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OKANAGAN PURE DEMOCRACY PETITION
from the Okanagan, B.C., Canada
January 26, 2015
Click on your refresh button in the top menu, to
be sure you see any updates.
What is demo-crazy you ask:
You get to beg for information through the Freedom of Information Act a couple
of times because they need clarification, and then you are either told there is
no such document or that it will cost $10,000 for the information.
democracy in which the power is exercised
directly by the people rather than through representatives
definition above from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
pure democracy - (noun)
About Petitions to Parliament or House of Commons
Online Petition for "Open Government"
okanaganlakebc.ca's Democracy Petition to Parliament regarding finances
The term is both descriptive and prescriptive. Typically, the
kinds of enhancements sought by proponents of e-democracy are framed in terms of
making processes more accessible; making citizen participation in public policy
decision-making more expansive and direct so as to enable broader influence in
policy outcomes as more individuals involved could yield
smarter policies; increasing transparency and accountability; and keeping the
government closer to the consent of the governed, thereby increasing its
political legitimacy. E-democracy includes within its scope electronic
voting, but has a much wider span than this single aspect of the democratic
The primary weakness of a legislature as a tool of social choice
is the likelihood
that legislators will vote their own preferences rather than represent the
of their constituents. Legislatures are a highly imperfect method of revealing
aggregating social preferences. But as we demonstrate, so are referendums.
DO YOU WANT LEGISLATION THAT DIRECTORS THEMSELVES CAN'T
MAKE DECISIONS, AND THAT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO GET A VOTE OR DIRECTION FROM THE
ELECTORS EITHER BY EMAIL, LETTERS, OR OTHER PROVABLE MATERIAL SO THAT THERE IS
ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE ELECTORS? THE DIRECTOR COULD PUBLISH INFORMATION IN THE NEWSPAPER,
AND WEBSITE TO EXPLAIN THE QUESTION PUT TO VOTERS, AND VOTERS COULD BE
RESPONSIBLE TO RESPOND. THE
DECISION DIRECTORS ARRIVE AT HAS TO BE PROVEN BY THE DIRECTOR THAT THE DECISION
ARRIVED AT CAME FROM VOTERS AND NOT THE DIRECTOR HIMSELF. MAYBE A COLUMN
IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO DIRECTORS SO THEY CAN TELL US WHAT IS
HAPPENING EACH NEWSPAPER DAY? IT COULD THEN BE LEFT UP TO US TO RESPOND.
Some feel there is no real democracy.
Its more like a dictatorship, as
described on our dictatorship web page.
If you would like to get involved and help with a petition for democracy, please
contact us and let us know by filling out our
and tell us how you can help. We will reply and keep you
updated with any information we can. If you want to be on the email list
please send us your email address at this same link.
We will post a petition letter in (.doc) format that you will be able to
download later here on
this web page, when we secure a good writer to help with the wording of the
petition. If you are a writer willing to donate your services for free, please
fill out our contact form
and let us know.
Don't think you can't help, because here is
what you can do to help, and it really is just this easy:
If you are a writer we need someone to help word and write the petition.
If you are an elector, you can print out the pure democracy petition and
distribute it to stores and other busy places of business, then pick up the form
after its full of signatures and return it to us. That is all there is too
There is no time limit as of right now to return the petition forms, as we are
sure this will take some time (maybe a year depends on how hard we work at it).
Maybe we could say we need so many signatures and work towards that goal.
We could contact government and ask how many signatures they will need to effect
change! Does that sound like a good idea??
Let us know what you
think by filling out this form and your comment will be posted to the net or
fill out the contact form
which emails us.
People whose charter rights breached can win damages
ctvbc.ctv.ca - CTV News - By: The Canadian Press -
Friday July 23, 2010
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says people whose charter
rights are breached can win damages, even if there was no
misbehaviour on the part of the authorities.
The high court unanimously upheld $5,000 in damages given to Alan
Cameron Ward, a Vancouver lawyer who was strip-searched in 2002 when
he was wrongly suspected of plotting to pie then-prime minister Jean
The 9-0 decision sets out a framework for when damages should be
allowed, and how big the damages should be.
"I conclude that damages may be awarded for charter breach . . .
where appropriate and just," Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote
in her ruling.
"The first step in the inquiry is to establish that a charter right
has been breached. The second step is to show why damages are a just
and appropriate remedy, having regard to whether they would fulfil
one or more of the related functions of compensation, vindication of
the right, and or deterrence of future breaches.
