Saturday, September 27, 2008


Thomas Payne, often described as the Great American Pamphleteer, so great that his pamphlets helped spark the American Revolution, asked this question in his most famous pamphlet entitled “What is to be Done?” Well, this isn’t America and we’re not asking for the kind of revolution Thomas Payne was asking for. Not a bloody revolution. I favor a bloodless coup d’etat. And even though as Canadians we like to think of ourselves as more civilized that Americans, (and in some senses I think they, we, actually are) sometimes political structures become so corrupt that nothing else will do. And the Americans are certainly leading the way into deepening economic and political corruption.
A bloodless revolution? How. what and when? When enough women get up the gumption to do something about the childhood diseases our children are suffering, about the cut backs in schools and hospitals, the pitiful amount of money given to people on disability and welfare, the growing number of homeless in the streets, the lack of affordable housing for the working poor and even middle class families. But why am I sniping at women?
Because women hold the power, the key to change. We have simply been discouraged from using this power by men who fear it. Why, if significant numbers of women got into power they might make children in this country a priority, they might take away all hand guns, they might insist that some of the billions of dollars spent on sports be spent on social programs, they might insist on first rate care for the aged, they might repudiate war altogether and take away the right of corporations to pollute at will, the right of chemical companies to continue to poison the land and waters. and pharmaceuticals the right to dope up the citizenry, including children. They might even insist that advertising corporations stop using the blatant sexualization of children to sell the products of a sleazy minded clothing industry. Why, women might even want to put a stop to some of the TV programs that have made pornography main stream and the manufacture of “first shooter” games for boys that get bloodier and bloodier, that are in reality training ground for boys to want to get real guns into their hands. Civil society? We will never have one until women get out there and insist on it. But I believe that time is coming. It will come when enough women see there isn’t a chance in hell for their children to grow up happy and sane and healthy and safe…until these changes are made. And then the real revolution will come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Elections of any stripe induce, in my opinion, some of the fuzziest thinking known to humankind. Why? Because the very first thing that seems to come to the fore in political parties when an election is called is STRATEGY. And what’s wrong with that, you might ask? Don’t we all strategize our way through life in many areas, both great and small?
Yes, we do. In making any decision we have to weight the pros and cons. What to study, if anything, where to live, what kind of job if any, what to eat, what to wear, when to procreate, whether to procreate, when and where to retire, the list is endless. And agonizing. But there is one area where I think strategy simply doesn’t deliver. And that’s in politics.
Politics, you say? But politicians spend endless hours over strategies. In fact, one can almost say that strategies are the entire composition of most political parties. First, a political party tests the polls, find out what the voters want (and the party knows who the voters actually are) and promise to make the most vocal majority want that is expressed a priority, whatever that is, next find out what voters are actually worried about, then cook up the strategy that can be spun like a glistening spider web moist from a fresh fallen dew, into a soothing balm for whatever has caused the voter’s fretfulness, and while all of this may actually win votes because it’s true and tried good politics, the concept of leadership becomes a farce.
But what exactly is leadership if it isn’t cruising the polls and creating strategies? What do people mean when they ask for leadership? Is it a rote learning of a poll driven policy spoken in a firm, authortive voice? Or is it something else, something almost indescrible, something…dare we say it? Something almost spiritual? Something that stirs our innermost desires to connect more fully with each other, the natural world, and an almost but not quite conscious yearning for a personal place, a real place in the contribution to the evolution of human consciousness? But when I speak or write in this way I am sometimes cautioned that I am trying to drag a religious element into the political arena.
Nonsense. We have been so indoctrinated with different religions that we think that patrichal religions own spirituality. None of them do. Spirituality is the way we live our lives, not what church we belong to, so we all have a spiritual life of sorts already. Most people realize this. Okay, then what I leadership? What is a leader?
If I knew I would tell you. I only know what a leader isn’t. A leader isn’t sailing under false pretense, isn’t pretending to know something he or she doesn’t know, isn’t so fearful and frightened they must make back room deals in secret, doesn’t think the ends justify the means, doesn’t believe in autocracy, and who does, honestly, and truthfully, believe in equality, not only of civil and social and legal rights, but of equal rights to the resources of the county in which we all reside. And that means equality to the money that these resources generate.
In other words, a leader somehow is more interested in the egalitarian ideals he or she is harboring than in the opinion polls and political strategy. And maybe this is why we have so few political leaders who inspire us. They have mostly been made spiritually skinny by staring at the polls and too fat headed struggling with strategies.
There. Now haven’t I been helpful today?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Gregor Robinson Afraid of Debate?

With federal elections upon us both north and south and Super Mom Sarah Palin comparing hockey moms to pit bulls below the border my immediate question is this…how many Americans south of the border even know what a hockey mom is? They don’t play hockey south of the border. It’s not that big down there. I’m from there. Down there it’s baseball, football. And Cheerleading. Cheerleading is big in America. No wonder Sarah Palin’s husband wants Alaska to succeed from the American union (he belongs to an organization advocating this). But while that storm is raging southward and our own federal election is poised to strike we are still looking at a imminent Vancouver civic election

I am running for mayor of Vancouver. This is a best kept media secret. As there is almost a complete media black out on my mayoral candidacy and the entire Work Less Party, and even though I am the only declared mayoral candidate other then Peter Ladner and Gregor Robertson, there is still a media black out on my candidacy and party. But a peculiar thing…as media isolated as I have been in the mayoral race so far, and considering there are only three mayoral candidates at this point, I have heard rumours that Gregor Robertson refuses to be on the same platform with me in any of the upcoming debates.

I am hoping these are just rumours. Why would Gregor Robertson be so averse to appearing on the same platform with me? After all, Gregor has the blessing of almost everybody. There is going to be a debate next month on Peak Oil. The event had previously been tentatively scheduled to occur last month with the three mayoral candidate (at lest the organizers of this even recognizes that I am indeed running for mayor).but it seems Gregor couldn’t make it. And I understand there might be difficulty with his making the event next month. I don’t understand this. Gregor has remarked that his schedule is actually very flexible. If his schedule is flexible, why is he having so much trouble attending the Peak Oil debate that has given him two months to accommodate the event? And will he refuse to agree to the Unitarian Church debates that have also invited me?

I do hope the rumours are wrong. However, I have to confess… I have bet several chocolate cakes that the rumours are right. But I would love to lose this bet. I can’t imagine a man putting himself up for mayor of Vancouver who hesitates to debate all other candidates who are registered to run. If Gregor Robertson really is afraid to be on the same platform with me, or anyone else for that matter, then all of Vancouver should know this. People should know what they’re voting for.