Recent comments

  • ANALYSIS: The City’s ‘Press Release’ on the AGLG report is part of the problem, not the solution   24 weeks 6 days ago

    I wouldn't have signed my name to that press release either; Smacks of hubris? Nope, positively 'leaden' with it.

  • OPEN LETTER: The City's 'trash talkin' swagger' in the face of AGLG report is shameful   24 weeks 6 days ago

    For the sake of completeness, please find below the press release to which Mr. Bennett's letter refers...--ed.

     

    The newly formed Office of the Auditor General for Local Government has just released Part 1 of its performance audit for the City of Rossland on Capital Procurement Projects.
     
    As stated on the AGLG website the purpose of the Office is: “to conduct performance audits of the operations of local governments in order to provide local governments with objective information and relevant advice that will assist them in their accountability to their communities for the
    stewardship of public assets and the achievement of value for money in the operations”.
     
    The City of Rossland acknowledged the seriousness of past events that lead to issues Council and Staff did not want to repeat. Therefore, the City of Rossland invited the AGLG to assist in identifying system  improvements and to provide the City with recommendations regarding
    implementation.
     
    The City of Rossland has now incorporated the  few recommendations made by the AGLG into its Action Plan.
     
    The City of Rossland was aware the Office of the AGLG is a new organization and was aware there would be a learning curve for all during the audit process. What the City did not expect was a huge drain on resources to complete the first phase of this audit, which took more than six months, and an end result that was predetermined from the outset.
     
    The AGLG call their performance audits “value for money audits”. In order to ensure that municipalities and taxpayers receive value for money, the City of Rossland feels that BC citizens be informed of the costs associated with the AGLG audit process in all municipalities so that the costs involved can be compared with the benefits received.
     
    The City of Rossland’s Summary and Action Plan can be found starting on page 50 of the AGLG report on Capital Procurement Projects.
     
    The City of Rossland is currently working on completing the second part of the AGLG audit process on Asset Management Programs. This report is expected to be released at the end of August 2014.
     
    “The City hopes the AGLG completes a self-evaluation to ensure going forward they meet their own objectives,” Mayor Greg Granstrom said.
    “The City of Rossland will appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback from a small municipality perspective to the Board of the AGLG, as well as, to the Province of British Columbia and our fellow municipalities.”
  • AGLG issues report on 'serious' issues in Rossland governance   24 weeks 6 days ago

    If Rossland Council's response to the AGLG report is to give the AGLG a lecture on how to perform a value-for-money evaluation, then even if this audit cost the City of Rossland $1.00 it was a waste of time and money! 

  • AGLG issues report on 'serious' issues in Rossland governance   25 weeks 41 min ago

    For the sake of comparison, here's the City's press release...an interesting contrast between the government's press release and the city's. This press release makes it sound as though outrage belongs in the hands of the CIty due to their dissatisfaction with how the investigation into their shortcomings was handled.--ed.

    The newly formed Office of the Auditor General for Local Government has just released Part 1 of its performance audit for the City of Rossland on Capital Procurement Projects.
     
    As stated on the AGLG website the purpose of the Office is: “to conduct performance audits of the operations of local governments in order to provide local governments with objective information and relevant advice that will assist them in their accountability to their communities for the
    stewardship of public assets and the achievement of value for money in the operations”.
     
    The City of Rossland acknowledged the seriousness of past events that lead to issues Council and Staff did not want to repeat. Therefore, the City of Rossland invited the AGLG to assist in identifying system improvements and to provide the City with recommendations regarding
    implementation.
     
    The City of Rossland has now incorporated the  few recommendations made by the AGLG into its Action Plan.
     
    The City of Rossland was aware the Office of the AGLG is a new organization and was aware there would be a learning curve for all during the audit process. What the City did not expect was a huge drain on resources to complete the first phase of this audit, which took more than six months, and an end result that was predetermined from the outset.
     
    The AGLG call their performance audits “value for money audits”. In order to ensure that municipalities and taxpayers receive value for money, the City of Rossland feels that BC citizens be informed of the costs associated with the AGLG audit process in all municipalities so that the costs involved can be compared with the benefits received.
     
    The City of Rossland’s Summary and Action Plan can be found starting on page 50 of the AGLG report on Capital Procurement Projects.
     