"At the third step, the state has the opportunity to demonstrate, if
it can, that countervailing factors defeat the functional
considerations that support a damage award and render damages
inappropriate or unjust. The final step is to assess the quantum of
She said damages have to be proportional to the seriousness of the
breach and overturned a $100 judgment given to Ward to compensate
for having his car towed as part of the police investigation.
Ward was also given $5,000 for false imprisonment, but that wasn't
at issue in the case.
The ruling marks the first time the high court looked at monetary
damages for violations of rights. It means
that people whose rights have been infringed can seek damages even
if they suffered no actual loss and even if the authorities acted in
The damages are meant to compensate for "physical, psychological and
pecuniary" loss, as well as distress, humiliation and embarrassment.
Such damages also act as a deterrent to further breaches of charter
rights, the ruling explained.
But the ruling also sets out ways to make sure the country's courts
aren't overrun with claimants arguing for money for every little
"The state may establish that an award of charter damages would
interfere with good governance such that damages should not be
awarded unless the state conduct meets a minimum threshold of
gravity," McLachlin writes.
Ward was arrested because he partly fit the description of a man
suspected of planning the pie attack. Police took him to jail, where
he was strip-searched. His car was towed. He was never charged and
was released after about four and a half hours.
He subsequently sued the city and the province of British Columbia
for violations of his rights.
The trial judge found that the police had acted in good faith and
that there was no abuse of power. But he still ordered the city to
pay damages of $5,000 for false imprisonment and $100 for the search
of the car.
The province was ordered to pay $5,000 for the strip search. All
parties appealed the decision, with the city and the province
seeking to overturn the awards and Ward asking for higher damages.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld the damages in a 2-1
In their appeal to the Supreme Court, the governments argued that
since Ward suffered no actual loss in the incident and there was no
wrongdoing involved, there should be no damages.
"An award of damages for an infringement of a charter right in the
absence of bad faith, abuse of power or tortious conduct is not fair
to an innocent infringer," the city's lawyers argued in their brief.
"Availability of damages for every breach of the charter would
create a new kind of liability and would have a chilling effect on
The case attracted interventions from two provinces and the federal
government, two civil liberties associations and a number of
community and legal groups.
In its brief, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association said judges
need the discretion to award damages for breaches of the charter.
"An award of damages may be necessary to vindicate a charter right,
to deter similar breaches in the future or to express disapproval of
unconstitutional conduct and courts must be free to craft remedies
that redress the loss of dignity or moral harm associated with
Micheal Vonn: B.C. government job posting exposes crisis of
Straight.com - By Micheal Vonn - July 16, 2010
Citizens of British Columbia who have been crying out for government
transparency can now uncork the champagne. After years of access to
government information eroding in a culture of secrecy and gutted
freedom of information laws, we finally have something to celebrate.
Last week, journalist Sean Holman posted a link on his Web site to
the B.C. Public Service Executive Role Profile. This document is
part of the job description for senior civil servants and it is as
transparent a government document as you are ever likely to see. It
right out and says that the government considers it part of the job
of senior bureaucrats to fabricate crises in order to advance policy.
How’s that for laying it on the line?
Here’s exactly what it says under the “Characteristics/Behaviours”
section of the role profile:
“Executives anticipate, and are prepared to institute change
quickly. At times, to capitalize on the best opportunity, executives
create a crisis to force change.”
Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is a book all about political and
economic exploitation of disasters like September 11 and Hurricane
Katrina. Political exploitation of crisis is apparently such
standard operating procedure that President Barack Obama’s advisor
Rahm Emanuel has blandly stated, “You never want a serious crisis to
go to waste.”
But thanks to the B.C. government’s New Transparency, we see the
cutting-edge innovation of actually manufacturing the crisis. And we
further learn that opportunistic crisis-creation is not despicable.
In fact, it is a vocation reserved for the selflessly brave, as we
see in the document under the somber header “Are You Courageous
Enough?” which follows: “Positive opportunism, instituting change
and creating crisis involves a high level of risk and risk taking.
Executives are prepared to take these risks, have the courage to
move forward, and acknowledge the ultimate consequence if they do
Let’s not get too caught up in the Tony Soprano talk about “ultimate
consequences”; it’s the fabricated crises and “positive opportunism”
that is the main point. Nobody accuses the public of being
insufficiently cynical about politicians. Voting rates alone tell a
sorry tale. We might be forgiven for trusting in the civil service
though. Up until we read the B.C. Public Service Executive Role
Profile, we thought we were worldly and urbane because we expected
senior government bureaucrats to be well-versed in damage control.
