by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Change of Mind, Comprehensive Analysis, Political Opinion
It’s a cruel joke. I worked for hundreds of hours on my publication, Polls, Parties, and Power: Distortion and Wasted Votes in Canada’s Election 1980-2000. I was convinced that people would see “the facts” and naturally gravitate to adopt Proportional Representation. Now, I have come to admit that voting reform does not matter. What I thought was important, is important no more. But that does not mean I am discounting my efforts. I am proud of my publication and my early efforts in the voting reform movement. I learned so much from doing it and would like to share the culmination of my efforts with you. Check it out… Polls, Parties, and Power: Waste and Distortion in Canada’s Elections 1980-2000 Published 2002 312 Pages ~ Format: PDF ~ Size: 4.86MB Download it by right-clicking and selecting Save As.
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Change of Mind, Political Opinion, Poltical Party Corruption
An interesting (and personally changing) result in the May 12 Referendum held in BC. The proposal to switch the existing system (First-Past-the-Post) to the single transferable vote electoral system (BC-STV) proposed by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform was defeated. The results were 38.82% in favor of switching, which was far away from 60% they needed. They did not even come close to reaching the second referendum requirement, capturing only 7 of the 51 required ridings. In the spirit of full disclosure, there is a part of me that is disappointed with the outcome. I was involved in the Voting Reform movement back in its beginnings in 1995. I believed that by changing the way our leaders are elected, that we would change the outcome, which would lead to better government. That idealism has been steadily eroded over the years to the point I am now distrusting of political parties, ideological purity, and democracy. I remain interested in politics, but more from the perspective of leadership and how that leadership is developed. This will be a huge blow to Fair Vote Canada, as the result demonstrates the complete lack of political and democratic imagination possessed by BC voters. I would […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Corruption of Democracy, Human Condition, Political Opinion
Months ago, I was doing some Google searches on different philosophical tangents and one of them was “Critiques of Democracy” and I stumbled upon an intriguing website called Promethea. What caught my interest was its statement on its notes page that “all things should be examined according to their impact on life, and popularity by itself is not enough endorsement.” Wow! That struck home and made so much sense. Democracy is not about rationally evaluating what matters or counts most, but about simply giving power to people who are not necessarily capable of measuring or judging competently. Instead voters resort to treating democracy as popularity contests. The site is extensive and I personally find the reference to a mythical character of Prometheus to be very cool. It speaks about Individualism but appears to understand that there is no such thing as a self-made person for we are dependent on the sacrifices of others. Its anti-collectivist stance appears to be a bit too rigid – if individuals have freedom, then surely they have the freedom to join (and leave) a collective. Its something I will peruse over the next year and write a more extensive summary. Check it out… Promethea.org
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Foolishness, Political Opinion
When Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States yesterday, I was and still am amazed over all the pomp, circumstance, and glitter that accompanies the presidential rite of passage. It’s a spectacle that stands in stark contrast to Canada’s celebration of a new political leader. New prime ministers are simply sworn into office with little more than a low-key ceremony with the Governor General at Rideau Hall, attended by a handful of dignitaries and family members. Inauguration day of the U.S. President is a grand affair, with the swearing-in at the majestic Capitol, an inspirational speech to kick off the new presidency, a packed parade to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue and then a series of star-studded dusk-to-dawn balls. With such a grand, awe-inspiring celebration, I would expect to see a king being crowned. Yet the United States went to war with Britain to dispose of the monarchy and the entitlement of royalty. It is just pure irony that Americans celebrate and treat their President and the First Family like fairy tale royalty. And just like the fairy tale kings of old, Obama’s rise to the top is a real fairy tale in the making. For […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Foolishness, Free Enterprise, Human Condition
It remains painfully obvious that this book is written by a crank. Only a crank would tell us that we need to rethink our consumption patterns, how we manage our economy, and our relationship with our environment. Going against conventional thinking is pretty fashionable today, but to do so in 1973 and still be so relevant is testimony of a crank who knew what he was talking about. E.F. Schumacher wrote this book in response to what he saw as the quickening and centralizing nature of modern society. He saw governments and businesses getting bigger and losing their essential and natural sense of scale, which is human friendly or simply “small”. Thus prompting the title of the book. It was through this book that Schumacher is credited with influencing green economic thinking from the 70s and afterward. He articulated the fundamental question about growth: “How much further growth will be possible, since infinite growth in a fine environment is an obvious impossibility”. Such thinking was radical, yet not socialist. Instead his thinking was the basis of humanistic, or human-centred economics. This book helped shift the tired and largely irrelevant debate of Left wing vs Right wing economic politics or big […]
by Chris Billowsin Political Ponderings0 commentstags: Foolishness, Human Condition, Human History
The Economist posted an article, Why Wars Happen, explaining that the cause of most conflicts in the world during 2008 is due to ideological differences. This reinforces my conviction and past blog posts, Ideology vs Philosophy and Confessions of a Recovering Ideologue. that ideology in all of its forms is the scourge of the modern world. The research about world conflict was conducted by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, and has some pretty amazing information there. Does my criticism of ideology mean I am anti-thinking? No, I would instead argue that ideological thinking is an oxymoron. Ideology is a mental disorder that afflicts politics, religion, culture (political correctness), and business. To be ideological means to not think and to abdicate one’s rational powers. To truly be a thinking person one must be philosophical and open to new information.