Monday, January 7, 2008

Link to "Thought Interrupted"

A good piece about the practical benefits of protesting.

I thrive on politics and I’m very dedicated to challenging established discourses. But I find protests to be a lot of work, for very little result, and, if I’m choosing between spending 2 hours marching in the cold and a 2 hours writing a letter to elected officials or a letter to editor or, hell, a blog entry, I’ll choose the latter form of action any time. If I’m further choosing between writing something and working towards someone good elected, again, I consider the latter to be the best use of my time.


Scott said...

Hey thwap...I think you forgot to include the actual link....

Kuri said...

Thanks very much for the link! :-D

thwap said...

Thanks to Scott for pointing out my oversight!

I think it's important to see there are limitations to outsider actions if they're not connected to other forms of activism.

trog69 said...

From your comment at the linked site:

both protests and elections can be meaningless affairs.

While I think that the way the MSM is being allowed the winnow out the candidates rocking the status quo boat is unfairly affecting the electoral process, such as Fox "news" not allowing R. Paul on the debates, I still believe our one power left is the vote.

I am completely ignorant of the election/government process in Canada. I know this is a bad thing, since I can't know if our system is the best, without knowing how other countries are run. Shame on me!

thwap said...

"I am completely ignorant of the election/government process in Canada. I know this is a bad thing, since I can't know if our system is the best, without knowing how other countries are run. Shame on me!"

T'would be a good thing to know, because the US electoral system is so fucked-up.

Presently, the UK, USA, and Canada, all use the "first-past-the-post" electoral system, wherein the candidate with the largest single bloc of votes wins election in that district.

In your essentially two-party system, winning the largest bloc of votes generally means winning the majority of the actual votes.

In a 3 or more party system, one can have the largest bloc of votes but have a minority of the actual votes. For example, If there are three parties and two similar parties split their votes, they end up with 30 percent of the vote each, for a combined 60 percent of the vote, but if another party, hated by that 60 percent, gets 40 percent, THAT's the largest single bloc and that's who wins the seat.

So it works better for you guys, but both your parties stink, one is rancid and foul, the other is annoying, ... so big deal.

What I like about Canada's elections is that we vote on paper, by hand, and the votes are hand counted, with party scrutineers allowed to oversee the process and look at the ballots afterwards.

Getting set to vote is also far less an onerous task here.

And all of this stuff is overseen by an essentially independent regulatory agency, Elections Canada, which enforces uniform, open elections across the country, rather than having each district having it's own rules with everything overseen by partisan (often corrupt) state politicians.

trog69 said...

Who's overseeing Elections Canada?

One thing Chimpy McFlightsuit did for the electorate, is to make sure that everyone will be suspicious of every government agency there is, including the judiciary.

thwap said...

It's set up by, and reports to the Canadian Parliament, but it is independent of Parliament.


It doesn't work perfectly, and long-governing parties can influence the decision-making process via the people they appoint, but it tends to work fairly well for Canadians anyway. (The head of Elections Canada gave his stamp of approval to a fraudulent election in occupied Haiti a number of years ago.)

trog69 said...

That sounds suspiciously like the office of the United States Attorney General, before the political free-for-all took over. The problem with whistleblowers who let us in on the machinations of those in power, is that they are usually testifying as 'former asst. AG, or 'previous officer; As they are replaced, less news we can use is seeping out. As this election cycle goes on, there is no talk as the vast majority of Attorneys General can be relied on to zip the lips, and do as ordered, such as enacting Voter ID laws that exclude minorities, predominantly. Where was I? Uh, oh yeah, just watch 'em, that's all!