Turns out we were a bunch of hayseeds. Damage control? Try damage
creation! Thanks to the New Transparency, we now know how truly
cynical to be.
And we are grateful for this enlightenment, as there is always a
certain grisly satisfaction in having our lowest surmises confirmed.
But we can’t help but feel just a touch depressed too.
When we think about what it means to live in a democracy, we think
about voting and fundamental freedoms and the separation of powers.
It’s been a while since it’s been fashionable to include ethics and
trust on the list, let alone truth. At the risk of sounding
hopelessly retro, this is not good. Our spin culture has now spun so
far out of control that the effective functioning of our democracy
is seriously damaged.
Simply put, the big idea with democracy is that the citizens are the
rulers, and we rule ourselves through our governments and we make
our decisions about government based on information. The whole
system falls down if we have no information, only infomercials and
fabricated crises. That we have a government that is blatantly
advertising for crisis-fabricators to head up the civil service
should give us very serious concern. Civil servants deserve respect
and citizens deserve the truth. We call on the government of British
Columbia to leave off crisis-creation and attend to the real crisis
of democracy that has become only too apparent.
Micheal Vonn is the policy director for the B.C. Civil Liberties
Case against capitalism grows as world economies continue to tank
Kelowna Capital News - Letters - Published:
January 15, 2009
To the editor:
Orest Swintak (Economic Collapse Was Inevitable, Jan. 4 Capital
News) and Robert Sieclay (Rise Up Against ‘Unbridled Rise of
Greedy…Capitalistic Imperialism, Jan. 9 Capital News) have alerted
the public about the dangers of monopoly capitalism.
With increasing economic and financial crisis crippling,
destabilizing and possibly bankrupting governments, it is vital for
citizens to get informed.
The danger of monopoly capitalism is the concentration of capital
into fewer and fewer hands and merging small business into corporate
empires. Extremely wealthy monopoly capitalists can manipulate and
control governments through non co-operation, withdrawing their
capital or investments.
And, by manipulating the economy and money system.
Cut-throat monopoly capitalism leads to oligarchy and the decline
and fall of democracy, also wars.
Monopoly capitalism is escalating because of the relentless
indoctrination of neo-classical laissez-faire economic theory. The
theory, originated by Adam Smith in the 18th century, is now treated
as an untouchable truth. It is spread as gospel by think tanks like
the Fraser Institute. It was used by the Bush administration, and is
used by the Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell governments as their
economic foundation. It is fanatically defended by all chambers of
commerce and sustained by city hall.
Basically, the laissez-faire theory is that the invisible profit
hand of the market, if left unconstrained, benefits everyone by
magically producing common good.
How can it be trusted to produce good, when the market is subject to
greed and, being brainless, can’t tell between good or evil?
Now finally, because the USA is besieged with possible financial and
economic collapse, the chief USA guru of laissez-faire, Alan
Greenspan, has publicly admitted that he was wrong and that the
market is incapable of correcting itself.
So, is it any wonder that the world is in a hopeless mess, when
governments remain willingly subservient to a dysfunctional,
greed-infested, manipulated market?
Another issue, rarely revealed, is how the private banks are allowed
to rip off everyone through usury, compound interest and diluting
everyone’s purchasing ability through ways of creating money out of
Furthermore, rather than using the Bank of Canada to issue money
directly to the federal government at no or almost no interest, the
federal government needlessly lets the private banks issue the
money. Then, by borrowing it at high interest, the government
increases compounding national debt, thereby threatening all social
programs, including Medicare.
The Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER) has tried to
get federal governments to rectify these unjust defects ripping off
governments and all citizens. Yet, federal governments favour
billions for the bankers and debts for the people (read W.H. Pope’s
book, All You Must Know about Economics, and Paul Hellyer’s book,
The current wild-west, laissez-faire economic model and exploitive,
phoney money system, suitable for pirates and savages, have outlived
their usefulness. We are now in the 21st century, the era of human
survival based on environmental sustainability.
Environmental compatibility requires change to an advanced,
steady-state, equalitarian, economic model and fair banking system.
(Read H. Daly and J. Cobb’s book, For the Common Good).
So, why waste time and money bailing out the useless obscene-rich
monopoly capitalists and thieving, usurious private banks?
