5 posts categorized "gift ideas"

October 15, 2008

Peterborough: Possibility City

"I'm so disappointed in Peterborough. Now I remember why I ran away when I was 16."
- A Peterborough voter commenting on the election results, quoted in today's Peterborough Examiner.

I believe in Peterborough and its potential to become something more. This is what I think about when I think about Peterborough and its potential.

Peterborough, the ethical city; Peterborough, the just city; Peterborough, the visionary city; Peterborough, the creative city; Peterborough, the innovative city; Peterborough, the eco-city; Peterborough, the multicultural city; Peterborough, the all-ages city; Peterborough, the hate-free city; Peterborough, the bullying-free city; Peterborough, the no-one-goes-hungry city; Peterborough, the barrier-free city; Peterborough, the entrepreneurial city; Peterborough, the healthy city; Peterborough, the active city; Peterborough, the sustainable city; Peterborough, the local foodbasket city; Peterborough, the welcoming city; Peterborough, the politically engaged city; Peterborough, the public spaces city; Peterborough, the indie media city, Peterborough, possibility city.

A lot of people are working towards these various ends.

And not all progress has to come through political channels.

We can take a two-tiered approach to working for change in our communities:

1. Add your voice to the loud chorus of Canadians insisting on democratic reform now;
2. Work for change through all channels available to you as a citizen.

Don't give in to cynicism or apathy. Let frustration fuel your resolve to work for change.

September 30, 2008

Strategic Voting in Peterborough Riding

Whatever your reason may be for seeking political change -- a desire for change at the Federal level or here in Peterborough Riding -- according to election analysts (see links below), there is only one candidate who has the potential to defeat our Conservative Member of Parliament Dean Del Mastro on election night. That candidate is Betsy McGregor, the federal Liberal Candidate for Peterborough Riding.

Before we go any further, let me state that I think that any of the three progressive candidates running in Peterborough county would make an excellent Member of Parliament: Emily Berrigan (Green Party of Canada), Betsy McGregor (Liberal), or Steve Sharpe (NDP). The problem is that if we split the approximately 65% of the vote that will likely go to the three progressive parties in our riding, Dean Del Mastro will win because he will receive approximately 35% of the vote. It's a dilemma that Canadians across our country are grappling with at the riding level: how to prevent the very non-mainstream minority from holding on to control of our country and carrying out an agenda that is anti-progressive and (many of us would argue) anti-Canadian as well. (Read my reasons for launching this blog in December 2006 and you'll see that I've been deeply concerned about this government, our MP, and Canada for a very long time.) This is where strategic voting comes into play.

Making the decision to vote strategically may be something entirely new to you, particularly if you have a long association with or a passionate commitment to a particular party. (You may want to read tonight's Peterborough Examiner to find out why peace activist and much-loved former physician Joyce Barrett -- a long-time NDP supporter -- has chosen to vote strategically in this election and rally behind Betsy McGregor. "I wept when Dean (Del Mastro) was elected in 2006," she told The Examiner.")

The idea of strategic voting is certainly something alien for me, too. Or it was until I started listening in on the thoughtful discussions of everyday Canadians like you and me and hearing how passionate they were about preventing a Conservative majority government -- and of allowing themselves to dream of a time when we might actually have a progressive government in power in Canada again.

Uniting the left is the only way to begin the process of unseating the Harper government. By going after the Conservatives in those ridings where they are most vulnerable -- in ridings like Peterborough where the race is going to be close -- we have a chance to end up with one more progressive voice on Parliament Hill. That person will not be a voice for any one party. That person will be a voice for all people in our riding who hope for a more progressive future for this riding.

As Liberal Party MP Michael Ignatieff stated earlier this week:

"What separates us from the Conservatives is that we believe you can’t have an efficient economy without a just society.

"A just society — where every citizen is equal; where we succeed together, because we look after each other; where no Canadian goes to the wall when times are tough; where no Canadian has to walk the lonely road of poverty or ill health alone.

"A market economy demands a just and equal society.  You can’t have an efficient economy, without a just and equal society. This is the key idea behind Canadian liberalism [and progressive Canadians in general, I would argue.]

"That’s not Harper’s Canada."

