sea.
Why would we ever want to reproduce this elsewhere? I guess the answer is to stop millions of people to starving to death. However I agree with some of the other readers we must use increased labour to increase yields. Maybe western governments should implement 2 years of mandatory woofing. Woofing = volunteering as agricultural labour on organic farms (cheap way to travel!). My personal response to this quandary is to dumpster dive.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

l'Association pour la Revendication des Droits Démocratiques

The ARDD is contesting the constitutionality of Quebec’s FPTP voting system before Quebec’s appeals court. This hearing will begin February 8th. This is the best thing I have heard in a while. While I was living in Vancouver the provincial elections featured a referendum to accept a single transferable voting system in 2009 in BC. The campaign was known as BC-STV and was defeated with only 38.82% in favor of implementation.  
Our current system obviously does not properly represent the desires of the population. In the 2006 election the Green Party received 4.5% of popular vote, 0% of seats in parliament; the NDP received 17.5% of the vote and 9.5% of seats in parliament; the Bloc Quebecois received 10.5% of the vote and 17% of seats in parliament; the Liberals received 30% of the vote and 33% of the seats; and the Conservatives received 36% of the vote and 40% of seats as well as the position of Prime Minister. This does not represent a healthy electoral system.

Electoral reform to me is very important for several reasons.

(1) the engagement of citizens relies on their perceived ability to affect the outcome of political discourse in favor of some beliefs they may have. In Calgary recently the voter turnout jumped from 30% in the 2007 municipal elections to 50% in 2010 (in 2004 it had been only 18%). I do not think it is trite or to say that this voter turnout was due to viable candidates representing both reform and the status quo. Naheed Nenshi won, seemingly a very progressive choice for Calgary.

(2) I feel like at this particular time it is imperative to challenge the status quo and the invested interests that manipulate our democracy. Obviously we do not live in the United States, and I think it is fairly obvious that the levels of influence special lobbies play in their government do not exist within our political culture. However I think that for this to remain true we need pursue policies that allow more direct participation of the voters in Canada.

It is impossible to disown regressive policies simply due to some innate aspect of their nature, this would necessitate a belief in the objective truth of the progressive agenda. No such truth exists. My desire to live in a socialist country stems on a belief that more egalitarian societies are better places to live in. So I do not want insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, the industrial military complex, oil companies, tobacco companies, the industrial food complex or corrections companies to control my government (or the Koch brothers).  This requires participation of the citizenry, which needs to be facilitated by the government.