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star -
Published: October 21, 2008
There's more proof that the
provincial government could care less about open communications with
The City of Vernon recently received an Oct. 9 letter from
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon, who was responding to a July
18 request from council for a meeting to discuss highway matters.
"My schedule does not permit me to attend any of the regular council
meetings listed in the schedule you provided," wrote Falcon to Mayor
Perhaps Falcon was too busy smiling for the cameras as the
bulldozers knocked down the toll booths on the Coquihalla?
Seriously, though, three months to send a Dear John letter is
But while Falcon doesn't have the time to come to Vernon, he does
graciously make himself available to meet with council.
"As you know, the next annual Union of B.C. Municipalities
convention will be held this September. I would be pleased to
address your's and council's concerns there," wrote Falcon.
Now that leaves one wondering when the letter — dated Oct. 9 — was
actually written because this year's UBCM ran Sept. 23 to 26. If the
letter was inked before then, why wasn't it popped in the mail until
And if Falcon is referring to the 2009 UBCM, there may be a problem.
Primarily, there is a civic election in less than a month and many
of Vernon's current council will be gone either through retirements
or their names not rising to the top of the ballot.
It should also be pointed out that there will be a provincial
election in May, so unless Falcon is some kind of soothsayer, how
does he know that he will be re-elected and actually be attending
the UBCM in September 2009 in Vancouver?
I'm not sure if this is a related issue, but it's been suggested the
city hasn't accessed provincial infrastructure grants because of its
often vocal stance against the Liberal government.
"We have a reputation in the media of attacking other levels of
government. We have a reputation of being difficult to get along
with," said Lippert recently.
It would be easy to blame Coun. Barry Beardsell for this situation
as he often appears to enjoy turning the screws on the government.
But Beardsell is just one voice and any time a letter of concern has
been sent to the province, it has been done through a majority vote
of council. When a letter is sent, it represents the city, not
And if there is any truth to senior government officials
blackballing Vernon because of positions council has taken, that's a
very troubling situation for our democratic society.
After all, mayor and council were elected to represent the interests
of the citizens of Vernon, and occasionally those interests —
whether it is highways, casinos, meat regulations, etc. — will not
reflect those of the provincial government.
The Liberals may not be happy with the resolutions coming out of
city council chambers, but that's fine, they don't have to be. But
what they do have to do, is be fair to all communities when funding
is being provided for infrastructure projects. And the reason for
that is all communities pump money into their coffers.
There is no room for one level of government to be vindicative
against another just because they share different views, and one
would hope that's not happening between Victoria and Vernon.
But if Vernon council really wants to pursue the matter further,
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon has time for them at the next
They were elected by a democratic process to act in the best interest, and on
behalf of their constituents, and have a clear and irrefutable duty to extend
the same democratic process to the community.
Let council know what your priorities are
April 18, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News
To the editor:
Kelowna is at a critical turning point in its history.
It is incumbent on citizens to understand what is at stake.
We must decide:
• Do we want a development to be rushed ahead without a clear vision
of how Kelowna will evolve?
• Do we want orderly, planned growth, or do we accept piecemeal
• Do we, the citizens, want a role in planning our city’s direction
and destination, or are we content to let developers and unelected
bureaucrats determine our future?
• Do we allow developers to receive preferential support and access
to city resources over its citizens?
• Do we want our elected mayor and council to respect our democratic
right to be consulted?
• A new comprehensive Downtown Plan for the entire downtown will
provide the vision and guidance that council needs to make decisions
which are ‘representative of the interests and reflect the vision of
all Kelowna residents’ (quote from city document).
• Last year, a commissioned report stated that the existing DT Plan
was ‘vague and inadequate’. Consequently, council recognized the
need for, and committed to, revising it in 2008. Unless this is
done, our tax money that paid for this report will have been wasted.
• It is crucial that the revision be done as soon as possible and
prior to decisions on any existing or further development proposals.
With final budget deliberations approaching, council must be
reminded that it is their responsibility, not unelected staff and
bureaucrats, to determine the feasibility of revising the Downtown
When council designates a priority and instructs staff accordingly,
city staff have demonstrated amazing skill at finding necessary
resources. For example: $3 million for the pontoon purchase appeared
in short order.
And seemingly unlimited tax-paid staff assistance was made available
to a developer to promote/advance one particular proposal.
