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Jun. 10th, 2016

02:09 pm - Liberal news

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My membership card arrived today!  I am now a "card-carrying Liberal".  And I still have my membership card for the Free Software Foundation, so I remain a "card-carrying Communist".

At this month's meeting of the riding association, they voted me onto the board of directors!  Since we're now in the off-season for Canadian elections, becoming a director is simply a matter of showing up repeatedly for meetings.  Problem: now I'm supposed to help them raise money for the 2019 election!  I have no experience whatsoever in fund-raising, but I guess I have to do it to get some cred with this Old-Boy Network that I'm still hoping will someday get me a cushy job as a part-time software engineer, hopefully before all my remaining cash runs out.

Next problem: modern fund-raising requires a smartphone, which I don't have (and don't particularly want to get because the fonts are so damn small).  Everyone is supposed to be running an app called MiniVAN to record the results of the voter-contacts.  Maybe I can borrow Wifey's tablet and run it on that?  Or maybe use WebVAN on my laptop?  I'll find out at the upcoming fund-raising training workshop at the riding-president's house.

Another problem: who am I raising this money for?  Some of it is for the national party, which needs it to support the riding associations, buy TV ads, and fly the Prime Minister around on a private jet.  But much of it is supposed to go to the 2019 election fund.  Who will the candidate be?  If nothing changes between now and then, the riding association intends to nominate the same guy as last time (who didn't win).  He seems like a nice and hard-working fellow.

But something is *supposed* to change.  Justin Trudeau promised that 2015 would be the last time that Canada used a first-past-the-post winner-take-all election like the Americans.  Switching over to a proportional-representation system will require either making Parliament 30% bigger or making the electoral districts 30% bigger, which seems to be the preferred option.  Suppose the new district boundaries are drawn so that our candidate is in one riding and the money we raised for him is in a different one.  What happens then?  My guess is that no one really knows yet.


[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2016 03:47 pm (UTC)
Yay for political groundwork! ^_^ Not that I'm currently particularly active - not much energy spare at present, but I'm proud to be a paid member of the Greens, especially after Labour's abhorrent caving on the Snooper's Charter.

and don't particularly want to get because the fonts are so damn small

As far as iOS goes, bear in mind the font sizes are adjustable from tiny to medium, with larger sizes available within the Accessibility prefs. That doesn't affect whether you'd like having an iPhone, of course. Whilst I have one (a 5s, which I'm content with, though I do still miss the smaller 3.5" display of the original models), it's the iPad which sees all the use out and about.

Ah, FPTP is still used to some extent in Canada? Still in the UK, of course, and the Conservatives and Labour are perfectly happy with it that way, as it favors geographical concentrations of voters - anything more distributed and proportionally allocated, or even with some kind of "alternative vote" mechanism, would obviously be a huge benefit to the other parties, currently kept on the sidelines, despite gaining a good slice of the votes nationally.
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[User Picture]
Date:June 12th, 2016 12:18 am (UTC)
IIUC, the British "Labour" party is nowadays anti-labour and mis-named.  One of the nice things that Trudeau did is to insist that the capital-L Liberal Party of Canada must first be lowercase-L liberal, not a "centrist" party as led by Ignatieff.  You can't claim to be "liberal" and also be in favour of the Drug War.  You can't be an anti-abortion "liberal" — those people were ejected from the party.

What do you think of the Ontario Greens?  It seems they support both the environment and the retention of wealth.

My daughter's smartphone has a lovely road-mapping app that uses pre-downloaded maps to avoid data charges.  If you zoom in, it doesn't make the town names bigger, but rather just shows more of them.  I suppose there might be an option someplace, but the out-of-the-box functionality does not match my poor eyesight.

FPTP is the system used nationally in Canada, although Ontario recently passed a law allowing municipal elections to use ranked ballots — which don't really help with the "lurching policy" problem where one majority government is followed by a majority for the other party, causing a huge policy shift from a small number of voters changing their minds.

The main problem with Prop. Rep. is that it is a pocketbook issue for MPs but a good-government issue for everyone else.  Liberal MPs who vote to change the voting system are potentially signing a death-warrant for their own careers, since Trudeau's majority is undeserved just like Harper's was before him, so a "correct" counting of the votes would lead to many fewer Liberal MPs than we have at the moment.  But they all stood under the Liberal banner to get elected, and that banner had electoral reform as a core policy.  Canadians do sometimes put patriotism before greed, so maybe something will actually happen this time.
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