October 23, 2018

Daily Scot: The Case for the Burbs

Catnip for Scot.  From The Globe and Mail:

People are still flocking to the suburbs. And the experts are still complaining about it. But after more than half a century, isn’t it time to finally admit Canadians would simply rather live in the burbs and figure out how to make that happen? …

Admittedly, suburban living creates significant issues around commuting time, energy use and municipal servicing costs that require careful consideration. But the suburb-as-pejorative routine is grotesquely overdone. …

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Durning: Here are some compelling arguments from the Sightline Institute in Seattle for proportional representation. 

Some fearmongers claim that ProRep will empower extremists, particularly the white nationalists of the Far Right. Their reasoning is that smaller parties can win seats under ProRep, whereas two major parties usually dominate politics with FPTP. But experience shows that Far Right elements can gain traction inside big umbrella parties, while mainstream voters and officials can easily exclude the Far Right from power when they are contained in a clearly labeled party.

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Vancouver has scattered itself across a broad spectrum, two-dimensional no less, on its approach to housing. It’s now carved in a sort of electoral stone, whose duration is 4 years.

Nathan Lauster has written a terrific article (HERE) parsing the makeup of our brand-spankin’ new city council.  If housing is still the topic, then here’s where the parties and members of council fit on Mr. Lauster’s scatter plots.  These add an axis of municipal urbanism (IMBYism) to the traditional social-economic lefty-righty distinctions between parties.

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Ready for another protracted saga of political gutter-sniping? Step back, YIMBY-NIMBY housing types, you just had your fun.

It’s time to fix the way votes are cast and counted in this province. (And no, you don’t have time to chug a Red Bull.)

Although the campaign period for the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform began way back on Canada Day — and the online debate has been both fulsome and animated — it was also largely outshouted by the municipal election campaigns.

No more. Today, Elections BC is mailing ballots to all BC residents of voting age and six months’ residency, with a closing date of November 30th on the question of preference — stick to First Past the Post as our voting system, or switch to one of three models of Proportional Representation?

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Gordon Price and Ken Ohrn have collected their thoughts.

It’s not over yet, since a mayoral recount is in whisper stage.  But it probably is, since a recount will be hard to pull off, let alone succeed.

NPA’s back room controllers will likely review every possibility of electoral malfeasance and blunder, probably all related to slow ballot processing by those infernal machines.  They’ll have to find 1000+ new NPA votes, or to disqualify a similar amount of Stewart’s, or a combination.  Plus some mail-in ballots are not counted yet, quantity unknown, but somewhere in the “few hundreds”. Let the strident accusations begin.

An NPA success at recount would turn a difficult council controlled by no faction into one controlled by the back rooms at NPA HQ. With neighbourhoods fossilized by unconditional grant to any and all of veto over any sort of meaningful change to density. These are big stakes.

Onwards to more observations on the results.

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