And speaking of inspiring politicians, here's what Elizabeth May had to say on the subject of strategic voting a few days ago:

The Green, Liberal and New Democratic parties should prevent vote-splitting that would favour Conservatives, and carve up electoral ridings according to who has the best chance of winning, May said. "We sit down and say, `Who has the best chance of winning in all these ridings?' What I've been calling for is proportional representation by other means."

Here are some resources you may wish to consult as you begin to consider whether voting strategically is the right move for you. I will continue to add to this list during the days ahead. You may also wish to use the voting tool in the upper-right hand corner of this blog. It tells you which candidate is considered Peterborough Riding's best bet for electing a progressive candidate.

Note: The tool is updated on a continuous basis as polling data changes.

Strategic voting resources and tools:




DemocraticSPACE: Strategic Voting Guide

Backgrounder 7: Strategic Voting

May 12, 2007

What the Mom Working at WalMart Really Wants for Mother's Day

Woman14 leading women's groups in the U.S. have joined with WakeupWalmart.com to launch the
Moms Deserve Better Than Wal-Mart Campaign.

Here's the campaign pledge:

I, _____________, pledge not to buy a Mother's Day gift from Wal-Mart unless Wal-Mart promises to pay a living wage, provide affordable health care, and end its anti-family policies that hurt all women, especially moms, who work at Wal-Mart.
This year, until Wal-Mart changes for the better, I promise to
"Love Mom, Not Wal-Mart"

Christian Science Monitor Review of The Wal-Mart Effect by Fast Company Editor Charles Fishman: "Today, when Wal-Mart negotiates with suppliers, it tends to get its way. The firm has an obsession, Fishman reports, 'almost a corporate fetish' with the kind of cost- and price-cutting that have made Wal-Mart a consumer magnet....Dangling the prospect of volume sales, it essentially gets companies hooked....Wal-mart is perhaps a perfect fit for the culture that spawned it - one that simultaneously values frugality and loves to consume."

WalMart Watch: "Our mission is to persuade Wal-Mart to assume its leadership role as America's largest corporation and enact positive change."

January 26, 2007

Think Green on Valentine's Day

Noway_1Valentine's Day is just a little over two weeks' away, so this might not be a bad time to let your Valentine know that it would be okay to skip the over-hyped and over-packaged Valentine's merchandise in favor of something a little more meaningful and a whole lot less expensive: perhaps dinner out at your favorite local restaurant, a treasure from your favorite second-hand store, a donation to a publication or project or cause or charity that makes his/her heart beat faster, or simply the gift of spending time together. Of course, this assumes that you and your beloved are on the same wavelength when it comes to environmental issues. But then again, if Mr. or Ms. So-Called Right couldn't care less about environmental issues, he or she may not even be your Valentine by Valentine's Day.

Love, Factually
The Green Guide: Have a Heart -- How to Have a Valentine's Day with a Conscience
A Not So Golden Gift for Valentine's Day
Activists Target Chocolate, Gold on Valentine's Day

December 18, 2006

Gifts for People Who Want to Change the World

Al Gore's video An Inconvenient Truth.

A subscription to a magazine that supports a cause he or she believes in (see this list for some initial inspiration).

A membership in an association that is making a difference in the world or in your own backyard.

Books that talk about the power of possibility and the difference one person can make in the world (this bookstore in Vermont has some interesting picks).

Fair-trade goods (Canadian or American) or goods that help to raise funds for a charity.

The Mothers Acting Up calendar.

Make a donation through Just Give.org or buy a Canada Helps.org Gift Card.

Treasures you've unearthed in a second-hand bookstore, an antique store, or maybe even your own basement. Who says second-hand is second-best? (Some of my favorite things have been pre-owned and pre-loved by other people.)

One of these ideas from Buy Nothing Day's Guide to an Alternative Christmas.

The gift of your time.

Original Comments from Blogger:


April Reign (aka Debra) said...
Don't forget livestock!


December 18, 2006 3:31 PM
Ann D said...
That's a great addition, April. My church bought a cow for an orphanage in the Hondoras. They hope to buy another cow each year as part of their project withFriends of Honduran Children. (They're also building a home for orphans.)

December 18, 2006 6:14 PM