These same resources can and must now be directed to this most
important and urgent initiative on behalf of Kelowna’s tax-paying
They were elected by a democratic process to act in the best
interest, and on behalf of their constituents, and have a clear and
irrefutable duty to extend the same democratic process to the
While the mayor and several councilors have expressed concern that
piecemeal development may be putting the cart before the horse,
other councilors appear to be incapable of recognizing that common
sense dictates that you “design the new house before you buy the
The question is not if, but how Kelowna grows. Our city has
tremendous potential for a vibrant and economically successful
downtown. However, orderly growth doesn’t just happen. It begins
with a vision, followed by careful planning and foresight.
Other cities have accomplished this, Kelowna can too.
If you love Kelowna and want to participate in the visioning
process, contact the mayor and council. Letters may be mailed or
delivered to 1435 Water St. V1Y 1J4 (Outside drop box to the right
of front door). Or e-mail mayorandcouncil"at"kelowna.ca. Fax
862-3399. Telephone 469-8687.
Time is rapidly running out.
We will not have a second chance to get it right.
A great country, or what?
April 18, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star Letters
I recently had the privilege of dining with some relatively recent
immigrants to our country. During the course of our much-varied
conversation the nearly inevitable question arose. “How do you like
being in Canada?”
The answer was the also nearly inevitable “Canada is the best
country in the world!” This was followed by many comparisons between
our country and the countries of origin of my companions. The great
majority of the comments referred to our comparatively high standard
of living, and the fact that we are a democracy.
As the evening wound down I began to reflect upon what was said. I
agree that we have a wonderful standard of living, and that we are
theoretically a democracy. But if we are ‘the best country in the
world,’ I began to wonder about some things.
If we are such a great country, I wondered why we have grocery
stores with five thousand cubit feet of boxed cereals, with as many
as 300 sizes and varieties of packages. I wondered how we could
accept this so matter-of-factly when people in countries closer to
us than the distance between our east and west coast have to grind
up their seed corn after a tropical storm, simply to feed their
I wondered why, if we are such a great country, that we have to send
our armies halfway around the world with guns to shoot people. Why
do we not send them with shovels and well-digging equipment and
tools and skills to build shelter and sanitation facilities and
If we are such a wonderful country, why did we not stand up for one
of our finest ever soldiers, who witnessed a genocide of such
horrific proportions that he returned from overseas a broken man.
After his recovery, such as it was, he wrote a book which is enough
to make any but the most hardened sociopath weep.
If we are such a great country, why do we, as citizen, seem so
placid about the hypocritical rhetoric that our elected
representatives spout at will? We only have to read the reports in
the local paper from our representatives to the senior levels of
government to question their integrity. I have yet to see a report
from an elected official which was not either a self-laudatory piece
or an apologia for the ‘necessary’ policies of their parties.
If we are so great, why do our governments pay lip service to the
climate crisis, but refuse to ratify Kyoto.
If our society is so wonderful, why are there so many lawyer jokes?
As a point of interest, why do you suppose so many lawyers choose
politics as a secondary career? It seems strange to me that the same
group that is so instrumental in writing and enacting our
complicated and cumbersome and difficult to understand set of
statutes are the same folks who will be arguing them in a court the
Many of my dinner companions came from countries which had
governments that decided, as ours seems to be heading towards, that
the people of the country no longer had a say in how their resources
of any type were used.
We are a wonderful country in so many respects. We have a truly
incredible standard of living – which is being sustained at the
expenses of our finite resources. We are spending our
grandchildren’s inheritance to maintain our lifestyle. We are
allowing the hypocrites to rule our lives, and we are becoming no
better than them because of our passivity.
Our apathy towards the crimes against humanity which take place in
so many parts of the world, our apathy about the destruction of the
environment, our willingness to spend our children’s future to keep
us in SUVS and run our a/c’s, our apparent complete lack of concern
for our indigent and aboriginal populace. All these and many more
make me question how great we really are.
We are a lucky country. We have a huge amount of space and an
abundance of natural resources. Let us begin to make decisions which
will not squander our legacy to our kids and grandkids, and will
enhance our standing in the eyes of the world – all the world,
including the poor – not just the politicians and diplomats.
If we could begin to move in that direction, I, for one, would find
it much easier to agree with the assessment of my dinner companions.
“Canada Is Truly a Great Country.”