    The City of Rossland is currently working on completing the second part of the AGLG audit process on Asset Management Programs. This report is expected to be released at the end of August 2014.
     
    “The City hopes the AGLG completes a self-evaluation to ensure going forward they meet their own objectives,” Mayor Greg Granstrom said.
    “The City of Rossland will appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback from a small municipality perspective to the Board of the AGLG, as well as, to the Province of British Columbia and our fellow municipalities.”
  • GF mom speaks at international global summit   25 weeks 6 days ago

    In addition to the panel being as far away as Kenya and Romania, the lead presenter was from Boston. 

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 5 hours ago

    I used to have a blog; however, it became rather outdated so I stopped entering new posts and replies.  Once again however, I have been encouraged to get back into the blogging field. 

    Public debating during or pre the municiple election does sound appealing.  I may have to resurrect my rusty, blood stained sword once again:  I have too many friends anyhow.

    Les

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 20 hours ago

    Thanks, Les! Here's the bit that made me think you were worried about us censoring:

    "To remove, manipulate or suppress those little thumbs would be a clear step in the direction of censorship.  When a person posts  a comment on a public forum or discussion board, that person should not have the right to ban or censor a replying comment because that person can not handle someone disagreeing with him or her.  “That is censoeship, no matter how you dress up the action."

    I took the implication to mean that I was so thin-skinned I'd remove comments/thumbs that displeased me but I'm glad to hear that wasn't your intention!

    As for retrieving content from a blog...do you have a blog at the moment?

    You may be interested to know that we'll be hosting a public discussion (or series of discussions) soon about the municipal elections coming up this fall. I'll be posting a piece about it later this week. The hope is to get some discussion going that will result in a healthy field of candidates!

    --ed.

     

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 1 day ago

    Adrian, I am not upset by any stretching of the imagination.  I merely replied to a  post in regards to the little thumbs thingy.  As you have probably learned by now, I am very much a call it like it is person and respond publicly with great care in my effort to stay away from personal insults; likewise, I do not comment publicly on matters that compel me to base my comments on rumours or innuendos.  This is why I rarely involve myself in discussions involving political parties and/or religious beliefs.  Both topics are built on and around personal ideologies.

     I must again thank you for opportunity to contribute to your news paper by way of a column.  If I was invited to retrieve from a blog that expresses my personal views on everyday matters, I would consider the opportunity.

     Censorship??????????  I re-read my comment above and cannot find where I accused you of censorship.  My comment indicated that any suppression of a disagreement or agreement indication is a form of censorship.

     My offer is still open to use the Seniors Hall for a couple of healthy, public debating forums if anyone  would like to go that route.

     Have a great day my friend and let’s sit down over a cup of coffee and see what else we can disagree about.

     Les Anderson

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 2 days ago

    Once more, Les, I'm not sure what I've said to upset you! I did comment that I thought the thumbs were silly (when we post a story about a car crash and get 19 up and 16 down what on Earth does it mean?) but I didn't threaten to pull them off our sites.

    As for censorship, I've no idea what you mean! We've never censored anybody for anything other than slander (and even then only twice in five years). In fact, Les, a couple of years ago we approached you about writing a column for this paper! The offer is still open if you or anyone else out there is interested! I'm pretty keen to have a columnist who regularly disagrees with me...

    As for my opinions, I'm surprised how regularly people express dismay that the editor of a paper expresses them! Editors are SUPPOSED to express opinions--it's all part of the journalism game. Editors write 'editor-ials'. Perhaps we're a little too used to the neutered reportage that passes for journalism in certain other local media outlets, where the editorial of the week is likely to feature think pieces on topics like 'spring is here' or 'drive safely' or, perennially, 'go Smokies!'. Oh dear.

    Finally, I wish people would stop assuming I'm a Liberal or NDPer or Green supporter or something! It's humiliating! I don't think we live in a functioning democracy and so don't support any of the existing parties. In terms of where I fall on the hackneyed 'left-right' spectrum, I have some views that are pretty left (I support universal health care!) and views that are pretty right (I believe in the primacy of the family unit!).  Maybe I'm a socialist-libertarian-anarchist or something like that. No idea!

    Now let fly with the thumbs....

    Thanks for commenting.--ed.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 3 days ago

    I may be misunderstanding your position, and I certainly do not hold my views to be the correct ones. In fact, if we were to ask the US Supreme Court to rule on our disagreement, you would win – hands down.

