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Various Veins

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This early in the election may be a poor time to share some experiences I have had, but I'll risk it because some of us have made up our minds and and will stop listening to the ballyhoo.

You may remember what happened in St. Thomas when I was supporting a Liberal for nomination in Elgin. The members of the local association met to organize the program. Three men in suits appeared among us. I had never seen them before. I was helping a member put form O's in alphabetical order. One of the dudes snatched the papers out of my hand.

"You can't have those!" he snapped.

I was nonplussed and the man who asked for help was embarrassed. We both learned the difference between the Liberal Party of Canada and the political wannabes trying to win a seat in parliament. Pierre Trudeau expressed the difference. He said when members of parliament step outside the building they are nobodies.

Be aware what we see is all foam. The real brew is out of sight.

Don't fall for the slogan "It's time for a change." Ask what will replace the ones we turf out. Look to the USA for an example. It swept Obama into the presidency.

When people call for getting rid of the senate, remember that will leave all decisions in the hands of the lower house. Right now that would place Stephen Harper in the driver's seat, except for the dudes in suits and the crown. An elected senate would lead to deadlock. Look across the border again. Appoint men and women of integrity and intelligence to the upper chamber.

Many Canadians see the Crown as a needless expense. There was a time when the Crown could have heads lopped off. Magna Carta was the first step in removing that power. Other landmark acts have reduced the Crown to the power of dissolving Parliament and calling an election if a tyrant appears. The Crown is the last ally of the people instead of the one who holds power under God.

Cost of a governor general can be assessed by looking at the cost of a president over in the USA.

Canadians in general do not understand the meaning of representational democracy. In fact whoever wins the seat in a riding represents everyone else in the riding whether we agree with the decisions made in Ottawa or not. The member is in a position to consider which decisions are best for all Canada. Since party leaders have been given the power to veto our choice of nominee, the effectiveness is lost.

Wiser heads than mine have cautioned against allotting seats in parliament. It ends majority parties and creates disfunctional coalitions. There are such monstrosities in the world to prove this, though not in the USA so far. Well, maybe in California. They are going through a spasm as I write.

If we want to end first past the post elections, it can be done by giving voters first, second and perhaps third choice on a ballot and using those to identify the candidate with majority support.

There are men and women who spoil their ballots to send a message. The only message they send is, "Toss my ballot in the garbage." Nobody gives a damn for your fit of pique and you add two votes to someone you despise.

Staying home from the polls has the same effect as spoiling your ballot. You let the people who do vote dictate the outcome.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky pointed out that agitators attract followers but make poor leaders. Who are you following?

The late K.C. Emerson of Vienna said a leader should occasionally look over his shoulder to see if anyone is following him. No, he was not a sexist. That was the language of his time.

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