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When people lead, politicians follow …or fall!

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tional representational electoral he true honour in the recent election goes system for our next election. to Canadians who saw through the decepCommon Ground continually tion and destruction of Harper’s regime. informed and educated during The leadership debates were for the most “the dark years” of Harper’s part: guarded, vacuous and stiff, with very nine-year neo-conservative little inspiration. The staging made a pretence of neureign. Common Ground took trality, was male biased, gave Harper centre stage and a powerful position dedicatthe best camera angles – straight on rather than side ing both our September STOP views – were unflattering to Mulcair and quirky for HARPER cover edition, and Trudeau. Plus on the Munk Debate (think Barrick Gold our October GO VOTE special and John Baird funding or sponsorship) the back-drop feature to the cause. Common was Conservative blue. But all of the fixing and manipGround launched both our reguulation didn’t work because the people of Canada had October: The Solution lar CG West and the new CG organized themselves in amazing ways. East in Ontario with these two For the first time, NGO groups had analyzing and orgastrategic issues.  The publisher ‘s team spent six weeks nizing tools previously reserved for political party operafrom Toronto to Ottawa,  distributing these special Comtives. Our love of Canada, ethical governance and true mon Ground Ontario magazines,  reaching about a quarnational heart’s desire to protect environmental well-being, ter million new readers over the two month period. We were directly expressed, communicated and shared with wanted people to be informed and know what they are votpowerful impact locally and nationally. ing for. There have been too many low-information voters Through independent media - not controlled by the coreasily manipulated by mass media. They do not have the porate political complex which traditionally manipulated informed edge to be able to see through the fog of politithe vote – we were free to express our disgust of the Harpcal propaganda. Common Ground Ontario was freely diser-fronted Tar Sands corporatists and undemocratic 12th tributed in many swing ridings and was available on all century First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system. Hint: 63 racks in the Toronto Subway System.  CG East was a when the ruling class invented FPTP 900 hundred years warmly-welcomed, a fresh new ago it wasn’t intended to create independent face encouraging democracy. And now just three people to vote smartly. countries are still stuck with it in It wasn’t a red wave that swept the Western world: the UK, USA across Canada, though the Liberal and Canada.  It’s time to modernParty certainly was the benefactor ize and democratize our electoral of this people’s movement to save system. Canada from the extractionist To that end, groups such as “don’t care, don’t share” corpoLead Now, Vote Together, Rabrate agenda. ble, Dogwood Alliance, Council Let’s honour the ethics and of Canadians, Fair Vote Canada principles of Canadians who did and others, independently organot take the bait on Harper’s fear nized millions of voters. hook. Neo-cons played to the Exciting new oxygen for real lowest denominators of fear and people filled the air, as inspired loss of money that their wizards artists created and sang strong and foreign consultants spun to and clear messages of democSeptember: The Problem catch voters in their negative racy: Stop Harper, Protect the web. They called it wrong to support any party but HarpEnvironment, support CBC, unmuzzle our scientists, er’s Conservatives.  While serving Mammon, everything allow MPs to serve their constituents and speak freely, associated with money is most important.  Graciously,  and resuscitate Canada’s image worldwide as a peaceCanadians had other values and voted for change and to keeper rather than instilling ignorance, fear and warmove to higher ground. mongering. We, the people of Canada, became the It was an election designed to be won by attrition, with change we wanted to see in the world, rather than blindly those calling the writ believing they could out-spend and continue “Harper’s Government” of hatred and hubris. out-last their opponents. Ha, it back fired on them, big time. We became the media, by participating in new forms of The last act of their $25 million fear campaign was to communicating, joining and funding independent grassroots wrap daily newspapers from coast to coast to coast with groups with clear goals dedicated to getting rid of Harper a yellow coloured scary jacket proclaiming that if you and determined to establish an equitable and fair, propor-

by Joseph Roberts

vote Liberal or NDP it would cost you too much. Well their con didn’t work because people in Canada had found their own common ground and it wasn’t based on fear. A fear campaign was not going to trick us into giving up our freedom by voting for Harper’s promise of protection. Harper, who was trolling for his base of low information, easily scared voters, wrapped his final message on a shocking yellow and black warning that Trudeau and Mulcair would “cost us too much”. However, we educated ourselves during the last long nine years and their final,  grueling,  longest-ever election campaign. We had figured Harper out. It was he who had already cost us dearly. And we read the best before date which had expired a decade ago. An additional shame came from what used to be esteemed journals, now inserted in their client’s yellow fear flyers. Canada is coming into its own. Citizens saw through the multinational oil shill, called Harper pimping for the Tar Sands and ignoring climate and environmental destruction. Voters rejected the deceit. We now need to stay awake. We must be equally perceptive with the incoming government, vigilant that they don’t get seduced by the “dark side”. We also need a full court press to make certain to improve the electoral system.  Because, when a new government gets handed a majority with only 39% of the popular vote, whether as it was the Conservatives in 2011 or the Liberals in 2015, we have a false majority.  The other 61% are dispossessed of any effective representation and power. The only safe place for democracy is not based in leaders or parties, but in the people of Canada themselves. And great MPs understand this. Unsung people are the true heroes of the election, not just those who attracted the most votes. Justin Trudeau said he had listened to the people of Canada and that gave him the winning edge.  Now with a healthy dose of Canadian humility and compassion, he needs to obey the electorates’ cautious support and cherished wishes. He must deliver the promised more modern, fairer, electoral system in which all people votes are honoured and have value. Where a majority of the popular vote gets a true and proportional majority, where 30% of the vote get about 30% of the seats in parliament, and yes where 20% gets 20% or 10% gets 10%. Because basically Canadians are fair and desire fairness in our governance. That is the “real change” the majority of Canadians want and voted for. And it is this “real change” that is Job One for Justin Trudeau. j November 2 0 15

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Common Ground November 2015  

Big election loser, Proportional representation, Temple of abstraction, Ian McTaggart Cowan, Think Organic, Accountable transit, Drug expiry...

Common Ground November 2015  

Big election loser, Proportional representation, Temple of abstraction, Ian McTaggart Cowan, Think Organic, Accountable transit, Drug expiry...