    In Buckley v. Valeo (1976) it ruled that freedom of speech includes spending money.

    In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995) it ruled remaining anonymous to be an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.

    In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission (2014) it held that political contributions are protected by the First Amendment and may therefore not be regulated, except to protect against corruption.

    The US Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees the “…freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition government for a redress of grievances.” I cannot know what those who wrote these words, and those who adopted them, may have envisaged. I am reasonably certain that they did not anticipate the Internet. What worries me is the reality created (in the US at least) by successive US Supreme Court decisions which today all corporations to make unlimited anonymous political contributions.

    I don’t know how you protect against corruption in such a reality. Ralph Nader’s discussion with Michael Enright on CBC’s Sunday Edition this morning painted a picture of what that looks like.

    We have a different constitution, but our reality is not all that different. In my view anonymity does not equate corruption, but it facilitates corrupt practices. Accepting the consequences of what say (or write) means that I have to think about it first, weigh the pros and cons of my gut feelings. If I make a comment anonymously, what I say need not be true as there are no consequences. However, that does not mean that I am an open book. There is stuff in my head I do not care to publicize, and that stuff stays in my head.

     

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 3 days ago

    Open, unanonymous voting may work in small groups, but it's neither practical or desirable in larger groups where people are expected to vote freely.

    In a town council or other forms of government or association meetings, yes how you vote is a matter of record. That's because your vote is a representation of your views, for which you got elected or which otherwise reflect your position. This keeps you accountable to the electorate. 

    But the general public is accountable to no one but themselves when voting or expressing their opinion. In theory anyway. When open voting takes place this invites voter manipulation, either explicitly (buying votes either with beers or actual money), or less directly ("this is the last time I lend that neighbour a tool, or invite them over for a beer"). Wishing it were otherwise is to be blind to human nature.

    Just because someone does something anonymously doesn't mean they don't stand behind what they say. In fact, just the opposite - it is probably a truer representation of their views than if they had to concern themselves with offending so-and-so, or fearing the wrath of what's-his-name. Of course, the flip side IS that we will offend, and that we will anger some people. But if we fear to offend, we will drift into an evermore polite, politically correct, and unimaginative dialog of ideas.

    I pity you if your bookshelf doesn't have at least a few works written anonymously or under a pseudonym. No slave diary (which may have played a role in creating empathy towards slave leading to their eventual emancipation)? A more contemporary example which I highly recommend is a collection of photographs from Banksy, compiled and annotated by him. It sits proudly on my bookshelf should you ever want to peruse it and understand why he has to remain anonymous.

    But in the end, what's in a name? If a person calls themselves Banksy, or John Smith, either way you know them only by what they reveal of themselves. You may even be unaware that some of the authors on your bookshelf are writing under a pseudonym. Would what they wrote mean less if all of a sudden you found out they were written under an assumed name?

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 3 days ago

    Voting is not debating, and it does not a comment on anything.

    We must distinguish between voting on issues (referendums) and elections.

    Most of the voting we do is in elections. We are given a choice of candidates, and (if we bother to vote at all) we lend our support to one of the candidates. That’s it.

    Unfortunately the MSM and political parties tend to misrepresent elections with claims that the outcome amounts to a mandate for this or that. The fact is, that once elected, a councillor, mayor, MLA, or MP is not bound in any way by anything for the duration of the term to which she or he was elected. I may vote for X because of her position on the environment, and you may vote for Y because of his stand immigration, but none of that matters as the person elected to office is not bound by any promise made during the election campaign or any undertaking of any kind. Surely most citizens should be aware of that reality by now.

    As to voting in a referendum, here again, there is no debate, no comment, and no discussion. You are either for or against what is being proposed. There is plenty of opportunity for debate and discussion beforehand, but the vote itself is a simple matter of take it or leave it.

    The secrecy in balloting is to protect the rights of those who do not wish to disclose their decision. It is illegal for the state to disclose how I have voted, or even whether I bothered to vote at all. It is perfectly legal for me to declare openly that I did not bother to vote, or to state whom I voted for, and to either give nor not give any reason for that decision.

    There is a difference between the state enforcing anonymity at the ballot box, and the state enforcing anonymity of the person (e.g., burqa).

