Sunday, November 1, 2009

To Have and Have Not

The local government has no shame.

And no sense of sweet reason or equity or simple good judgement.

By now, you all know about The Deal.

The B.C. government is under fire for giving out an untendered $500,000 contract to Vancouver's elite Terminal City Club to host private soirees during the 2010 Olympics.

This is the same august body that is cutting mental health, addictions and senior's services in every sector.

Iain Black, minister of small business, technology and economic development, repeatedly stated the contract is about doing business.

"Our job is to host this $4-billion revenue-generating spectacular event, and that means we will host international dignitaries," Black told the house.

"It means we will host community and national leaders," he went on to say. "It means we will host international investors and leading academics from around the world. This is our opportunity. We have a job to do."

But Mr. Black knows not whereof he speaks.

Does he naively believe that these freeloaders will jump about and immediately bring business to Pender and Hornby?


These guests are career leeches. They make a life of travel and expense accounts.

And most of them have no power. They are merely the advanced guard for people who are too busy to bother with such bosch.

The division in the sovereign state between the rich and poor, the touched and the untouchables has never been clearer.

Or more repugnant.

The Secret Democrat

A fascinating little fight is brewing just a few miles south of us in Washington State.

On Tuesday, voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against a ballot that will extend gay rights in many aways other than a full declaration of marriage.

At issue is who gets to see the names of the people who have signed petitions.

One would think at first blush that anyone who signs a petition of almost any kind should have the fibre to stand up and be counted.

But the Law of Unintended Consequences has come into play in the shape of the Internet.

Suddenly, in a country where referenda and open ballots often change laws faster than legislative bodies, some people want to know how you voted.


So they can harass you, because you didn't agree with their group.

This would be a clear invasion of privacy.

We may not have the urgency of such a dilemma here in Canada, but the question is still a good one.

Should your vote or signature on a ballot be made public?