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New website makes it easy to ‘Vote Smart’

Fledgling group hopes to create informed voters for the provincial election

by Natascia Lypny

A screenshot taken from the VoteSmartNS homepage.
A screenshot taken from the VoteSmartNS homepage.

 

Being uninformed is no longer an excuse not to vote in the upcoming provincial election thanks to a new website that hopes to make keeping up with party and candidate information easy.

VoteSmartNS translates platforms, political commitments and media coverage into easily digestible bullet points, tables and other eye-catching formats.

The project launched Tuesday thanks to the Halifax-based Springtide Collective, a 10-month-old non-partisan grassroots group that has a mission to “empower Nova Scotians to be masters of their own democracy,” president and founder Mark Coffin told the Halifax Media Co-op.

“There’s probably never been a point in any Nova Scotia election where there’s been so much information about what candidates are offering and what issues are at play,” says Coffin, “but it’s also never been more difficult to sort through that information.”

Coffins says the collective was inspired to create the website when it polled some 700 young Nova Scotians this summer on whether or not they would vote; the reason most often delivered by those responding “no” was that they didn’t know enough about the players and the issues.

The website has four key components: a daily blog curates the latest election news from media websites and other sources. A sprawling table compares the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals and NDP’s platforms (the Green Party’s will be added soon), organizing the points in plain language by categories — healthcare, education, taxation, etc. — and along similar lines.

In progress are a “commitment catalogue,” which keeps track of the commitments party members make outside of their platforms, and a page that will feature videos by politicians and citizens on key issues.

Coffin stresses that VoteSmartNS strives to be unbiased in its delivery of content. It encourages readers to submit links for curated content, in order to keep the website as balanced as possible.


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Comments

The Crisis of Democracy

For those who believe that being informed and taking the time to vote is essential for a democracy to flourish, I highly recommend reading a few books that present alternative view points on what a democracy really is and how it is managed.

1. A Crisis of Democracy: A Report of the Governability of Democracies to the Tri-Lateral Commission - The Tri-Lateral Commissions 1975
http://www.trilateral.org/download/doc/crisis_of_democracy.pdf
- Basically what is discussed is that if people actually take democracy seriously for themselves they will become ungovernable and the democracy will fall a part.  But remember to govern means to steer or control.

2. Propaganda - Edward Bernays 1928
http://www.whale.to/b/bernays.pdf
-The very first paragraph is very telling and describes that he believes the public relations field (himself being its father and lippman its grandfather) is the extension of the ruling class that dictates and drives the direction of all democracies and public opinion generally.
AND
Manipulating Public Opinion: The Why and How - Edward Bernays 1928
http://truty.org/PDFs/Media/BERNAYS-ManipulatingPublicOpinion.pdf

- For audio of the man himself describing how he used human nature and the theories of his uncle Freud to drive culture whereever he wanted also see - http://www.gnosticmedia.com/the-professional-practice-of-public-relation...

3. Public Opinion - Walter Lippman 1922
http://manybooks.net/titles/lippmannetext04pbpnn10.html
- Describes the theory of how to drive society and culture whereever you like, a guide for the ruling class.

4. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man - Marshall McLuhan 1964
http://beforebefore.net/80f/s11/media/mcluhan.pdf
"The medium is the message"

- McLuhan tells us that what we create ultimately drives how we live in the world and what the next generation will hold as ideals, the medium (the extension of man, whatever form that may take, democracy is an extension of man) is the message.  If democracy is a form of control, and it is, then the next generation and those who follow will grow up in a culture of control, and believe that voting is democracy, when voting is really the abrogation of responnsability.  Response Able - able to respond.  If you are unable to respond, you are not a grown adult, you are a human being who has had an artificial extension of childhood and are begging an elected group to be responsable for you.  That is democracy, or at least the one the ruling class tells us we should want to live in.  And that is what public schooling and society condition us to accept.  Schooling is another medium but that is for another post.

 

Often see comments on the HMC

Often see comments on the HMC site by TheUncivilized...every time I think to myself "I wonder what happened to this person to make them so seemingly distrustful of every other human being."

On being distrustful of other human beings aka Natural Predators

If you were to read the above books you might discover the answer to your internal question.
But if you havn't or don't have the time or energy, let me break it down for you.

I am not distrustful of ALL other human beings, I am skeptical of comments made by a ruling class, who have previously stated, in their own words, that they can, have and will continue to subvert culture and society to their own ends and to our detriment.  The above books are only part of that admission by members of the ruling class they they are activley waging a full scale war on the minds and bodies of all human beings which they percieve as beneath them.

To ignore that human beings have natural predators is to ignore history and part of human nature itself, and you do so at not only your own parel but that of everyone elses.  For your voluntary servitude is used as a weapon for the inslavement of others.

Most people don't even know that this country had a eugenics program where thousands of people were needlessly sterilized by the various corporate governments that make up this corporate country which resides on the land mass known as america.  And that if you read the words of the people who founded and funded planned parenthood, people that many in this country venerate and look up to, you find rabid racists claiming to be a ruling class and have the right to do whatever they want to the feable minded of the world.  I highly recommend "Our Own master Race: Eugenics in Canada 1885-1945" By McLaren, wherein you will discover the the Founder of the NDP was at a time a Rabid Eugenicist.  So these ideas have parallels and a history not only in the minds of crazy racists but have lead to the formation of political parties that exist to this day.

