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Archive for April, 2010

Hi all!  So many things keep happening, and we here at Too Much Geography keep not having enough time to blog about them!  We promise to pick things back up again soon.

So for my real life job, I’m off to the BC interior for the remainder of the week, so you will be updateless until at least Sunday.

Because of that, I thought I would drop a few links for your perusal: (I really need a name for my link drops, something witty… any suggestions?)

1. The US court system is looking over what constitutes free speech for high school students and where it extends to.  In Canada, we’ve seen students get expelled because of facebook groups they’ve created, it creates a very interesting question, can students freely express themselves off the school grounds and not be held accountable at school for their actions?  Obviously saying your principle is a paedophile is illegal, but is it expellable?

2. Check out this HST rally! Seriously, it has one of my favourite leftist columnists as well as my favourite MLA, Sue Hammell!  It’s also a great chance to sign the petition, though I imagine may blogging partner would disagree with me using this space to flog the petition.

3. Didn’t we get rid of this guy? I mean, really?  So being far right wing, grossly incompetent, and so unpopular that your own party refuses to allow you to run on their banner for re-election is a good qualifier for Governor General?  I have nothing against the NPA, I really liked Ladner (though I supported Robertson) but our politics aside, the man just is not Governor General material.  Can we please bring in a real parliamentarian, and one that is respected across benches and can give a decent speech in both languages?  Is that too hard to find?  Normally, I would coyly insert links here to highlight people I would want for the job, but I can’t think of anyone right now.  That is either not a good sign for our country, or I just need sleep.

I’ll be back Sunday or Monday!  Cheers!

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Art Ross.

Barring an 8 point night by Sydney Crosby, the Canucks will have won their first scoring title in franchise history (or at least, franchise history since joining the NHL), and Hank will be the second Swede in history to achieve the Art Ross trophy.

He did it quietly and without a hint of arrogance.  He did it without fanfare, and by playing good, clean hockey.  He deserves it, and hopefully this puts to rest the ‘sisters’ comments and disrespect that comes from even Vancouver fans.  Who am I kidding, that’s way too much to ask for.

It feels good, and now I’m looking forward to playoff hockey.  I welcome the bandwagonning fans and drunken hooliganism back to Vancouver, it’s been too long… Ok, it’s been a month and a half since the last hockey related drunken insanity, but it’s always fun to have more.

As to the world of politics, the HST campaign keeps trundling along.  On Friday over 750 residents of White Rock turned out to sign the petition at a Vander Zalm rally.  Apparently they had quite the standing ovation to the call to recall the area’s White Rock MLA, Gordon Hoag.

We’ve been getting the an interesting mix of people into the office to sign the petition, from restaurant owners to recent parents, we’re getting everyone in.  One father of two was worried about paying for his kids’ ice hockey next year if costs go up seven percent.  To get ultra partisan for a second, that’s disgusting.  This is a society that needs to get more active and athletic, and a government that has often said as much, hockey is our national past time, and a great way to keep in shape, and it’s already expensive enough to take part in.   Why are we raising the costs to keep our province’s kids in shape by seven percent?

But that’s just a bit of a rant.

The Libs are going to have to seriously watch their right flank in the next election, traditional Liberal strongholds are beyond angry, White Rock, Fort St. John, Skeena, Point Grey etcetera are all having huge turnouts.  This isn’t just Vancouver that’s mad, or traditional NDP areas, but all of the province, and you can bet the BC Conservatives are taking note, making plans and getting organized.

Anyways, that’s enough politics for now, let’s just bask in the glow of a Division title and an Art Ross trophy and welcome the very soon to come playoff joy!

Cheers!

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The fight is on.

The forces are aligned for a 90 day campaign to overturn the HST, the looming tax that something like 80% of British Columbians oppose.  Full disclosure: I am actively volunteering my time in Surrey-Green Timbers to get the required signatures.  Also full disclosure, I imagine my partner in crime here will disagree with my position.  We’ll see.  Stay tuned to the comments if we get into it.

What is needed to force a referendum?

Well, now here is where the NDP has only itself to blame.  They made the process for a citizen generated referendum so onerous as to be nigh on impossible.  Each  and every riding in the province needs to have 10% of it’s registered voters sign the petition.  Something like one in four or one in five signatures are generally deleted for having typos, illegibility or simply putting your address in the wrong order in the fields.

So if you get 20% of the population signed on, but one riding only gets 9% of registered voters, it’s a no go.  And the NDP has no one to blame but themselves, why?  The NDP wrote the rules when they were in power in the early 90’s.

Who is organizing this?

Well, here is where it gets tricky.  Technically the whole process is being organized by former Socred (re: right wing) Premier Bill Vander Zalm.  Of ‘Fantaaastic’ fame, as well as for resigning in disgrace before his successor led his party into the political wilderness, from whence they became destined to never return.  Aiding him publicly is chief among others, former NDP strategist Bill Tieleman.  Their are two party mechanisms working strongly to make this referendum go through, the NDP and the BC Conservative Party.  So I suppose you could call this little coalition a bit of a Frankenstein.  Politics makes strange bedfellows.

After one day of campaigning, the riding I was working at had already pulled in literally hundreds of signatures.  People came into the office in dribs and drabs just to sign, of all walks of life, of every demographic.

This is something that has caught fire across the province and energized a lot of people.

It’s amazing that a simple tax policy would anger and upset so many.

Maybe it’s the lies during the election, saying their would be no HST, saying the deficit would be only 495 million dollars and so on and so on.

Maybe it’s the huge list of goods that are about to become taxed at a 7% hike, everything from groceries, to haircuts to appliance repair and architecture.

Maybe it’s the here there and everywhere government, that has managed to anger the left and right in almost equal amounts over ten years in power.

Whatever it is, people are angry.

The issue is so big that fighthst.com crashed Tuesday morning from an overload of hits according to The Province.

BC political history is rife with examples of the right and the centre-right aligning to fight off the left.  I can’t think of a time that the right and the left aligned to fight the centre-right.  This is pretty impressive.

Whether or not it works, it’s sending a message, the right is back and people are mad at the Libs.  If this continues, in the next election, the Libs will be facing the same fight on the left (possibly with a new leader) and a new fight on the right, one that could cost them dearly.

All because the Libs thought they were so teflon that they could survive anything they did.

Bill Tieleman

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