Out of context, period.

A political commentary

brave

Luke 13:25-27

Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, ʻPOTUS, let us in!ʼ But he will answer you, ʻI donʼt know where you come from.ʼ 26 Then you will begin to say, ʻWe consumed and voted in your presence, and you trumped in our streets.ʼ 27 But he will reply, ʻI donʼt know where you come from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!ʼ

Aus dem Zusammenhang gerissen (ein politischer Kommentar):

Lukas 13:25-27

Von dem an, wenn der Hauswirt aufgestanden ist und die Tür verschlossen hat, da werdet ihr dann anfangen draußen zu stehen und an die Tür klopfen und sagen: PRÄSIDENT, tu uns auf! Und er wird antworten und zu euch sagen: Ich kenne euch nicht, wo ihr her seid? 26 So werdet ihr dann anfangen zu sagen: Wir haben vor dir konsumiert und gewählt, und auf den Gassen hast du uns gelehrt. 27 Und er wird sagen: Ich sage euch: Ich kenne euch nicht, wo ihr her seid; weichet alle von mir, ihr Übeltäter.

Ecopop Initiative – neue Textfassung

Die Ecopop Initiative ist zur Zeit in der Beratung durch die schweizerische Legislative. Es gibt viele Argumente für und gegen die verschiedenen Anliegen im Initiativtext. In der folgenden Fassung werden diese Anliegen noch deutlicher, und weniger restriktiv, vorgelegt.

Ein Grundgesetz soll meiner Meinung nach in erster Linie wahrhaftig sein und die enthaltenen Anliegen direkt ansprechen. Das Grundgesetz soll einen Gesetzesraum ermöglichen und nicht das Leben der Menschen einschränken.

Rappi

Initiativtext

Die Ecopop-Volksinitiative «Stopp der Überbevölkerung – zur Sicherung der natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen» stellt, gestützt auf Art. 34, 136, 139 und 194 der Bundesverfassung und nach dem Bundesgesetz vom 17. Dezember 1976 über die politischen Rechte, Art. 68ff, folgendes Begehren:

I    Die Bundesverfassung wird wie folgt geändert:

Art. 73a (neu) Bevölkerungszahl

1 Der Bund strebt auf dem Gebiet der Schweiz eine Einwohnerzahl auf einem Niveau an, auf dem die natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen dauerhaft sichergestellt sind. Er unterstützt dieses Ziel auch in anderen Ländern, namentlich im Rahmen einer globalen Debatte um die Grenzen des Wachstums und der Ausbeutung der natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen.

2 Die ständige Wohnbevölkerung in der Schweiz soll im dreijährigen Durchschnitt um maximal 0,2 Prozent pro Jahr wachsen.

3 Der Bund investiert mindestens 10 Prozent seiner in die Wirtschaftsförderung fliessenden Mittel in Massnahmen zur Förderung der Fortpflanzungsfähigkeit und –willigkeit der traditionsbewussten Schweizer und Schweizerinnen. Continue reading “Ecopop Initiative – neue Textfassung”

Is perpetual direct democracy good for your health?

A friend of mine, Ion Delsol, operates a website – pasifik.ca – to support a vision of perpetual direct democracy. One of the experimental features is a section called “Now Polling” that is used to assess the will of the people on an ongoing basis. It is Ion’s firm belief that democracy should happen more often than on election day every four years. To read about Ion’s vision, visit this link: Perpetual Direct Democracy (available in Spanish as well).

I was recently asked by Ion to share my views and experiences of the health care system in British Columbia and Canada. The discussion started with a critique of the current health care system. It continued to consider more fundamental factors than bigger and better machines and shorter wait times: Social determinants of health. Income equality, social justice, and political empowerment will make people healthier.

Ion taped and edited the conversation and it will be broadcast on the community cable channel in British Columbia. The interview is also available online on pasifik.ca and YouTube:

Determinants of Health – Part 1

Determinants of Health – Part 2

Determinants of Health – Part 3

Determinants of Health – Part 4

Valuing democracy – playing by the rules

I was asked to contribute to the ongoing consultation process for the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan. Here are my thoughts:

Image
Monolith Mountain in the Tombstone Territorial Park. A protected natural space in the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in traditional territory adjacent to the Peel River watershed.

