Wednesday, 30 October 2013

NDP Supports Preferential Ballot... (for themselves)

Recall the Premier, in the last election, said that the preferential ballot system was too complicated for Manitobans.


Then recall Ms. Mary Agnes Welch, intrepid Freep reporter, writing:

"Better way to vote

THE provincial NDP hopes a better way to vote will avoid the chaos that reigned in the Maples during the 2009 leadership race.
Back then, the Maples was the scene of one of the most controversial and cramped delegate selection meetings. Hundreds of new members, most from the city's growing Indo-Canadian community, jammed into a neighbourhood school to cast their ballots for leadership hopefuls Steve Ashton or Greg Selinger. Some got shut out and the meeting took hours.
At Sunday's nomination vote, the party will test-drive a preferential ballot for the first time. Party members will be able to drop in any time during the day to vote, and ballots will ask members to rank each candidate in order of preference. That avoids what could be a daylong voting process, assuming one of the three candidates doesn't get a majority on the first ballot.
The three candidates for the nomination support the system, saying it's much easier for members..."


Q1: Is it easier for members, or not easier for members?
Q2: Is it only easier if you are an NDP member?
Q3: Is it only easier for nominations?
Q4: WTF?

Mr. Premier, sir, with respect, I have to unpack this a little at your expense.

So hey, does anyone know the coolest power of the preferential ballot? Goes like this:

WE DON'T LIKE YOU (this much)

The real power of the preferential ballot is found in one's ability to say 'stop!' Stop doing that to me / us / them / yourselves. Stop that, rascals, rogues, rapscallions.

See, when you vote in first-past-the-post, you are only allowed to say who you like the best. "X marks my besties, my buddies, my brethren." And hey, that's ok, because we should get to say who we support, and say it clearly.

Some pundits say that the power of the preferential ballot rests 'next in line', or who you support kinda, sorta, I mean if you really pushed me to say.

Hogwash, I say.

Lukewarm is neither hot nor cold. It is tepid, kinda, sorta. It isn't bad, but it isn't best.

Best is saying:

"Ok, look, I get it. You want to promise the moon and stars to your supporters. But to do that, you have to take from me and mine (you win, we lose.)

I am not stupid, and I see what you are doing. I will try to stop you by giving you the worst ranking possible. I am going to try to stop what you are doing, as is my right and my responsibility."

Only... today, despite clearly being your responsibility, it is not your right. You may not punish putrid policy with the lowest possible ranking because the Premier of Manitoba will not let you.

Hmmm... let that sink in. The Premier of Manitoba will not let you. Because, he says, you are not bright enough to figure out a ranking system (poor dear.) Pappa Greg, keeping you safe from the implications of your low IQ. What a pip, eh 'wot?

But that is not true, is it, sir? Mr. Premier, you know that Manitoba has the requisite IQ score to figure out who hurts them, and who doesn't. You know full well the legions of 'have-nots' your regime has screwed, lied to, led on, and leveraged are not suffering intellectually, but rather socio-economically.

In short, sir, I ask you to tell the brave truth: that with Preferential balloting, the NDP strategy goes dark. The polar politics of first-past-the-post puts you in power. A preferential system may (may!) not.

You chose to keep Manitobans gagged so you can stay in power the old fashioned way.

End of story, right, sir?

Ok, fair enough. Thanks for being honest.

The NDP is supportive of better forms of Democracy, but not for non-NDP members.

Because they are too stoo-pid? No, of course not. Just the opposite, right?

Lord above, Manitoba. Stand up for your rights. Insist on preferential balloting.

Stop making a mess for your children to clean up.

My friends, now is the time to turn up the heat on this issue. Do not wait for the election. Pile on the pressure now, so the back-room policy wonks get an early whiff of your incessancy. Bang the drum of decent democracy now, later, and onwards to that better future.

Ok? Seriously, lets go.

(Hey, newly minted leader Manitoba Liberal Rana Bokhari. Good to see you, welcome to the party.

This is kinda important, above.)


Friday, 25 October 2013

Pot Laws: Criminal Training Still Unspoken

So no-one talks about the affects on kids that Harper's current pot regime has. Guess it is up to me to get this conversation-ball a-rolling. No problem, dear Reader.

Scene: Justin blindsided by Brandon Mom concerned her daughter gets pot when legalized.

What Justin said: Essentially 'it will be harder for kids to get when legal' projection argument.

(Maybe it will, maybe it won't, actually.)

What he should have said: "(Read below, oh faithful one.)"

"Dear Pot-Concerned Brandon Mom,

Your daughter, if she buys pot today, gets great school-supported training in criminal behaviour. I'm assuming that is not a good thing for you. If it is a good thing then stop reading. Now.

If you don't want school kids (including yours) trained in criminal behaviour at school, then let's talk about how precious gets her pot today, under the Harper Government (TM).

There is a party Saturday. Little Suzy's friends ask her if she can hook them up with some smokables. "'Natch", Suzy says. "Just give me some money, Honies."

Your daughter then secretly contacts a known criminal, a school mate. She makes inquiries as to the availability, quality, and price of said desired dope. If pleased, she makes a meet and monetarily supports the criminal education of her peer, and also strengthens the tie between organized crime and the school.

If you don't know the above then.... pull your head out of your ass, Mom. Seriously, pull it out.

Done? Ok, now listen closely.

Mom... I have good news, and bad news.