But what makes me distrustful of any human being is a refusal to acknowledge that "Literacy is a form of slavery until a systematic form of critical analysis is applied by the reader".  Ignorance is the state of most human beings I know, because they choose not to think critically about the information and propaganda they are taking in on a daily basis.  For tihnking critically will lead on to questino the world around them and drive them to find truth.  The truth can shatter your world which is why most people are more comfortable not thinking about it.

Other books/media that will help illucidate this theme of natural predators in the 19th and 20th centuries and there projeny include but are not limited to:

1. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley (Only man mentioned in Bill Clintons presidential acceptance speech by name, a Professor of History at Georgetown, a Harvard Grad and a close friend of the Council on Foreign Relations, of whom this book is written about)

2. Anything by Anthony Sutton

"Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler", "Wall Street and the Bolshavics", and "Wall Street and FDR".  Also see his 3 part series called "Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development"
(Sutton was a Professor of History I believe and a research fellow at the Stanford Universities Hoover Institute)

3. The Ultimate History Lesson: A weekend With John Taylor Gatto (Audio only) (video)

Books by Gatto include:
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
(1992)
The Exhausted School (1993)
A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling (2000)
The Underground History of American Education
(2001). (Complete Text online)
'Against School' (2003) (Complete Text Online)
Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (2008)

4. Anything produced by the Tragedy and Hope Community
a) History so it doesn't repeat series (especially Origins of US intelligence and Cecil Rhodes and the Anglo American Establishment)
b) Peace Revolution Podcast
c) State of Mind: The Psychology of Control
 

The impression I got from

The impression I got from your first comment is that you thought any participation in elections is not only futile but even harmful...I don't have any illusions about what can be accomplished via elections in NS but I do think it is worthwhile to participate and that saying otherwise pretty much just does damage. Saying do not participate in elections, while under certain circumstances may be legitimate just breeds cynicism in most cases.

It seems to me sort of ridiculous to have to make certain arguments against right wing ideas, such as whether or not casting a ballot or other formalized means of political expression are legitimate. Whether they are rebuilt from scratch or reformed within governmental institutions will always be necessary as a forum for democracy....you speak about people who seek to undemocratically impose their will on the public...this is a definite reality and it is precisely the reason why functioning democratic institutions are necessary...

Hello again, sorry for the delay

First one must recognize that democracy is not a single thing.  Unless you define what part you are on, of the range that democracy exists, then you can't even begin to discuss its merits or detriments, its pros and cons.  Are we discussing two wolves and a sheep deciding democratically what to have for dinner?  Because that form of democracy fits very well into the idea of rule by majority, but also rule by the rich and rule by the strong.  And when you have this kind of democracy, and we do, someone is always going to get the short end of the stick, which in the end means government violence aimed at them.  If you act violently towards somone, you cant' possibly represent them.  Therefore, our democracy is really the definition of disorganized.  We have a war of all against all, an infinate division of ideas that can't be represented or even agreed upon by even a few people.

My point of view on elections is that if we are electing non-representative, non-accountable rulers, than I agree with your interpretation, that voting is futile.   If your only choices for representative are between people who you have never met, whom do not know or understand your life situation, your needs, or your desires for the future, and actually advocate for actions against you that you do not consent to, then what choice does one have other than to withdraw consent and not participate in the fraud that is an election in todays Canada.  One cannot withdraw funding of such a thing without find ones self on the run from the over reaqching arm of government and its mindless storm troopers.

On the other hand, if by vote and elect you mean a representative, accountable sheriff (as an example) to enforce natural law and keep the peace between neighboors and call up the militia (the armed populace) when trouble nears, then I would and will come out to vote.  But when that sheriff acts against the oath he took to me, acts to take power for himself or others, or in any way shows bias in the execution of his duties, it is the communities right and duty to defund such a person.  But canada doesn't have such people or positions.  We have no checks and balances, we have is violence, fraud and debt, and I refuse to vote for someone advocating those things.  I refuse to be quietly ruled by someone advocating those things. 

A community is a group of people with common needs and goals.  There, in a small community, democracy can work lovely.  But when such large and diverse groups, as have been created in the western world, attempt a democracy of hundreds of millions of people, there can be no agreement, there can be no concensus, there can be no community, because the individuals in that would be community have no connection to each other, have no bond as neighbors in common struggle of life against the elements, they have nothing in common except that they have been raised in a socialist educational system that venerated government.  When communities ceast to exist and individual survival is all that matters in the war of all against all.  When people see members of their community using the levers of government to steal from then via taxes and direct that moeny to their advantage, they see the polling station as one of two things, 1) a way to become a master and 2) a way to become less a slave, via gaining control (so they think) on the levers of power.

If I incorrectly stated that I believed there are people trying to undemocratically impose their will on society, I mis-spoke and I appologize.  My interpretation of the actions of the natural predators of human beings, are that they use any means necessary to accomplish their goals.  It is a fabian socialist mode of action, the sheep in wolfs cloths and the von Clauswitzian total war of attrition.

 

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