Civic complex campaign costs $373,538
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - April 16,
THE CIVIC complex never materialized but it still cost taxpayers
Vernonites forked out considerable dollars for a civic complex that
received a staff report Monday that shows that $373,538 was spent on
the proposed civic complex through the failed alternative approval
process last summer and the defeated referendum in January.
“There is nothing to show for it,” said Tony
Stamboulieh, spokesman for the Vernon Taxpayers Association which
successfully campaigned against the city.
(costs) reinforces the perception and reality that a small group of
insiders decided what will go through and taxpayers be damned. Those
days are over.”
Of the total figure, $110,000 was covered by Okanagan Regional
Library, with the city’s cost being $263,538.
The expenses include $167,137 paid to CEI Architecture, $30,295 to
MQN Architects, $53,330 to MCW Consultants and $27,000 to Spiegel
Skillen and Associates.
In terms of public relations and advertising, $27,961 was spent. Of
that, $20,861 went to The Morning Star.
The financial details have reinforced Coun. Barry Beardsell’s
opposition to the process the city followed for the complex.
“I find it excessive especially when added to what was spent by the
previous cultural committee. That was about $260,000,” he said.
“It’s money down the drain and apologies are due to the taxpayers.”
Mayor Wayne Lippert defends the final tab.
“It’s the cost of doing business and taking information forward,” he
“It didn’t go down the drain. A lot of good information was brought
together over the years by this council and other councils.”
That view is also supported by Coun. Juliette Cunningham.
“You need to pay architects if you are going to have an idea of
design and costs before going to the public.”
Cunningham believes some of the concepts developed through the
planning process could be used in future.
“We still need an art gallery,” she said.
Look how many bucks, politicians, architects, consultants, and associates it
took for nothing!
This article below is one of the best articles we've read on the subject.
April 16, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star
It has recently come to my attention that the province is in the
process of instituting additional laws regarding tobacco
consumption. These “improvements” seem to have gone by without
widespread public discussion, despite directly affecting 10 to 20
per cent of British Columbians, as well indirectly affecting
thousands of businesses.
The sweeping new laws prohibit virtually any establishment from
choosing to allow smoking indoors, regardless of ventilation or
separate rooms, as well creating an arbitrary three-metre radius to
smoke from a door, even at a privately owned business. This is said
to be for the health of the people of B.C.
Well that may well be true. There are however, numerous activities
that many people engage in that are not just unhealthy and dangerous
for themselves, but for everyone. Driving a vehicle, particularly a
sports car, is a perfect example of this. Sports cars are relatively
inefficient, pollute the air that everyone breathes, and encourage
dangerous and excessive speed. The thousands of tons of pollutants
motor vehicles pump out in one year is millions of times worse for
the collective health than every gram of tobacco that has been
smoked since the colonization of the new world.
So, let’s finish the metaphor, obviously smoking hasn’t been
completely banned yet, just heavily restricted, so let’s restrict
all cars that aren’t emission free to sealed, ventilated tracks.
One can drive emission-free cars everywhere where one can chew
nicotine gum. Sure, one doesn’t “need” to smoke, nor does one “need”
to drive a vehicle bigger than a sedan with a four-cylinder in many,
many cases. I don’t smoke cigarettes, and I don’t intend to. but I’m
tired of this nanny state concept that has crept up from nagging
taxpayer-funded commercials, now to the law of the land. This
concept isn’t new, but I’m going to take a shot in the dark here,
most of the people supporting this kind of control don’t know much
common good,” especially when it comes to health, was one war cry
for the fascist movement in Nazi Germany. Yes the comparison is a
bit extreme, but when smokers are compared to the fascists, is it
really a stretch? What’s really wrong here isn’t that people care
about their health, that’s fine, the problem is government forcing
its way into the common dialect and function of the people.
smoke in a restaurant? Don’t frequent that establishment.
Find one of the many locations that currently, and will continue to
offer a smoke-free environment regardless of legislation. If someone
is smoking in your vicinity, and you happen to be allergic, or it’s
just bothering you, try asking them to put it out, or move. If they
say no, it’s like any other issue like this. Count the person off as
a jerk, move, and treat them accordingly in the future. This same
argument could be made for cologne, perfume, bad breath, a nearby
Legislating away everything that offends you regardless of common
sense, or respect for what happens historically when the many or the
loud decide to clamp down on the few, is a sad effort, and I hope
that this is rectified before it gets out of control. When you see
bans on chips and salsa, food heavy in salt or fat, cars that can go
fast, or requiring a special permit to drive a gas guzzling 4x4,
you’ll know it’s too late to go back, because we’ve come too far,
and you’ll realize most regulation of this nature should have
stopped at food safety, freedom and disclosure of information, real
environmental protection, productions standards, economic and
corporate stewardship in general.
