Saturday, November 12, 2005

Vancouver Election

I am always reluctant to vote since I think that the system of representational democracy needs to be replaced with something less heirarchial and even more democratic. But until that change happens, and while we spend our other days working for that to happen, I don't think that it hurts to cast our ballots in the meantime. And municipal politicians seem to be the most responsive to the needs of the people.

So here is who I am thinking of voting for in the Vancouver elections (subject to change):

Mayor (1)

WEST, Ben (yeah, I know that Jim Green is the lesser of two evils when compared to Sam Sullivan - but I can not in good conscience vote for a mayor from the party that abandoned their election promises, abandoned COPE, supported P3 programs (RAV) and voted to do business with a war criminals (SNC-Lavalin)).

Councillors (10)
Park commissioner (7)
School Trustee (9)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Green Festival

I just returned from the Green Festival in San Francisco. One of the most interesting talks I attended was by William McDonough who thinks that businesses must go far beyond "corporate sustainability" and triple bottom lines to something he calls "cradle to cradle design." Another inspiring presentation was by a panel on workers cooperatives that featured the Bay Area Network of Workers Cooperatives. The story of the People's Grocery of Oakland was especially exciting. It was also great to see environmental sustainability coming together with social, racial and economic justice (at least in this presentation).

I also went to a couple of presentations on permaculture which I didn't find too helpful but they did encourage me to do more in that area.

There were also a lot of interesting products. Recognizing the inherent contradiction of over-consumption as part of a festival about sustainability, I managed to resist the urge to buy anything. However, in the future I probably will replace my plastic water bottle with one of these stainless steel ones and I may also get a portable UV water treatment system to replace the chemicals I currently use.

It was good to see a booth about salmon farming along with the other booths encouraging action on other important issues.