    There is a difference between the state giving me the right to protect my privacy, and a person’s need (real or perceived) to protect his or her identity out of fear of any kind. The former contributes to my freedom, the latter is an admission that my freedom of expression is limited.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 3 days ago

    Thumbs may indicate agreement or disagreement, but that has little to do with debating. What can participants in a debate learn out of a thumbs down reaction to a comment? It does indicate that somebody out there, maybe in Rossland or (in the age of internet) maybe in Panama, disagrees with a comment, but on what basis? How can we test a reasoning, a rationale, or a conclusion, if all we get is a "no"? Where is the weakness in the comment and where is the strength in the "no" response? What has the author failed to consider? How did what the author meant to say not come across in the way it was meant? It may be that a disagreement is based on the respondent's misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the author's position, or it may be that the respondent's views are based on partial, irrelevant, or outright wrong information.

    Thumbs contribute little to nothing of value to "a public debate between opposing sides."

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 3 days ago

    Your closing observation - getting rid of anonymity would be a major step backwards in freedom of expression -  hits the nail on the head (well, if not THE nail, then at least my nail).

    How free are we need to hide behind a curtain to say who we are or what we believe? I am not talking about doing what we want, simply thinking out loud, expressing an idea.

    My views are shaped in part by my career in local government, where every idea you throw out, every thought you express, is open to public review, evaluation, and critique. You reflect on the response, you debate, you reconsider, and eventually you firm up your position. Take it or leave it, but this is what I believe.

    Voting is an interesting example. While citizens cast their ballot in secret, votes by councils are open (with few exceptions allowed by law). I remember in my home country, in small communities where it was physically possible, citizens would meet on a Sunday to vote on referendums in open assemblies (Landsgemeinde). You stand there, next to all other citizens in the community, you raise your hand to have your vote counted. Win or lose, everybody knows where I stand.

    There is a cultural aspect to all of that. And maybe it is my background which leads me to have greater respect for those who stand behind who they are and what they say. There are many controversial and difficult topics addressed on my bookshelves, not one of them published by Anonymous.

     

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 4 days ago

    I wonder if people that think people should sign their comments with real names also think that voting shouldn't be anonymous. After all, voting is the ultimate form of commenting on our government/prospective government in a democracy, yet individual voting is done anonymously

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 4 days ago

    Andre, your comment hit the nail square on the head.  I too  have a problem with people who post a strong or insulting comment about an individual, or local citizen on a publically read source; then, hide their identity behind a pseudonym.

    If the author of the comment is big enough insult someone on a public platform then that person should also be big enough to bare their true identity.

    Les

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 4 days ago

    Adrian, those little thumbs icons are an indication of how people agree or disagree with a posted comment on your discussion board.  To remove, manipulate or suppress those little thumbs would be a clear step in the direction of censorship.  When a person posts  a comment on a public forum or discussion board, that person should not have the right to ban or censor a replying comment because that person can not handle someone disagreeing with him or her.  “That is censoeship, no matter how you dress up the action.  We are seeing enough of that on the CBC’s discussion boards.

    A public debate is just that, a public debate between two opposing sides.  Adrian, you and I have had strenuous debates on the discussion board and I welcomed your opposing views (though you were wrong of course).  It never entered my mind to shut out your comments or insult you on a public forum because your views on a matter did not agree with mine.  This country was built on debating and opposing ideas.

    It does not take anymore than a few sentences to understand which political party (persuasion) you favour.  I am a middle of the road person where I will, without hesitation, call a spade a spade no matter which political party or individual I am calling to task.  Censoring my opinion would be a violation under the Canadian Charter Of freedom Of Speech and Right to Protest.

    I have previously offered to meet or gather at the Rossland seniors hall to openly debate any matter that I comment on in your news paper’s discussion board.  I most certainly would not lock the doors to anyone who I knew would be disagreeing with me.   If I am big enough to open my mouth on a public stage to oppose some, I have no problem with allowing someone to stand up and call me out. 

    You as a reporter know and understand the importance of “Freedom Of The Press”: now you must accept and realize the importance of freedom of speech and opinion that has been afforded to the citizens of this country and your readers.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 4 days ago

    Our democracy IS in a poor state, but that's a different story. This is about freedom of expression, and the variety in views it engenders.