Feedback Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan Consultation

My personal opinion is that the Peel River region has sufficient natural value to be designated as a whole (=100%) a protected area similar to a National Park. However, I see that various stakeholders have an interest in accessing some resources in the Peel River watershed:

For First Nations it is an area for subsistence, primarily fishing, but also hunting, berry picking and the collection of other plant materials for medicinal uses. As the representatives of a colonial power, the Yukon Government also has to realize that the Peel River watershed has spiritual values to the indigenous people of that area, the people that have lived on the land for centuries, that live on the land today, and the ones yet-to-come. This land is part of the people – a concept that is hard to grasp for us Westerners who have developed property rights, buy and sell real estate like a commodity, with no emotional or spiritual attachment, and see us as enlightened beings separate from the natural world.

Continue reading “Valuing democracy – playing by the rules”

A Better Yukon for All – the governmental strategy for social inclusion and poverty reduction

A critical review by Othmar F. Arnold

(All mentioned documents are linked directly to the original source.)

The preamble to the new strategy document outlines very nicely what a better Yukon for all means: “A socially inclusive society is one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live with dignity. It is a society where everyone has the opportunity to participate and to have their voice heard.’ (p. 8) And it continues with deep insight about social exclusion: it “is the result of barriers in the social, economic, political and cultural systems” (p. 8).

In the introduction, the scope of the strategy is presented as a guideline to social policy development; or in other words, how government will facilitate a way of meaningfully living together. From the research the government conducted, it concluded that service delivery and access to services appear the main reasons for the fact that some people in the Yukon do not feel included. Furthermore, “poverty is one of the most obvious factors contributing to social exclusion, but social exclusion also stems from and is exacerbated by inadequate education, housing, health, social participation, employment and access to services (p. 8)”.

Continue reading “A Better Yukon for All – the governmental strategy for social inclusion and poverty reduction”

A Better Yukon for All – a new strategy paper

The Government of Yukon has recently released its long-awaited

Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Strategy

It has been in the works for a while and there were several delays in releasing the document. But I am glad that it has finally seen the light. The entire strategy document can be downloaded from the following page: A Better Yukon. On the same page, the government released the 2010 background research report: Dimensions of Social Inclusion and Exclusion.

A socially inclusive society is one where all people feel valued, differences are respected and basic needs are met so they can live with dignity. Barriers in social, economic, political and cultural systems can prevent people from being part of their community. Everyone is affected by social exclusion and poverty, and everyone plays a role in finding solutions.

Vision

A Yukon where social exclusion and poverty are eliminated, diversity is celebrated, and all Yukoners have the opportunity to prosper and participate to their full potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

The strategy document provides guiding principles, goals, and a commitment to measure success.

Evidence of Homelessness in Whitehorse: abandoned camp along the Yukon River
Evidence of Homelessness in Whitehorse: abandoned camp along the Yukon River

Continue reading “A Better Yukon for All – a new strategy paper”

A sorry state – the loss of democracy (+de)

A Sorry State (für eine deutsche Teilübersetzung klicke hier: Ein leider Zustand)

Last week, the Available Light Cinema film series in Whitehorse screened the new documentary by local director Mitch Miyagawa with the catchy title “A Sorry State”. Indeed, much of what we read in the news about politics, be it at the level of the territorial government, the federal government, or many national governments around the world, supports the impression that this world is in a sorry state.

But do not fear: I am not going to write a lament about our current political situation. I’ll leave that for other writers in local newspapers that dared to describe our cage-fighting MP a sock puppet of the Prime Minister… (Yukon News)

The sorry state in Miyagawa’s film refers to the various apologies his extended family has received over the last decade from the government of Canada for political wrongs of its colonial history: Continue reading “A sorry state – the loss of democracy (+de)”

Experiments in living – to govern or not to govern

Experiments in living – multicultural lichen colony with a funny face on Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut.

Today, I got drawn into an online conversation. It started with the following blog entry: Experiments in Living and its subsequent exchange of replies that eventually touched on the issue of need and structure of government. From the exchange I got the sense that government seems to be categorically opposite to the notion of liberty, as well as that certain national governments are being viewed as completely separate from and in opposition to the population. For me the latter seems peculiar and indicates a fundamental flaw of existing government structures. I have posted earlier some of my own thoughts about governance under the heading leadership and power – not authoritarian rule and legalized force.

 

Here I will share with you my reply to the above-mentioned online dialogue:

Dear Malcolm,

I am not sure if smaller government is my preferred vision in general.

Continue reading “Experiments in living – to govern or not to govern”