John Lornic had an interesting piece on Spacing.ca earlier this week looking at the relative paucity of diverse members of Toronto municipal government. While highlighting notable exceptions (women are better represented at the municipal level than higher levels), Lornic points out that:
“the absence of mainstream women and/or visible minority candidates from the ballot is troubling, and underscores a trend identified by Dave Meslin at betterballots.to.”
Note: Check out betterballots.to for some nice breakdowns of the representativeness of Toronto government
While Mayoral candidates such as Sarah Thompson might debate their classification as not “mainstream,” I agree with Lornic and Meslin’s points: given the diverse composition of Toronto’s population, certain sub-populations are significantly underrepresented within government. What is the reason for this? Lornic throws a couple of possibilities on the table,
“So what gives with the megacity? It is the fundraising demands? The media cauldron that is the lot of the mayor of the City of Toronto? Or the prospect of dealing with the dunderheads who’ve been clogging the arteries of council for years?
All possibilities, and I think a combination of these factors is likely. There is, however, something deeper at play here. During grad school I undertook a little research looking at employment equity in Ontario municipalities. I was trying to see if any vestiges of the sort lived Employment Equity Act put in place under the Rae government had hung on over the years.
I wanted to reproduce this editorial from today’s Edmonton Journal:
In the next three-plus years, each time you hear an Albertan complain about the provincial government, remember this
Chances will be almost three out of five that the grumbler cared so little about the future direction and management of public affairs he now bewails that he or she couldn’t be bothered to vote on March 3, 2008.
I don’t even want to talk about it, I’ll just give you two sets of data to compare.
Popular Vote – by %
Conservatives – 53%
Liberal - 25%
NDP – 9%
Alliance – 7%
Green – 5%
Actual Seats in Legislature – Out of 83
Conservatives – 73
Liberal – 8
NDP – 2
Alliance – 0
Green – 0
Does this seem disproportionate to anyone else?
In any case, good riddance Alberta, you can have your 4 decade long dynasty of incompetence and shortsightedness. Enjoy.
Well, all you Albertans should be wiping the sleep from your eyes and heading off to the polling station now. I, like many others, am not hopeful that any meaningful change will occur when polls close tonight.
As the Globe and Mail reports, this election has done little to capitalize on voter discontent around rampant growth, massive increases in the cost of living, and the environmental degradation that has occurred under the Alberta Tories (37 years and counting…).
Janice Brown predicts that the Tories will pick up 70 to 72 seats. I can hope for less, but in the end it appears that most Albertans are still either too dumb, lazy, or conservative to vote for any party other than the Conservatives.
While I had some faint hope that the influx of new Albertans might make a difference it appears that most people are more concerned with milking the hot economy for all it’s worth rather than making a political statement.
Good riddance, I say. Time to head somewhere where there is some semblance of a democratic process.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote, though, so find your polling station. At the very least Alberta can avoid having a record-low voter turnout. Maybe.
And keep your eye on Ben Co. for my Top 10 best and worst of Alberta.
So the Michigan Primary was last night. Hardly any democrats participated because of a spat of controversy when Michigan tried to move up its primary to compete with Iowa and New Hampshire. (A completely idiotic post I’m too lazy to write about)
So basically only five names were on the ballot. One you know, one you should know, and three scrubs.
The Results were
- Person A: 55%
- Person B: 40%
- Person C: 4%
- Person D: 1%
- Person E: 0%
Now, match the following names to the results: Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Mike Gravel, Denis Kucinich and Uncommitted.
- Clinton: 55%
- Uncommitted: 40%
- Kucinich: 4%
- Dodd: 1%
- Gravel: 0%
That’s right, Hillary really laid a whooping on an imaginary person. I don’t know if this says more for Hillary, less for Kucinich, or boatloads about the Michigan Voter. You decide!
Okay, combine this with Ed’s Wednesday night 20-minute campaign ad and the Conservatives have managed to spend $350,000 of taxpayer dollars on thinly veiled attempts to boost Stelmach’s visibility and credibility in a lead up to an election call.
So what did we get for $225,000? Well, a headshot of Stemalch with “tough face #1″ who remind us that he made a commitment and delivered. I’ll tell you what, Ed: After seeing this I’ve made a commitment of my own for the upcoming election, and I’ll deliver, too.
But don’t just listen to me, judge for yourselves if this looks like a campaign ad to you: