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.
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
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
The one thing about trains — when they’re coming your way, you’ve got to be the one that gets out of the path, because they’ll run right through you. And that appears to be the tactic that LRT proponents are using in their emotion-filled arguments responding to City staff’s recommendation for adopting the less-expensive BRT system.
After all, if you’re against LRT, you hate London, right? At least that’s what the tenor of the conversation has been. You hate London, you’re anti-progress unless you’re all-in.
I happen to disagree. And this one-track focus on LRT as the be all and end all of transit solutions is only serving to bypass the needs of the many in its headlong rush to satisfy the vision of a select few. But I guess I foolishly define “progress” by solutions that benefit all demographics. Continue reading
By Jay Menard
You can flex all you want. If there’s no muscle behind it, no one’s taking a second look.
London’s council recently endorsed a $15.9-million plan to create Dundas Place — transitioning a stretch of Dundas St. from Wellington St. to the Thames River into a flex street.
The idea, is sound in principle. But while there’s been a lot of talk about transformation — an empty word that can be filled by any concept that fits your desires — there’s little talk about sustainability.
And that’s where the concern is.
I love the idea of a flex street. I’ve seen it work. But I don’t love the idea of a flex street as the first step in a process. Dundas Place has a strong “If you build it, they will come feel.”
And that’s true. They’ll come.
After that? You’ve got to give them a reason to keep coming back. Continue reading
By Jay Menard
For all those saying this “Trump” thing isn’t funny anymore, turns out the joke’s on us. After all, Donald Trump is nothing more than a reflection of how we play politics — and if you don’t like what you’re seeing, take a look in the mirror because Trump is just a reflection of how we play the game.
And it’s not too long until we have our own Trump her in the Great White North (and, no, Mr. O’Leary, I’m not ONLY looking at you.) Thanks to hyperpartisanship, a predilection for self-congratulatory confirmation bias, and a Zealous approach to framing arguments based not on merit, but rather on side (right/left/Conservative/Liberal), we’re well on the way to dealing ourselves a similar hand in Canada. Continue reading
By Jay Menard
This ABH political mentality has allowed the ugly head of strategic voting to rear its ugly head again. But, to me, strategic voting is merely playing someone else’s game for a prize that’s far too valuable to roll the dice on – the future of our country.
For the uninitiated, ABH refers to “Anyone But Harper.” And I will happily admit that I have never voted Conservative/Reform/PC in the past and will not be doing so on Monday. I’ve also noticed that, for the most part, the biggest advocates of strategic voting tend to be affiliated with party who would most benefit in their riding from the practice. Continue reading