22 days 'til election - New Year and Participatory Democracy
Happy New Year everyone. I hope that you were able to bring in the New Year in your preferred fashion and that you haven't broken too many of your resolutions yet. I guess if we set goals of eating only leek soup in 2006 it's highly likely that our resolutions won't be kept.
I was lucky enough to toast the passing of 2005 at Java Jazz in New Westminster. If you haven't heard of it, I recommend you check it out. It's a family run place and when you enter, you feel more like you have been welcomed into someone's home rather than a business. The music is all live and you can often hear clientele singing their favorites in their native tongue. This is truly a place where community spirit is built. Thank you Java Jazz for being what you are.
Today my in-laws and I visited House of Dosas and it was everything I needed in my first restaurant visit of the year. If you are familiar with Dosas, you will not need to be sold on this place, but, if you are new to South Indian cuisine, I highly recommend this place as the best introduction to Tamilian and Keralite flavours.
It's the new year and I don't want to start off 2006 with yet another long diatribe on policy and ideals and on how great the world can be if we all only voted green. So I'm going to keep this short and sweet.
Basically, the Green Party wants to make everyone's vote count. So if 40% of a riding votes for Party A, then Party A would get roughly 40% of the representation and Party B that received 30% of the vote would get 30% of the representation. This is a simplistic example, but you can learn more by reading up on what voting system the Kiwi's are trying. The point is that the current Âfirst past the postÂ system ignores the voices of so many voters that most candidates only receive about 35% of the popular vote. That means that the majority of Canadians do not have a representative in parliament that they support. No wonder we suffer from voter apathy in this country. Unfortunate as it is, it is the system we have to deal with for the time being and a change can only be brought about by voting for parties like the Green Party that will take action towards electoral reform.
The Green Party also wants to shift the decision making process from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach where individual voters can take part and have a say in the formation of policies that will affect them. If people are involved in politics, they tend not to be so apathetic to the electoral process.
... I know this one is a little short, but that is Participatory Democracy in a Nutshell.
P.S. If you live around the Edmonds Skytrain station, I'd like some feedback on all of the signage that has gone up around there. Also, if you'd like to help out by putting up a few signs in your community... please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org