    There are good reasons why someone wouldn't post using a real name about their experience growing up gay in the Kootenays, even in today's relatively accepting world.  If you think there are no social repercussions to that, you are sadly out of touch with reality here. So we would lose that point of view. Ditto stories about bullying, or perhaps experiences with rape or molestation.  Can it lead to malicious accusations? For sure, but in that respect a single anonymous accusation isn't going to bear much weight. But if it's real, it could lead others to realize they aren't the only victims, and could embolden others to come forward with their stories, and perhaps some to approach the proper authorities.

    But it need not be about such personal subjects. Even such things as politcal affiliations cause people to self-censure in certain instances. If you live and work in a place where there is a strong political leaning, people are less likely to be vocal in expressing a dissenting point of view. This isn't necessarily a reflection on the state of democracy, but on human nature. In the past, only a very few people ever had the temperament, or the social standing, to really speak their mind freely.  People are emboldened to speak to an audience that will agree with them, and reticent to speak about something that will be less enthusiastically received or even potentially ridiculed. The anonymity of the internet changed that.

    I would go so far as to say that the general anonymity of the internet has generated an explosion in variety of opinions, points of view, and very personal stories that the public has been exposed to like never before in history. And it has probably played a pivotal role in making us a more open and accepting society.

    Your example of a European paper's comment section is all well and good, but it very limiting.  I don't know how effective the "checking" of identify is in preventing misrepresentation, but if it is, by its very nature it would limit discourse to a very few comments that the paper has the ability to verify. So what you see is not open and free discourse. It is heavily editorialized comments, in style, in length, in subject matter, and in opinion. The editors aren't going to print what they don't want to see in print. That's fine, the internet is big enough for both open comment format media, and those types of heavily curated ones.

    Getting rid of anonymity would be a major step backwards in freedom of expression, and undo much of the societal benefits imparted on us by the internet.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 5 days ago

    Valid points, Phil, but in part at least a sad commentary on state of our society. If we fear to state our belief, our freedom is reduced to Wal-Mart value. There are many countries, many societies, where such fear is justified. I would not want to pontificate too much in Zimbabwe (been there, done that) or in Egypt, to say nothing of North Korea.

    But here, in Canada? I don't know what is worse, fear of repercussions real or imagined. It is one thing to lock your door at night, it is an altogether different thing to fear stating a point of view, be that on a political religious, social, environmental, or any other subject.

    I have no clue at all how the technology works, and I have no interest at all in even attempting to figure it out. What I do know, from commenting in European papers (e.g. http://www.bernerzeitung.ch/) that anyone wishing to comment has to register with full name and address. When I post a comment in that paper, I register with my name, my complete Canadian address, including postal code. The comments are not posted until verified by editorial staff, and when it is posted it is under full first and last name. The address is withheld. The editorial review serves to maintain comments to the paper's standards. In other words, a comment that a reporter would not be permitted to print (e.g., the Prime Minister is an ....) is not accepted in the comments section either. More or less the same rules are applied to the comments section as are applied to letters to the editor section.

    There are plenty of stupid and ignorant comments in papers such as the Globe & Mail, and they contribute nothing at all to the story. More often than not scrolling through them is a waste of time.

    So, in summary, Phil, your argument in support of anonymity is a concern. And if fear of reprocussion is why so many use a pseudonym, our democracy is in worse shape than I thought it to be.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 6 days ago

    There are a few problems with getting rid of anonymity on the web. First off, a technical one: if people sign with full names, how do you verify that they are who they claim to be? That can quickly become a headache for the website operator, and possibly a liability. Second is a question of trust. Because a username is also used to login to the website, that information is now part of the database, to be used or abused by all the people who have access to it, be it owners, technical staff, or even the operators of the remote servers which may get used, or malicious hackers.

    Anonymity also provides a way to comment without fear of repercussions. That's important to a lot of people who might otherwise be afraid to speak up. These repercussions might be anything from social ostracism, to actual violence, and they may be real, well founded fears, or simply perceived. Either way, you would lose a lot of points of view.  It's true anonymity also allows people to bully or just be mean and hide behind a pseudonym, but that's a small price to pay for greater diversity in opinions. And such people are easily dismissed, even more so by websites that allow users to hide comments from people they find offensive.