The good news is that your daughter likely gets high grade weed. I'm guessing local herb (go, Manitoba!), price is decent. Doubtful she gets ripped off in an alley by some desperate street kid (after all, her contact is still in school, right?) A pretty safe transaction, by criminal standards.

...and the bad news?

A criminal organization, likely gang controlled, is supplying your daughter and her friends. Don't worry though, right, because they care about your daughter. It's all 'family' and stuff up at the biker club house, you know? They really, really care about Suzy. Not even kidding.

Think of it this way, Mom:

A high-level criminal has a huge flow of pot crop harvested each month. He (or she...) and his buddies love making the Benjamins, and selling plants worth $2000.00 per pound gets dem' lotsa' money. They supply everyone who has da' money. They supply school kids, University students, hippies, oldies, Politicians... everyone. If you have money, you get pot through the system.

Now one day the distribution arm of the criminal organization had a problem: not enough pot due to a crop failure and a major bust. They must choose between supplying the high school, the old folks home, or parliament. Oh, dilemma, who will get the straight trippin' dope, yo'?

Duh. The school. Long-term thinking and addiction go hand in hand, right? These kids are your local biker's precious cargo. Much, much money to be made there.

So, Mom, your sweet young daughter is not just another customer to Billy the Biker. She is his Gold client, his bread and butter forever, his top priority. Isn't that grand?


Your sweet Suzy and her friend (the Grade 10 pot dealer) represent a new army of law-breakin', money making peons who can (and likely will) fatten the criminal coffers for years to come. Mr. Grade 10 soon becomes a man with ambitions, and men with ambitions in organized crime follow a fairly reliable path.

He might take the place of 'school liaison' when he graduates, supplying the next generation. He might rise higher, supplying all school liaisons in a region, or a School Division, or a city... (you know its a business, right, Mom? I mean, with franchises, territories, and all that jazz. Right?)

And Mr. Grade 10 is Suzy's friend... well, business associate, really. Either way, they are tight. Nice, huh?


Sweet Suzy, ever the lovin' friend, hooks up her peeps and they share the cost of the bag full'o dope, right? She gets them all involved. But she will almost certainly introduce her bestest friend to Mr. Grade 10 ('cause she is straight chillin' dog. You can totally trust her, we're besties...)


Your sweet Suzy has received a couple years of in-school training in the general dynamic for benefiting from and enabling organized criminal behaviour. Don't be a rat, don't be a square, never narc, never tell your parents, don't pay PST, yadda yadda.

These messages are drilled into Suzy's little head again and again. Her secret friends need Suzy to follow a script, stay with the program, keep coming with the money. After all, without Suzy and her peeps, there is no market. No market, no money, no more organized crime.

Really, no more organized crime (well, this little slice, anyhow.) These guys are not religiously driven, ok? They make money, they work. No money, no work.

So, yeah, about that little slice.

$Billions. That at least you know, right Mom?

Maybe you even have friends who make big, big money 'cause pot be illegal, Mom?"


Well, maybe she does, maybe she doesn't. I really don't know for sure. But, man, that interview sure waked like a duck trying to keep the pond water fresh. You know?

The regular press focuses in on how funny it is that famous people smoke pot. And that's cool, I guess, it is kinda funny. Sadly, what the regular press seems to have forgotten about Pot is that in all such matters, follow the money.


Regular press, when did you lose your nerve on Pot and stop following the money? Oh... right... biker gangs and politically connected persons and... ah, ok. You are afraid, 'natch. Cool.

Now, to be fair (and real) not all the current pot supply can be traced back to gangs. Some folks are gentle-person farmers growing their Ganga in peaceful pursuits. They don't pay taxes, though... which is not really fair. That aside, they are nice people with good lives and connections in churches, community groups, non-profits, government.....

Government. The folks who build the Marxian sub-structure upon which the pot black market dynamic rests.

Are there connections between pot growers and government? Um, yes, it is necessarily the case. If you don't know this, then again I have to ask if there is a slight feeling of over-fullness and discomfort in the back of your pants... and if it is dark and quiet in your world...

Prohibition is driven by money, plain and simple. Was that way with liquor in the States, is that way with Pot in Canada. Money, money, money, money, and money. Tax money, hidden money, tomorrow's money, bribe money, hush money, extortion for money, love of money. This is a business, and this business is all about money.

Prohibitionists used the services of a recently successful suffragette movement to ban alcohol under the 'we care' banner. It worked. Worked with pot, too (same thing, different nice ladies, people like certain Mom's from Brandon... right Mom?)

Underneath these banners is MONEY. Every time, all the time.

Well, money and power. Sure, power too.

(Hmmm... who has power over the market for Pot in Canada... hmmm...)

That's the kind of thing I wish Justin had said.

Recently an NDP blogger and I chatted, and he said he was not a direct stakeholder in this whole affair. (Meaning, he didn't smoke pot.)

If he thinks the above does not form a direct link to his life and the lives of those he loves, then I wonder...


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Yawn. OK, enough napping for Marty.

I thought I'd have juicy details from the Marty Gold Vs. case by now.

I thought, surely someone will do something this year worth writing about.

So far, not so much. At least not that I know (which is not a definitive standard, of course.)

So, I'll wake up the blog, put Marty's case on 'stand by...' mode, and get back to writing.

With Cherenkov gone (*sniff...) I have to pull extra blog duty.