Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Election update

And so the City-election vaudeville continues. The appeals court stays the stay, and the election that was on and then off is on again. A few thousand people will need replacement ballots that the court will review again next week to determine whether they should have Mr Katan's name on them. It may decide to prescribe a new, separate ballot for Council after results of the current ballots are in. Winners on the current ballot could be different on the new ballot. There will be additional expense, the people's business will be held up, voters will be confused about what to do, and even the unnamed Courier editor agrees that the City botched the job and needs to start from scratch. What a Chinese fire drill.

So what's a voter to do? This is the most important question the Courier should be addressing rather than focusing entirely on the legal wrangling. The answer is simple and reassuring.

If you threw away the first ballot, call or visit the registrar's office to get a replacement. If you want to vote for Paul Katan, write his name on the line under the other candidates and fill in the oval. If you want to give him (or any other candidate) a little better chance of winning, don't vote for anyone else. Mail the ballot, right away. If another ballot comes, vote that one too. And if you really want to help, make sure your friends and family know what to do.

Above all don't blame Mr Katan for this. The City staff screwed the pooch here, and deserve to take every bit of the heat.

Update. 4:30pm: Council held an exec session on this subject this afternoon. Perhaps we'll hear more from Council members on how they feel about the situation now that they're (I hope) fully in the loop.

Climate change film debut draws supporters, critics

Ken's piece, which might be appropriate for the entertainment section, finds its way to the front page -- why? What makes this not just news, but urgent news?

This was a political event masquerading as an academic presentation. That's obvious to anyone with half a brain. The arguments are hackneyed, anti-science and fully discredited, on a par with the Black Helicopter and Chemtrail conspiracy theories.

There is no justifying this coverage as credible news. The editorial decision to front-page this rot clearly indicates the bias of the paper's managers, and it should inform readers about everything they see in the Courier about climate change and politics.

Our society and our planet cannot afford to continue allowing the media to pretend that this sort of thing is an equal viewpoint offering balance. There is no equivalency here, no debate. This is nothing more than insane obstructionism against defending ourselves from a clearly known and existential threat. Large corporate interests fund it, and it's being sold to people who are ill-equipped intellectually to understand the complexity of the situation, so they retreat into la-la-I-can't-hear-you denial of the deeply scary scenarios we're rushing into headlong. We must resist that in ourselves and in our media.