    Personally, I don't value a comment more or less if it is signed with a real name or not - I value it based on the merits of the argument made in the expression of opinion.  Knowing a name is also not the same as knowing the person. To me, the only value of using real names is having the opportunity to continue a conversation face to face with some people, which is why I use an abbreviated version of my name, enough for people who know me to figure out who I am.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 6 days ago

    And so, probably inevitably, we move toward a discussion of anonymity on the web. While I wish we lived in a world where citizens would proudly sign their names to all their comments, we simply don't. And so the choice is between almost no comments and the option of anonymous comments. It's as simple as that, I'm afraid. Don't believe us? Ask the New York Times...

    That said, I do think that signed comments carry more weight in the eyes of  our readership than anonymous ones. When I read an anonymous post, especially a negative or critical one, I take the thoughts of 'pieman' or 'ski4life' less seriously than ones with names of actual human beings attached.

    Finally, the only 'serious' argument I know of that supports anonymity is the 'coffee shop' one that argues comments are not 'published' in the same sense that articles or comment pieces are. Rather, they are more like spoken opinions made in public. So if you're in the Grind and some stranger at the next table is going on about how Lone Sheep is an exclusionary monoculture, you would tend to evaluate their words by their innate sense (or lack thereof) rather than by the person's reputation. That's not such a bad thing when you stop to think about it. In fact, when I read the opinions of people I know and respect I'm very likely prejudiced in their favour.

    Can we argue that, if nothing else, anonymous comments allow us to hear arguments more objectively? Certainly, this would be the case if we required that ALL our commenters used pseudonyms! (Not that we're planning on doing that...).

    And as for thumbs...I agree with Andre that they're pretty silly.--ed.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   26 weeks 6 days ago

    Why not eliminate those thumbs altogether?

    Thumbs contribute little, if anything, to any debate. About as constructive as those standing ovations by loyal party members in the House of Commons when their leader asks a questions or responds to one.

    If we are going to have a serious conversation on any subject, from taxes to plugged sewers to climate change, we should be able to do so by identifying ourselves and stating an opinion or point of view.

    We are not in North Korea, and we should therefore not only expect, but accept (and be bloody well grateful) that the range of opinions, views, and beliefs out there is wide and varied.

    The internet is a tool to facilitate conversation, not to trivialize it.

    When we meet face to face, the first thing we do - if we want to engage in a conversation - is to introduce ourselves. "Hi, my name is ..."

    Imagine a face-to-face debate where participants are few, and most of those who do hide behind a pseudonym while the rest silently nod their heads, up and down to agree (thumbs up), left and right to disagree (thumbs down).

    The internet is a tool we could use to facilitate and enrich conversation and debate. Instead to many of us use it to trivialize debate by reducing it to anonymous babble.

    (And if anyone touches a thumbs button in response to this, I'll pout and refuse to submit any comments to this paper until next time.)

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   27 weeks 19 min ago

    Having an opinion isn't the same as demonizing those with whom one disagrees. In fact, having an opinion, by definition means disagreeing with other opinions! How do we disrespect others' points of view by sharing our own?

    I have no idea why you think we reject diversity. If you'd like to write something in support of your own views, please feel free. If it's well-written we'll publish it. In fact, we've put the word out a number of times over the years seeking contributions from people of ANY political persuasion, but we haven't yet had any luck finding, let's say, a Conservative supporter who wants to share their views in our Comments sections. I'd like nothing better than some intelligent sparring with different perspectives.

    As for the political party 'we' support, I can't speak for other contributors and editors but I have no idea which one you're thinking of!

    Sorry you're offended, Viirga. Consider joing the conversation instead. You'd be welcome.--ed.

  • Harper’s (Un)Fair Elections Act Could Spark Voter Surge   27 weeks 7 hours ago

    What a mystery! How could people thumbs down the opinion of Lonesheep Publishing!?

    Is it because the political biase in all the Lonesheep epapers are decidedly in favour of one point of view and to one political party? With news stories and editorials that source single points of view?

    Or maybe the thumbs are response to the disrespect of other points of view? Why do you suppose it is necessary to demonize those that don't share Lonesheep's opinions? 

    In your democracy there really is no room for diversity is there?

  • You rock, Steve! Just don't take us into battle   27 weeks 8 hours ago

    Couldn't have said it better it's nice to know there are some that recognize what is happening in the world today! And with our military might we would be defeated by Cuba in a all out war.