Tests are not the answer

More testing for drivers is not where the problem is. Oh sure there are some that do not know the rules of the road but it is those who do know and choose to break them that appears to be a bigger problem.

I drove a commercial race horse carrier over 70,000 miles per year for ten years. I did not have an accident or a citation. I was able to do that by obeying the rules,  not by passing a test every time I renewed my license.

What are you going to do with those who pass the test and still refuse to obey the rules?

This is a mentality issue. There are those who are chronic rule breakers and they are going to continue to break the rules no matter how many tests they take. It does not help to take their license away as they will drive anyway. A slap on the wrist as is so often the case now, only contributes to their delinquency.

It appears that only severe punishment will change the minds of those who are continually inclined to break the rules. Heavy, heavy fines may get the message across. If they cannot pay the fine they can jolly well sit it out in jail.

Martha Cantarini

Distracted parking?

I have always felt that much of the distracted laws is just a cash grab. Talking on a hand held phone is less dangerous than having a conversation with a back seat passenger. With the phone there is no reason to take your eyes off the road.

In this case is was a particularly obvious cash grab. A gentleman pulled into the Husky in West Kelowna to park his truck for the night. He removed his cellphone from his upper pocket and placed it on the ground beside him, while his vehicle was in park. The second he put the truck in drive and started to move forward, a police officer pulled him over. He was handed a $368 ticket for use of electronic device and four demerit points for $176.

“I thought for sure this was bull because I was on private property, it’s owned by Husky but it turns out when the judge explained it to me, if there is not a fence going all the way around with a gate it is considered public domain,” he said. The judge told the gentleman to personally spread the word because many people don’t know this and that the same ticket could be applied to a driver parked

It seems this judge has a different opinion than the ministry that made the law.

On the Drive BC website they set out the rules for electronic devices. A driver must not hold, operate, communicate or watch the screen of a handheld electronic communication device. A driver must not send or receive text messages or email on any type of electronic device. A driver must not hold, operate, communicate or watch the screen of a handheld electronic computing device, one of the purposes of which is to process or compute data. Note 1: These devices cannot be used unless a driver is safely parked off the roadway or is making an emergency call to 9-1-1.

In this case this gentleman, he was not doing anything on the offending list and he was safely parked off the roadway and still gets nabbed by the police and the court.

Gord Marshall

Renting all about money

Well Mitch, I see as a landlord you have a problem with new regulations on rental properties.

These new guidelines were put in place so that landlords can’t kick renters to the curb every time the rental market depletes. Landlords see only dollar signs when there is no available rental units, they give their tenants notice, usually making up some kind of story like you have family moving in, then once the tenant is out you advertise the suite for whatever the going (jacked up) rate is.

Tell me why I need to feel sorry for poor landlords? What is unfair is the short term lease renters are forced to sign, just in case there is more money for rent from someone else desperate to find a place.

It is always just about the money.

Shelley Matotek

Plan needed before change

How Proportional Representation (PR) is to be designed, is the question that needs addressing. The details are important and a proposal needs to be constructed before any electoral change vote should happen. Do we want to be similar to the Brexit vote and vote yes to move forward on a major political change with no plan? I say no, and subsequently say no to the existing vote on PR.

PR electoral systems require designers to consider a number of issues in addition to the choice of the electoral system type. These issues psychologically change incentives for voters and political parties alike; and the results will affect elections and government mechanically. We need to preserve the integrity of our elections and democracy before putting the cart before the horse. The details need to be discussed now as they are important. The following concerns are part of the difficulty in obtaining consensus around electoral reform, and why the issue is often tabled or dropped altogether.

We need to be talking about issues like:
-What kind of PR should we have? List PR, Single Transferable Vote (STV), or what hybrid.
-What are the 'made-in-BC' features going to be? (hybrid model)
-List PR - open, closed, or free lists?
-STV - Members of the same party compete against each other as well as against the opposition for votes.  How do we avoid promoting ‘clientelistic’ politics where politicians offer electoral bribes to groups of defined voters?
-How would the calculations (algorithm) be setup to establish the governing party?
-What minimum level of support would a party need to gain representation - 5%? 10%?
-What happens when radical fringe parties reach this threshold (say 5%) and the government must legally recognize the party?
-How would the party choose who would represent us after voting? Care must be taken to avoid excessive entrenchment of power within party headquarters and in the hands of senior party leaderships to choose who governs post election.
-How would we ensure geographic representation in government?
-What about independent candidates? How do we ensure their autonomy?
-Should a veto system be set up for the parties? How?
-How to address the extreme pluralism that can allow tiny minority parties to hold larger parties to ransom in coalition negotiations, threatening collapse of government. Is an immediate election the right answer?
-How would any of these changes affect Royal Assent?
-Under a PR system, it becomes difficult to remove a reasonably sized centre party from power. Is this a concern?
-How do we educate voters on the new electoral system?
-What are the costs and what government resources are needed to implement a new electoral system? Is it justifiable?

My point here is that many tough conversations exist and require further dialog. Overarching decisions need to be made and be firmly answered in a plan we constituents can discuss, understand and possibly vote on.  Just voting for PR because it is a good idea that works well elsewhere and worrying about the fine print later, will be problematic. Let’s grow the talk to how a PR system will be practically implemented and move this conversation forward.

Personally I don’t support a proportional representation electoral system although federally I’d like to see PR replace the partisanship in the Senate.

Reg P. Goldsbury

A mess left by government

Much has been written and talked about re-site C dam. How did the dam come about to be started without consulting the utility demand? 

When we had the last Liberal election win, about 56% or so of the 100% voters, turned up at the poles, but Christy Clark won a majority in the house with 22% of the 100% of the votes that could have been cast. With this majority, she could do what she pleased, she could bypass the utility assessment, dictate that we need and must have site C dam without anyone being able to say, “hold it, we should discuss this and evaluate the need”. Even if you were a Liberal in the house, you would vote for with her or worry about the next election chances of you being allowed to run again and fulfill your government pension. Christy cannot sign your election papers. So, what is the answer? 

Other members of the house may not have wanted the dam or wanted the proper investigation of “need” before proceeding. With her “ 22% majority” she did just what she wanted. The whole project was to give her a legacy for us to remember her by and think of how great she was as a premier. 

I hope our voters can now see why this first past the post is not a good system. With proportional representation there would have been no “dictator majority with just 22% of available votes”. The dam would have been discussed, priced, find the need or not and then the whole house would be allowed to make the call to build or not to build. This dam will be built on the say so of one person, the dictator.  If voters of BC hire 88 MLA's to work in the house on behalf of our province, should they not all “work and make the decisions” or should the “dictator” make all the calls? 

We should not blame the present government for the mess that was left for our children to pay off, it will be difficult enough to make the money just to run the daily affairs. Please think PR for our next election, a change away from a dictatorship could be in the best interest of our grand children. 

Jorgen Hansen

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