As usual, I voted in the Canadian Parliamentary election which is noteworthy as 2019 was the first federal election to allow ex-patriates to vote from abroad.
Voters (including me) voted in the riding (jurisdiction) of their last permanent address in Canada – this was a little confusing as i’ve had a variety of addresses (mail drops, crash pads, temp rentals, forwarding services and the like) but in the end, registered and voted in Vancouver Centre (West End etc).
Note: The candidate whose name i wrote in (using my nicest writing) was not successful and the many-time incumbent Hedy Fry won (again) adding to the Liberal party minority government which will be officially formed when parliament returns to session.
The ballot arrived in a speedily after my online registration in a DHL courier envelope with various return and security envelopes and instructions.
Regardless, i filled out the ballot and mailed it back to Ottawa.
[Link and content now gone, re-accessed from Archive.org’s Wayback Machine]
By giving every citizen a chance to donate to politicians, could we even the playing field of what issues politicians work to fix?
Lessig’s solution is to expand the fundraising base through small donor financing. His proposal is to give a $50 “democracy voucher” to every citizen to spend on the politician of their choice (on the proviso, they don’t also take big money). But several other proposals would work just as well, including this one, and this one, he says.
“The most important thing is to spread the recognition among ordinary people that this is a root cause to the inability of Congress to deal sensibly with a wide range of issues on the Left and Right,” he says. “When that becomes conventional wisdom, it will create an environment for someone to step forward and take advantage.”
Shortly after New Year’s Day, Uncle Weed recounts highlights from the passing year including a surprising visit with bong-toting ice fishermen on a frozen neighborhood lake, plus recaps on concerts, spreading messages to media and youth, voting often, speaking out, supporting soldiers and peaceniks, resisting cynicism, researching the painter Varley, publishing literature, sparking coverage of Olympics, making a board game, gallery visits, riding the new SeaBus, remembering ole dead gramps, drinking stout and earl grey tea, and the joys of treading on thin ice.
Heading out to vote in his riding in BC, Uncle Weed rallies to a secondary voting location at the last minute while spieling about the election process, political parties and vast timezones.
After filling out his Canadian ballot, he returns home to drink hot toddies, get baked and fill out his USA ballot while riffing about the left vote split resulting in the Canadian Conservative minority government, and expressing hope for good times ahead. Folk singer (and personal hero) Billy Bragg provides poignant music to inspire keeping faith in democracy.
On Canadian election evening in 2006, i join some folks at a pub to discuss results and share my opinion with my pal, Roland Tanglao who asks: Will the Conservative minority truly hinder Dave’s passion?