Letters article from the Vernon Morning Star March 30, 2008
by Lynette Smith
Low turnout shows voter disillusionment
Kelowna Capital News - March 28, 2008
To the editor:
The recent byelections, in my view, spoke volumes about our
The parties put out their spins on how well they did, but in reality
they all did very poorly because of the very low voter turn out.
To me, this says that none of the leaders were able to inspire the
voters to come out and vote. A large majority, obviously, felt that
because of the system, it didn’t matter if they voted and who got
elected. So they didn’t bother to even vote.
very strongly, the only way to change this is to change the system
that would shift much of the power from the parties’ leadership to
the voters and their locally elected members. Making it more
democratic: “By the people and for the people.”
So I strongly encourage that the voters of B.C. strongly support the
referendum in the next provincial election for the mixed
I believe this system will not only encourage more to vote, knowing
that their vote will not be wasted, but also encourage more
qualified people to run for office.
And once this is demonstrated in B.C., the rest of the country will
follow in short order.
Danyliu will be missed
Vernon Morning Star - March 21, 2008
I wish to comment on the sad and surprising resignation of Andy
Danyliu as president of the Coldstream Ratepayers association, at
its most recent meeting, 1 March, 2008.
We will miss his honest and wise leadership during his term of
office for representing and advocating the common interests of
His efforts certainly stand in sharp contrast to the narrowly
Here is a guy, new to the community, who just wanted to reach out
and give a helping hand to Coldstream, ran as a mayoral candidate in
the last election, narrowly lost, and went on
For this well intentioned civic service he has been trashed and
vilified in the corporate press.
Now, to add insult to injury, nobody has even thanked him for
Apparently he has received a lot of hostile phone calls over the
megasports complex issue, as well as some bad press, which he has
unfortunately taken to heart, but I can’t really blame him for
trying to avoid any further odious abuse.
doubt for a minute that he was a deliberate victim of a campaign by
vested interests that saw him as a dangerous threat to their hidden
agendas and are now rejoicing at his resignation.
However I am confidant that some one else will pick up his banner to
lead the charge for honest and accountable local government!
bearing in mind we live in a dysfunctional democracy which can be
easily hijacked by corporations and wealthy individuals because of
public apathy, disinterest, ignorance, gullibility and compliance.
It takes actively engaged, informed citizens to run a functional,
truly people-centred democracy.
Sadly most people shirk their democratic obligations but nobody can
accuse the people of Vernon and Coldstream Ratepayers association of
shirking their civic duties! Thanks for being a good citizen Andy!
Democracy in action
article from the Vernon Morning Star Feb 20, 2008 pg A10
The message to both councils is that perhaps they should exercise democracy more
often, and rather than tell the people what is good for them, perhaps they could
involve the people, the "demos" of democracy, to play much larger roles in
deciding what is right for their own community. At least in Coldstream,
they had the good sense to call a referendum. In Vernon, they had to be
forced into calling a referendum.
Democracy can be messy and unpredictable, and the best laid plans of bureaucrats
are quite often not what the people want or need.
Sending a positive message
March 07, 2008 Kelowna Capital News Opinion
In a perfect world, one wouldn’t think that an 18-year-old wanting to be
a candidate for municipal government is so out of the ordinary.
In its purest sense, a democracy is based on people participating in the
governing process by which we all live.
But it’s not a perfect world, and the fact that Kevin Craig is keen to
be a candidate for Kelowna city council before he’s even of legal age to
drink will cause many to think perhaps the kid has a screw loose.
But that is hardly the case. Craig is setting an example that more
people from his generation should heed—that the only answer for cynicism
about how our government operates, whether it be municipal, provincial
or federal, is to get involved and help bring about change.
That younger generation, and others who feel disenfranchised by the
current political scenario in the U.S., are an influential force behind
Barack Obama’s bid to win the Democratic Party nomination and run for
president against Republican John McCain.
In Obama, they see hope for change in a political system that for too
long, and to the detriment of their country, has been controlled by
lobbyists, corporate political donors and the politicians they buy off.
Whether it is Obama or his opponent Hillary Clinton, the candidate on
the Democratic ticket likely won’t win the U.S. presidential election in
November unless they are able to engage more people to take an interest
in voting, in participating.
