I think it was Premier Mike Harcourt who once said that the NDP are “guests in power” in B.C. This is an accurate reflection of the political climate in the province as the right of centre parties usually have the media, business, and big money behind them to hold onto power indefinitely.
Below are three wishes for the New Year that a future NDP government can legislate to help level the electoral landscape.
Wish #1: Lower the voting age to 15. If youth are old enough to work and pay taxes, they should be entitled to vote. Youth are also a huge disenfranchised segment of the population that are becoming politically mobile and demanding more rights. It’s time for the elected officials to listen to them. Many youth are front and centre on many social issues whether it relates to arts, culture, sports, environment, education, and labour and employment policies. I am willing to bet that the younger population is more likely to be progressive in their voting intentions in comparison to the older population, which tends to tilt a bit conservative.
Wish #2: Make it a civic duty or compulsory to vote in B.C. Another huge disenfranchised population is the marginalized, poor, and homeless. If it was necessary to ensure they voted then their voices would more likely be heard in the halls of power. They would essentially become a powerful voting block that is growing in numbers during these recessionary times. The well-off and rich have no problem with voter turn out. This compulsory voting policy would essentially level the playing field between the rich and poor on both ends of the voting demographic.
Wish #3: Ensure gender equality in the B.C. Legislature by cutting the number of ridings in half and electing one man and one woman from each riding. The number of total MLA’s would stay the same. Not only is this ethically the right thing to do in terms of women’s rights, it would be democratic. And as we all know with the re-election of President Obama in the United States, women tend to lean left and are more likely to support left of centre policies. This is no surprise since they have a vested interest to protect day care, health care, and education as mothers.
There you go! Three simple wishes for the New Year. Hopefully, our public officials will implement these policies based on principle and not worry about populist sentiment or backlash since they all are social justice issues that need to be addressed after a long history of neglect.
Happy New Year!
To Gareth Boyce—Editor-In-Chief, the Navigator
Your editorial displays an amazingly poor grasp of the situation in Gaza, and in southern Israel. You are making sweeping statements about people. In fact you have included all Israel in these statements.
Canada has participated in bombing countries (like Afghanistan and Libya). The relative strength (in military terms) of these countries are not equal. The number of Canadians killed, maimed, or injured are not even close to the number killed by them. These actions do not represent the goals of all Canadians. It would be inaccurate to say Canada is a country of fascist war-mongers. It is equally irresponsible of you to say the same of Israel.
The actions of the Israeli military are not representative of every person in Israel. If you wish to criticize, place your criticism where it belongs. Perhaps you should mention the Likud party, or Mr. Netanyahu (and supporters), as the ones responsible. While you’re at it, realize that Hamas is a terrorist organization with the stated goal of murdering Israelis. They have done so recently, (and claimed responsibility) targeting a public transit bus inside Israel. At the same time realize that Palestinians also have many different viewpoints. The Palestinians are not wholly represented by Hamas. To depict this conflict in black and white terms appeals to the basest of human emotions. Your statements promote the us-and-them kind of hatred that fuels this sort of violence.
You should also realize that millions of people around the world identify themselves Spiritually as Israel. That is to say we are Israel. I observe that you were careful to say State of…when referring to Israel. Your comparison to the Holocaust is not only unfair, inflammatory, and provocative, it is abusive and unlawful. You say shame on us, but your shame belongs to you—so keep it. Your statements promote hatred against Israel, and stop (ever so) short of inciting violence. You have compared Israel to Hitler, and then say “we forgot a long time ago”—clearly you never knew enough to forget!
I must insist that you retract these inflammatory statements, and apologize for the harm you have caused. Your continuation in the position as editor of this publication is not appropriate, and you should resign.
Chances are if you are a student, you have experienced working on holidays and riding the bus. In fact, those two things are probably all you do when you’re not face deep in the mire of studying and homework. Well, to ride the bus, you need a bus pass (or sixteen pounds of fucking change), and the best place to get student bus passes is VIU’s very own Students’ Union building. The staff is friendly, chipper, and always willing to lend a helping hand to the student body.
If they are actually in the building, and the building is indeed open.
Neither of those things were happening on Jan. 2. Now, most bus drivers are willing to let those riding on New Year’s Day ride with expired bus passes, mainly because they know absolutely nothing is open. There is basically no feasible way to get a bus pass on that day. However, on the second, when everything is back to business as usual, those very same bus drivers now assume that riders are going to have their semester passes, or student passes in hand and ready to swipe.
The Students’ Union should know this, as it tries to pride itself on knowledge of what students need and how to help them. Therefore, it should maybe make some kind of effort to be open to provide bus passes for students on Jan. 2.
Jan. 2 isn’t a Holiday, it’s just another Wednesday; a Wednesday where nearly every student who rides the bus needs to buy a bus pass. Sounds like a day the Students’ Union building should be open and staffed. It’s not like its Sunday, or after 5 p.m. or whatever.
And if scheduling conflicts led to this unfounded closure, then you would assume the Students’ Union, wanting to work for our benefit as students, would maybe make some kind of effort to let its people know that the building would be closed that day, and to make preparations for that.
However, they fucked that up in spectacular fashion, letting those who forked cash out to get to campus know that the building was closed with nothing but a sign on the door.
VIU Students’ Union, always looking out for your best interests!
Just not today.