Solutions for Polarized London’s Transit Debacle? A Drawing Board and Inclusive Listening Skills

How do we solve London’s current rapid transit debacle? The debate is so polarized that the process has been poisoned. So perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start where we should have — listening to people’s needs.

All people, not just selected voices.

I’ve been content to discuss this matter behind the scenes, reaching out to councillors and sharing my thoughts. But I really can’t hold my tongue as the on-line and print discussion has turned to the hypocrisy of allegdly rich Londoners posting DownShift signs on their lawn.

People of privilege arguing about which people of privilege are allowed to speak about transit would be funny if it wasn’t sad. Continue reading

Ranked Ballots Not Even Top Reason Why People Aren’t Voting

Ranked ballots — it’s easy as counting 1-2-3, right? But voting is so much more than that — and focusing on the symptom, rather than the disease, is not going to solve a much larger problem of voter disenfranchisement.

London’s council is discussing ramming through electoral changes to a ranked-ballot system in time for the next election. Yesterday, Dave Meslin — an advocate for ranked ballots, was on the Devon Peacock show promoting ranked ballots. In his oversimplification of the issue, he stated, “the suggestion that people won’t know how to count to three is actually quite offensive and patronizing to the residents who live in London. I’m quite confident they’ll figure it out.”

What’s insulting is the insinuation that voting is that simple. It isn’t. It’s hard. The act of voting itself is simple, yes. But the act of casting an informed ballot is much more difficult and requires much more of an investment.

Unfortunately, voters have historically not seen a return on that investment — and until that changes, any adjustments to the voting protocol is just putting lipstick on a pig.

Continue reading

A Cautionary Tale of “Right” and Wrong

By Jay Menard,

Accusations of racism, hypocritical criticisms for behaviour recently perpetuated by the other side, and admonishments by the most tone deaf for people not listening. The divide between us continues to grow.

So maybe it’s time for a story…

After all, I opined about how we often play our own “Trump” card in Canada way back in March. And things aren’t getting any better, so the probability of our Canadian version of Trump emerging is rapidly moving from being an “if” to a “when.”

And now, the story… Continue reading

Left Behind – Selective Inclusivity Helped Trump’s Rise

By Jay Menard,

The U.S. election proved what can go horribly wrong when we only pay lip service to the ideals of inclusion.

The worst type of exclusionary politics isn’t practiced by those who are overt in their exclusion — the racists, the bigots, etc. — but rather it’s practiced by those who profess to be inclusive, yet exclude all of those whose views don’t march in lockstep with the groupthink.

And last night’s election results were merely a reflection of that frustration.

My social feeds tend to lean fairly heavily to the left. And the statements I read last night were telling:

“What is going on?”

“This can’t be real…”

“What are they thinking.”

The “they” part of that statement is the problem. And it’s one that plagues the so-called progressive, left-leaning members of our society. Inclusion isn’t about us and them. It’s about all of us. Continue reading

Losing the Loser Label? That’s Just Boring

By Jay Menard

I’ve realized that I really don’t want the Chicago Cubs to win. After all, if they’re not the lovable losers that we’ve known for over a century, what are they?

Just another team. And that’s nothing special.

It may even be boring. Continue reading

Fringe Review 2016 – Darkness, Light, Truth, and Lies

By Jay Menard,

How do you tell someone something they don’t already know when you don’t even know what you know?

Passionfool Theatre’s latest production features Justin Quesnelle reproducing Here Lies Henry, a 1995 play written by Daniel MacIvor. We enter this world out of darkness into the light. We have experiences. And then we exit the world of light, back through a tunnel of dark.

So are we our experiences? What can we share that is new, when we don’t know what is real? Or what if what is real is all just a lie – what if that lie is perpetuated by ourselves? And what if those experiences are only recitations of lies, performed by the liar? Continue reading

Fringe Review 2016 – The Tale of Two Tailors – A Lively Look at a Classic Tale

By Jay Menard

Rabbit Moon Theatre’s presentation of The Tale of Two Tailors is a raucous romp through a familiar fable that’s sure to delight young and old alike.

The Tale of Two Tailors is a presentation of Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor’s New Clothes fable that has been told and retold countless times. But the dynamic acting, the wink-and-nod asides, and the general enthusiasm of three actors presenting this well-known tale ensures that the Tale of Two Tailors feels fresh and engaging. Continue reading