Dear conservative advocacy group, charity, mainstream newspaper, or conservative voter,

Michael J Burry, who correctly predicted the 2008 sub prime crash, is now investing heavily in one commodity: land near water.  He is doing so because he believes water will become scarce.

Elon Musk, a CEO who has sent rockets to the space station, created an electric car company because he fundamentally believes we have a climate crisis.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKCuDxpccYM)

I have gone to the polling station with this crisis in mind.  Yet every time my vote didn’t elect anyone. So I volunteered for 8 years, sharing my time between working part time in a high stress job and advocating for voting reform so my vote on these critical, urgent issues, would matter.

But our advocacy hit a wall: whether it’s fear mongering (“OMG the Nazis!”), the patronizing (“you are so lazy, work hard so your vote count”) or conveniently hiding behind a referendum to not to change the system – even if the conservative party use, to elect their leader, the same voting system the liberals prefer – we hit every kind of excuse.

A message to conservative voters: Even if a proportional systems would mean more control to voters (open lists, ranking of choices, separate party and candidate choice), more competition (more than one legislator *between* elections) and more accountability (because every taxpayer is paying for a salary MP they voted for); despite these characteristics espoused by conservatives, you keep trumpeting, out of self-interest, first past the post even if your favorite party doesn’t use it to elect its own leader.

For mainstream media & liberal voters: this exercise that we celebrate every year or two (4 year cycle for 3 levels of government) is something newspaper throw a big circus for but miserably fail to look at it critically.  Half of all votes go to waste. Even if journalists enjoy speaking truth to power,  editorials stay quiet or advocate for status quo & referendums.  The referendum argument fails on it’s premise: if it was our voting system, it would give us equal representation.

I am tired.  I am tired of this celebration and pretending this is democracy.  To add insult to injury, conservative voters refuse to put a price on carbon.

I have yelled, campaigned, organized for this, because we are running off a cliff and because I want to go to the polls as an equal.

But nobody listened.  Or rather they listened, but gave a sleezy excuse to keep the way things are.

So fuck off.  I don’t want to be part of this celebration.  I don’t want to help your cause. Newspapers, I don’t want to buy your opinion.  Take me off your list. Do not mail this address. Do not call my number.

And if you, mail recipient of whatever organization I am mailing this to, can still go to sleep easy tonight and think we’re in a democracy, then you’re rotten like all of them.



Question 2 of ERRE town halls

Question 2 of the town halls have been:

What specific features are important to you in our electoral system? Local representation, proportionality, simplicity, legitimacy, inclusiveness, effectiveness?

It’s easy to say « all of them ».  Here is question 2 broken down into sub questions that contrast the various options:

  1. Should the legislature have some proportionality or not?  If not, are you aware the last time a majority government was elected by a majority of voters was in 1984?
  2. Should a local candidate obtain 50% or a plurality to represent a 1 seat riding?
  3. Regardless of your answer in question 1, do you prefer single (smaller riding) or multi seat ridings (more competition & choice)?
  4. How should list seats be made? Closed, open, flexible, best loosers?
  5. What proportion of seats should be allocated to list seats?  Pick any number between 0 and 50%.
  6. To accomodate list seats, from 1 to 10, should we enlarge ridings (1) or + number of MPs (10)?

Getting Pontiac on plugshare.com

Letter to the Pontiac Chambers of Commerce:

Electric vehicles are more and more in use.  There is one easy cheap ways to get the attention of electric car users and potentially draw them in the Pontiac.

Document all your regular outdoor 120 V power plugs on http://www.plugshare.com/ .  Electric cars have adapters to plug into a regular power sockets.   Some cars also have adapters for 240 V plugs.

If your members want to email me (julien.lamarche@gmail.com) their address and the location of their 120 V or 240 V outdoor plug, maybe a picture of the plug location, I’ll happily add it for them.   I’ve added a listing for the plugs at Mill Dam Park.  I heard there were some 240 V plugs in the RV park in Quyon but I have not confirmed that.

I estimate charging a car is 15-25 cents per hour on 120 V.  I could add in the description of the plug if a buisiness is expecting compensation for that.  I would assume a vehicle electric owner wouldn’t stick arround longer than the time to have a meal or do some shopping, so it wouldn’t end up costing more than 2$.

A gas station or main street buisness might want to look into a type 2 charger (1000$ for one without any payment system).

Happy to answer anyone’s questions on the topic [at julien.lamarche@gmail.com].


VIA rail as an act of Parliament

Sent to:

  • The ministry of transportation: marc.garneau@parl.gc.ca,
  • It’s critics: linda.duncan@parl.gc.ca, kelly.block@parl.gc.ca, frances.litman@greenparty.ca, Benjamin Rankin Elizabeth.May.A1@parl.gc.ca

Bonjour à tous,

Why is it that we still have VIA Rail incorporated from an order-in-council than an act of Parliament?  Is it politically that difficult?  Does it require lots of resources to write the act?   Is CN rail that much of a powerful lobbyist? Does it require more political will from the population? Am I overestimating the the benefits of re-creating VIA rail as an act of Parliament? Would Privy Council be against it?

It seems to me that passenger rail in Canada is suffering so much.  Yes, geography and low population density does not make it as easy as in Europe.

My understanding is that having VIA rail incorporated as an act of Parliament would allow it to get better financing from sources outside government.  To have it’s financing still tied to government approval seems silly.  I know there are lots of matters to consider when governing.   But it doesn’t seem to me that difficult and the only opponents I could see would be one (admittedly big) corporation plus perhaps the bus companies.

Do you need citizens to push for it?  What’s the obstacles to getting this changed?  Am I misunderstanding the differences and benefits of having VIA Rail as an act of Parliament?