LOCAL, B.C., and CANADA
|School Teacher as Highways Minister for instance... that's kinda
dumb isn't it? Having one School Teacher decide for you?
Do you need a mother to make decisions for you, or are you grown up
now and can make your own decisions? I think the people
together as a larger group would make better decisions than a single
minister and his or her staff. I think we need staff for
direction ...but it should be the people that make the decisions
from staffs direction instead of a single minister or board of
directors making the decision from staff's direction. What do
you think? Do you think the current system is a democratic
No voter apathy once system changes
April 13, 2008 - Kelowna Capital News
To the editor:
The recent federal by-elections, in my view, spoke volumes about our electoral system. The parties will 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.
I believe 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 proportional system. 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.
Come join in together, and lets change this place. How would you personally like to see government and the voting procedure look?
Some feel things just haven't been progressing as well as they should, and that it all starts at the very bottom.
Lets start at the root of the problem. These are some things that need to change for true democracy:
Voting Rules and Procedures
Who we are voting for
Voting Rules and Procedures
If it affects you then its mandatory that you vote.
if you own property in one province, you can still vote while residing in another Province
vote doesn't have to be voted on over just a few days but over a longer period of time like maybe one month so everyone has a chance.
you can cast your ballot from another province or even outside Canada.
ask another question on the ballot, the question being "if voter is unsure of who or what to vote for"
ballots have detailed instructions on how many candidates they can vote for or not vote for re: controversy with 2007 election
vote permitted by internet from home
vote booth at bulletin boards/mailboxes and or stores and banks so that voting is accessible without having to go out of your way to much, making it easier for people to want to vote.
investigate altering bank machines to count votes using bank cards.
platform information (booklet) containing basic easy to read and understand information from each candidate
platform information (booklet) with a page limit for each candidate
platform information (booklet) mailed to each property and located at voting booths.
platform information (booklet) paid for with taxpayer dollars equally
mail out vote letters to out of towner's
volunteer type wages
paid only for expenses
not permitted to make decisions
organize vote material
candidates are not permitted to accept donations
no election signs permitted, just booklets
candidates need not step down from other duties to run until their duties start
need to live in the area they serve
People should not be permitted to donate to an electoral area candidate when they do not live in that same electoral area. For instance MLA Rick Thorpe from Summerland BC donated to Jim Edgson's electoral campaign in Central Okanagan West. Also Walter Gray whom lives near Knox mountain in Kelowna donated to Jim Edgson's electoral area campaign in the Central Okanagan West. These two guys don't even live in the area so why should they be permitted to sway the vote. The more money the more advertising and the more apt to be elected and that is wrong! Money shouldn't be permitted to buy votes.
Who are we voting for
Instead of voting for someone who wants to rule over everyone, how about voting for someone to be a director of the vote who cannot rule anything. The director would be the one to organize the voting procedure and to make sure that the people have the information they need to make the best decision. Who needs govern in the word government, really!!
Staff left idling
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - June 11, 2008
Vernon council chambers reminded me of an airport Monday. At times there were staff grounded, waiting for their report to come up on the agenda. While there were moments where some employees were circling — coming into chambers frequently to check on the status of their item and then leaving again.
During the five-hour extravaganza that was regular council, I counted the presence of 17 different employees.
Some of them, like the clerk and chief administrative officer, had to be there for the entire session, but others only had a single item waiting to go before the politicians. But many of those 17 people were left twiddling their thumbs for hours. By 5 p.m., many eyes were glazed over and arms were regularly propping up weary heads.
And the reason for this situation was the size of the agenda — 391 pages — and the number of meaty topics on the plate — everything from the western bypass and closing Suicide Hill to cramped conditions at city hall and Okanagan Valley governance. Such hot button topics get the juices flowing and the council members can go on talking forever.
There has always been some unpredictability to council meetings because no one knows how long the debate is going to unravel. Monday's session, which ended at 6:30 p.m., was a rarity, with most generally ending by 5:30 p.m. at the latest.
You may question why staff even needs to be at a meeting, but there is good reason for it. All of the reports before mayor and council were drafted by staff and any policy recommendations are theirs. If a councillor has a technical question, the relevant employee will hopefully have the answer.
But with 17 individual senior administrators and rank-and-file staff sitting in chambers Monday, I was left wondering who was minding the store? Were there not other things these employees could have been doing? How much paperwork or e-mails piled up during that time? How many subordinates went without direct contact with management?
Case in point was Steve McVarnock, the RCMP inspector, who was left cooling his heels for hours before a report on new office space was discussed. And certainly the situation was no fault of McVarnock's. He had to be there to answer any possible questions, and because the pace of meetings are unpredictable, he had no way of knowing when his particular issue would actually rise to the surface.
I also felt sorry for Ed Stranks, a municipal development technician, who had made himself available on the matter of Silver Star Road upgrading. But by the time he got from his chair to the podium, council had approved his recommendation with no questions asked.
I have no easy solutions to a problem that has plagued all municipalities for decades. But there has to be a more productive, effective way of utilizing staff while at the same time addressing the needs of council.
One would think that with the technological age that we live in, there must be a simple way of informing an employee to appear in chambers just a few minutes before they are needed.
Perhaps the answer is the BlackBerry council and staff have strapped to their belts. Not that I know how to do it, but I've heard text messaging works quite well.
I found it rather ironic Monday that part of the council discussion revolved around the lack of space in city hall and the need to rent offices off site.
With all of the bodies sitting in chambers that day, there was probably enough elbow room for everyone else.
Never doubt the ability of a small group of concerned citizens to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.
If you have comments, ideas, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding any level of your local, B.C., or Canada government, please make a comment by filling out the form below and/or comment directly to the government itself.
First thing to do, would be to change how government works.
If this form does not work please,
Now Government Comment Form
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