for more information contact

On Trump
Bob Dylan - Wisdom is Thrown Into Jail
Bob Dylan: Tempest
Adam West voices the Dark Knight
Apple's Calendar Inconsistency
Is Pono Dead?
Inbox Zero is Old News: Welcome to Inbox Negative One
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Effects Reel
Evolution of Stop Motion Photography
7 Story Cycling Centric Apartments

What Happened to Jai Alai?
Greatest Text Conversation Ever
Quarry Rock in the Rain
Careless Reckless Love
Electricity, Heights and Women
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
How Can You Just Leave Me Standing Alone in a World So Cold
Today Was a Tough Day
The Resonant Frequency of Love - Rocco DeLuca with Daniel Lanois
Dan Mangan - Forgetery
Birch Tree: Toronto, 2016
Japan's Disposable Workers
Jeff Tweedy Plays Charades with Ewan McGregor
Steph Cameron at the Railway Club (February 1, 2016)
Wilco at the CityFolk Festival, Ottawa (September 20, 2015)
Rice Lake, North Vancouver
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Running Away
Stanley Rohatinski: 1925 - 2015
Chewie...we're home!

November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
October 2015
April 2015
March 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
August 2014
May 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
July 2003
June 2003
January 2003
November 2002
October 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
May 2001
April 2001
January 2001
October 1999


your blue hood
Thin Systems
Listen to the Bell, Mr. Premier...It Tolls for Thee
Gordon Campbell Won't Run Again?
Bike Maintenance Lessons: Disc Brake Pads
Cycling is Mainstream Transportation
Brave New World: The Musical
Perennial Also Ran?
Daniel Lanois and his AC30
Dan Mangan - Forgetery

I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
You go your way / I'll go your way too
— Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen
October 15, 2004
Letter to the Georgia Straight

I sent this letter to the Georgia Straight in response to “this editorial about wards:, which distorts the facts wildly.

To the editor, Georgia Straight:

I read with great interest your editorial in favour of wards. I was especially amused by the glaring errors.

Your editorial states that “For the first time in almost 70 years, citizens can create a city government that listens a lot more to average people and perhaps a little bit less to the political and financial elites.” This is obviously incorrect, as Vancouver voted on the ward system in 1873, 1978, 1982, 1988, 1996 and 1935. Perhaps the Straight is implying that these past votes were all undemocratic?

You go on to discuss the impact that higher turnout on the west side has on candidates elected. Much research has been done on turnout in Wards vs. Non-Wards systems, and the ward system has been determined to have little impact on turnout. It will likely have little impact on the type of candidates who get elected as well; Candidates with the most media appeal will continue to get the best coverage, and are more likely to get elected.

Your comments on the number of names on the ballot ignore the fact that school board & park board will continue to be elected in an at-large manner, and the ballot size will remain substantially the same. Your claim that candidates without name recognition will have a better change of getting elected is also not born out by evidence from Provincial & Federal riding races, where name recognition remains a huge factor (as does incumbency, which in part drives name recognition for those candidates who have been elected before.)

You suggest that the city’s gay community stands a better chance of “electing politicians who reflect the aspirations of the gay community.” This suggests that the “gay community” essentially votes as a block, which is far from the truth. My gay friends are as diverse as my straight friends, and none of them would vote for a candidate on a single issue: it’s an insult to suggest that this community feels this way. Alan Herbert represents his own views very well, but can no more claim to recognize the concerns of the “gay community” at large than any other single gay man. His failure to get elected in two subsequent attempts (one of which I worked on actively) had nothing to do with his status as a gay man.

Amar Randhawa (and his colleagues) deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his work on behalf of UNITED in fighting violence in the Indo-Canadian community; I have attended UNITED events, and think the work they’re doing is perhaps the single most effective way to effect change. I’m not sure what action Amar wishes the mayor & council would take or what impact a ward system will have on this; if the suggestion is that this is a problem being ignored because it is ethnic in nature, there will be little impact made by wards - the Indo-Canadian community is far from a majority in any of the ward boundaries, and is perhaps even less likely to elect a councillor in the ward system than in an at-large system. Again, I think the implication that the Indo-Canadian community votes as a united block is an insult, but it’s a moot point: without a majority (or anything approaching it) the community would have a modest effect on any ward in any case. I too wish civic politicians would support Amar’s work, but I feel that it will have little impact on the effect of that work itself.

I personally don’t feel that there is any inherent advantage in Vancouver with either system; this city is very small, and can be effectively governed by either system. The reality is that the current ward proposal suggests adding 4 more councillors to a government that is already sufficiently large, where councillors represent (theoretically) fewer citizens than in most other large Canadian cities. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages; it’s simply a choice of choosing your poison.

Vancouver’s government needs to be reformed - the GVRD is clearly dysfunctional, and amounts to taxation without representation - but bringing wards into Vancouver is not going to repair the problems that we currently face.

Posted by skooter at 7:31 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.

blog comments powered by Disqus