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Posts Tagged ‘voting’

English: Ballot Box showing preferential votingI first discovered in 2007 that Canadian citizens who are residents in Ontario can vote for none of the above by declining their ballot. I personally availed myself of that option upon concluding that I couldn’t in all good conscience support the Ontario Green Party as an alternative to the obviously detrimental three major parties: Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NDP.

The Election Act, 1990 words it this way:

Declined ballot

53. An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word “declined” upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 53.

The wording makes it sound as if you’re throwing away your vote, but in reality, it’s effectively a vote for none of the above.

The importance of the option to decline your ballot is that it clearly shows that the voter is dissatisfied with the available candidates, demonstrating a principled stand, and not being lumped in with those who are simply too lazy to vote, or those who spoil their ballot intentionally or accidentally.

There is no such option at the federal level, despite a 2001 bill (C-319) that would’ve provided Canadian voters with such an opportunity in subsequent elections.

Not only did the Waterloo Region Record omit mention of Libertarian candidate, Allan Dettweiler, it also omitted mention of the option to decline your ballot.

Are they really unaware of this option, or are they deliberately omitting reference to it?

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Ontario Libertarian Party

Ontario Libertarian Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 16, 2012, I wrote the article, The mass media’s cynical portrayal of an organized political protest, about the Waterloo Region Record downplaying a successful organized political protest.

This time, from their August 10, 2012 article, Kitchener-Waterloo gears up for byelection, they omitted alternative voting options.

Local candidates vying for the job include Progressive Conservative Tracey Weiler, Green party candidate Stacey Danckert, Liberal Eric Davis and New Democratic Party candidate Catherine Fife.

No mention was made, for instance, of Ontario Libertarian Party candidate, Allan R. Dettweiler. I found an August 9 announcement on the party site that they had a candidate for the riding, and even saw a personal statement from the candidate, directly addressing the byelection.

I contacted the reporter of this story to inform her that there was another candidate in the race, whom she omitted, and that he should be mentioned.

The main argument that the Corporate Feudalist media uses in omitting reference to parties such as the Libertarian Party is that they are incapable of forming government. However, I pointed out that since it’s a byelection, and given the current electoral representation, the election of only two candidates can affect which party will be the governing party, and the Libertarian party candidate is just as relevant as the other two of four candidates who were listed.

As far as voting goes, I don’t vote for a party just because they claim to be libertarian or pro-freedom, as I demonstrated with my article, Why I’m not voting for the Ontario Freedom Party in this 2011 provincial election.

For more on why I include the Record in my designation of “Corporate Feudalist media”, listen to my interview with Dennis Marker, author of Fifteen Steps to Corporate Feudalism: How the Rich Convinced America’s Middle Class to Eliminate Itself.

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taxes

It is common in libertarian circles to hear the blanket catchphrase, “taxation is theft.”

It is completely untrue, of course, since indirect taxation isn’t theft, since you are voluntarily choosing to pay the tax by freely choosing to buy a product, in the case of retail sales taxes.

This blanket statement is an example of one of the mantras of keyboard commandos on libertarian blogs, like the derision of “fiat money,” in reference to money not backed by gold or silver, despite fiat money meaning money issued by the sovereign, which also includes gold and silver coins issued by the government.

While I have sympathy for the argument that taxation is theft if you are a voluntaryist, that criticism is mitigated by evidence that, taken as a whole, could be construed as evidence of the person’s consent.

I’m referring to the use of a birth certificate, a Social Security Number, a driver’s license, government-issued currency, and voting.

A birth certificate is government-issued evidence of a birth, but if you are using it for your identification, you are recognizing the authority of the government, which is unnecessary, and totally voluntary.

A Social Security Number is a tricky matter, since regardless of the constitutionality of the personal federal income tax, if the mafia tells you to pay up or else, I don’t advise you to tell them to take a hike, as there could be — and usually are — serious consequences. This is certainly the case with not paying your personal federal income taxes, as Ed and Elaine Brown of New Hampshire found out the hard way.

But if you’re using your SSN as optional identification or not going out of your way to legally minimize your tax bill as much as possible, then I construe that as part of the evidence of your consent to be governed.

A driver’s license is necessary to drive a vehicle, but not necessary to travel in a car without transporting anyone for a fee. The proof of this is that no lawyer in the United States will say that you don’t have a common law right of travel. Practicality is another matter, as you are certainly likely to get repeatedly stopped by the police for traveling without a license plate, but it’s perfectly legal, and Steve Jobs did it, showing that it’s not just for a Freeman.

If you live in a big city and choose to drive with a license, then I consider that as evidence of your lack of seriousness in thinking that all taxation is theft, as you are directly paying licensing fees and indirect gas taxes, all without the excuse of necessity or practical necessity, which would have some credibility if you are living in a small town with no, or wholly inadequate, public transit.

Federal Reserve Notes and bank credit aren’t government-issued currency, but government-issued coins are, and since they represent such a miniscule portion of the money supply, they can be avoided by truly principled opponents of taxation, and private charities could certainly use the money.

If you vote, then I consider that to be direct evidence of your consent to be governed, and the U.S. system of government isn’t a democracy, and, therefore, you don’t get to vote on every issue, but instead, you elect representatives who vote on your behalf, and if they vote to levy a direct tax on you, then you are consenting to it, unless you subsequently produce strong evidence against it and stop voting for would-be representatives.

The basic question is, what are you really doing to buck the system you purport to be against if you truly regard taxation as theft? There aren’t many who say taxation is theft and really do something about it, and hence my designation of them as the “taxation as theft” blowhards.

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Arms of Canada

From the elections.ca Handbook for Nomination Contestants, Their Financial Agents and Auditors:

Contribution limits

Any individual who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada may make these contributions:

up to $1,000 in total in any calendar year to a particular registered party
up to $1,000 in total in any calendar year to the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of a particular registered party
up to $1,000 in total to a candidate for a particular election who does not represent a registered political party
up to $1,000 in total to the contestants in a particular leadership contest
[405(1)]

Yet, when it comes to voting requirements, you have to be a Canadian citizen:

You are entitled to vote in federal elections and referendums if you are a Canadian citizen, and will be 18 or older on polling day.

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