Here in our neck of the woods, young Mr. Craig is dutifully doing his
homework and trying to learn the issues so he can be an informed
candidate come our own municipal elections in November. We wish him
well. With youth comes enthusiasm, and we need more of that if our
governments in Canada are to be effective.
The Way It Is
How can citizens participate in regional district decision making
processes? (page 13)
There are a number of ways that citizens can get involved:
by directly contacting their Regional District Directors
in the case of municipal citizens, their Municipal Councils (to
whom the Municipal Directors are accountable)
by attending and speaking at a Regional District Regular
Meeting (all of which are open to the public), a committee/
commission meeting, a public hearing or some other regional
district public event
by voting in elector assent referendums and/or participating
alternative approval processes (for proposed services)
by attending the open houses and other events that most
regional districts use to obtain feedback on their proposed five year
Citizens who own property in an electoral area may also
participate in decision making by petitioning the regional district to
provide a new service to all or part of the electoral area. For a petition
to be valid, it must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels
in the proposed service area. The persons signing must also be the owners of
parcels that in total represent at least 50% of the net taxable value of all
and improvements in the proposed area.
Priorities need to be
made. We can barely afford
health care, snow plowing and sanding, and other services, but
yet we can afford the expense of water meters?
The Regional District operates eight water utilities and intends
to implement a
universal water metering program which is consistent with an
initiative by the
Westside Joint Water Committee. The cost of the program is
estimated to be
$920,000. $30,000 in
funding assistance is being requested from the OBWB.
changing. Is it democratic that
we elect directors to make decisions for us, or should we be
making decisions ourselves with directors providing direction
and providing correct and knowledgeable information from staff
so that electors can make informed decisions?
Public Participation and Accountability (link no longer works
www.cserv.gov.bc.ca/LGD/governance/public_participation.htm) - Local governments have a
relationship with their citizens that can take many forms. In some cases, local
governments have a legislated requirement to involve citizens in their
decision-making; in other cases local governments
involve their citizens as a part of good governance. (NOT AROUND HERE
THOUGH IT SEEMS!)
Separate from participating in local elections, citizens have other
opportunities to be involved with their local governments. Local governments
often seek citizen views on possible courses of action, through various forms of
non-binding information collection. Tools used to seek community
polls (using the formal elector provisions) or hosting
community forums. Alternatively, citizens may initiate requests
for action through a petition to their local government.
Petitions and referendums are also not binding on council)
If this form below does not work please,
FILL OUT THIS ONLINE DEMOCRACY FORM
BELOW AND TELL US HOW YOU THINK DEMOCRACY SHOULD LOOK, OR IF YOU HAVE IDEAS,
SOLUTIONS, PLEASE LET US KNOW HERE!
If you want to help with democracy, please fill out
this contact form, and
www.okanaganlakebc.ca will contact you.
Democracy Petition Organizers
Send us your
email address if you want to be notified of updates
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In Other Towns
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for Direct Democracy
the right of citizens to hold referenda on any issue
How Direct Democracy could look & work
THAT COUNCIL DRAFT A DIRECT DEMOCRACY BYLAW
ENABLING CITIZEN-INITIATED REFERENDA, COVERING ALL
REGULAR DISTRICT AFFAIRS
That the bylaw enable citizens to initiate a referendum by a
petition supported by 5% of eligible voters.
HOW TO PROCEED
About Regional District Voting Procedures
Local Government Management
The Local Government Management Association of BC is a
professional organization representing municipal and regional district managers,
administrators, clerks, treasurers and other local government officials in the
Province of British Columbia. The Association is dedicated to promoting
professional management and leadership excellence in local government and to
create awareness of the local government officers' role in the community.
British Columbia Municipal
Information Systems Association (BC MISA)
Join municipal IS and IT professionals from across the province
to make municipal information systems and technology better. Members get
software, service, and research paper discounts; invitations to knowledge
sharing events throughout the year; and access to our online document library,
forum, newsletters, and databases.
Political Parties of
The work less party
eNDProhibition, the anti-prohibition wing of Canada's New Democratic Party.
We are New Democrats united in our opposition to the failed "war on drugs." We
do not believe that waging war is the right approach to solving health and
You will find
local North Westside Road businesses, services, classifieds, local arts and crafts, vacation waterfront rentals, plus much more
located near and around Okanagan Lake. We will be adding to this site, so come back and
check it often.