The Creative Crockpot of Christopher Olson

Political Rants

The BC Conundrum

It was about two weeks ago, right in the middle of the provincial election that is being decided today, that my wife made an observation to me while driving.

“Where are all the lawn signs? The election has started right?”

And wow, was she right. There are very few signs on people’s lawns this election. I have no statistics to back this up, but from a general feeling, it certainly seems there are fewer signs than previous elections. Yes, in public spaces, there are dozens of signs sprouting up like ugly fungus, ruining picturesque corners, and dangerously blocking sight-lines at intersections, like every other election. But on private property? Not so much.

And yet there’s no lack of passion for this election. People feel very strongly.

The problem is, no one supports anyone, they just hate the status quo. People aren’t clamoring for the policies and leadership of Adrian Dix, they’re just fleeing the current Liberal government.

BC is in a pretty awful predicament. Not satisfied by killing the HST, the populace is still looking for an outlet to take revenge on the government. Christy Clark’s campaign style leadership, is a jarring contrast to the governance style of Gordon Campbell, and it’s pretty clear it does not resonate with the electorate.

I’ve made no secret of my distaste of the tenure of Premier Clark and her poor governance. Anyone who takes away money from already starved basic services to give it to private charities should not be rewarded with a second term.

And her purposeful misclassification of tax incentives for the film industry as subsidies because it doesn’t fit her view of her family first platform is just straight infuriating. (Quick message Clark, you receive zero tax income from an industry that does not exist. Competing with other jurisdictions with tax INCENTIVES, will bring in tax revenue. You’re not actually spending any money Giving money to private charities – that’s a subsidy.)

The problem is there are no good options. The Green Party and its leader Jane Sterk are untested, and not even running a full slate of candidates. They have yet to break the public view that they are more than a one issue party.

The Conservative Party and John Cummins are marred by the poor optics of their federal cousins, it’s own internal struggles and ineptitude, and people’s fear of splitting the conservative vote and pushing the NDP into power. Not to mention some of the right wing social views held by (ex)candidates.

And then there’s the NDP, the only viable option for those enraged enough at the Liberals for people to sell out their province’s future.

People desperately want a change, and Adrian Dix is trying to sell them on change for the better. But looking at his platform, his promises of tax increases and spending, I’m highly doubtful his change is better.

And I don’t think it’s good for BC either. If your house is flooded, yes you want to change that situation. But change for change’s sake is not always the best idea. I would rather keep working on pumping out the basement, than to set my hosue on fire simply so at least things are different.

Here’s hoping for a minority government that doesn’t accomplish anything but get us new political leaders. 4 years of treading that flood water is certainly better than 4 years of watching the house burn.

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Difference Between Need & Desire

The Canadian Association of Police Chiefs recently renewed their call on the federal government to pass its controversial, (and possibly charter breaching), internet surveillance bill. Their argument is the tools provided will make them more able to fight cybercrime.

Association president, and Vancouver police chief Jim Chu is afraid that the bill will die on the order paper, leaving police with the requirement of a warrant to conduct wiretaps and internet surveillance.

Originally included in the first crime omnibus bill, Bill C-30 was removed due to the massive public backlash. Section 34 especially created a large controversy, with concerns that this would give not just police, but any government appointed agents unlimited power in eavesdropping on Canadians within the digital realm. ISP’s would be required to track their customers, and would have to hand over all information without need for a warrant, judicial oversight, or even the pre-tense of a criminal investigation.


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When “Bully” Isn’t A Strong Enough Word

The tragic story of Amanda Todd is long, and painful. The issues which her story brings up is so much more complex than our 24 hour news cycle media can ever hope to tackle, and so I highly recommend an article written by Lori O’Connell, which better illustrates the complexity of the issues of Cyber-bullying, and why bullying doesn’t convey a strong enough connotation for those who victimized Amanda Todd.

Please read, “The Misnomer of Cyber Bullying & the Tragic Story of Amanda Todd,” and get a bette sense at how much bigger this is than a simple  sound bite, or a useless debate in Parliament.

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Eyes Deep in a Current Project

It’s been pretty quiet the last two weeks on the creative side. I’ve been working on a DVD project that’s not yet  complete. I’m working towards putting together the curriculum for Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu as taught at Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu. Filming of the first two belt levels was completed a couple of weeks ago using 3 cameras, and I’m using Final Cut Pro X to put together 2 projects, one for each belt.  It’s a fairly straight forward project as this intention of this video is more as a reference guide, rather than a straight instructional video, and is targeted to students who have already seen the material in class. The supers are light, just indicating the names of the techniques, and I’m just providing a couple of angles for the techniques where it makes sense. All in all, a straight forward project.

I’ve also penned one article for the Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu blog, entitled, When Establishing Control, Grab Like You Mean It, which examines the important of a strong, intent driven grip when applying techniques in in training and in real world application.

On the provincial politics sides, I’m further worried that the recent infighting of the Conservative Party of BC as ruined my (admittedly far-fetched) dreams of a non-NDP party taking office next year. BC is financially doomed.

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BC Needs A New Party

In Canada provincial and federal parties of the same name don’t have very tight affiliations in most cases. They’re separate entities despite sharing names and often core values.

That being said, the BC Liberal party certainly seems to have something in common with the Federal Liberals in that they’ve brought about their own demise through scandal, mismanagement and arrogance. This had led to a crisis in BC, where Premiere Christy Clark is now facing a mass exodus of experienced MLA’s. This fleeing of the shrinking ship, (and the imagery of rats diving into water seems awfully appropriate while discussing politics,) is not only a disaster for the Premiere, but for British Columbians as well. (more…)

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The Conservatives Need A New Name

The Conservative Party of Canada is in need of some new branding. Not because they’re scandal plagued, or constantly making mistakes, more because I think their current name is grossly inaccurate. While the Tories have proven to be socially conservative, with back benchers lamenting gay rights and trying to open up the issue of a woman’s right to make choices about their own body,  they have failed to live up to the conservative moniker in their fiscal policy.

Fiscal conservatives believe in paying down the debt, working towards a balanced budget, and keeping expenditures and acquisitions in line. (more…)

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Toews Should Be Fired

I’m sitting around a boardroom table, talking with my fellow managers at my company. The staff of my department has drawn up a plan to help the company combat worker theft. I pitch this plan as a progressive and necessary way to deal with the very real threat of worker theft.

One of my colleagues pipes up.

“Look I have some concerns that this might be violating our workers privacy, it might be going to far, and might even be illegal.” (more…)

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Take Some Action – Don’t Just Whine

Section 34 of the recently introduced Online Surveillance bill allows government agents, (doesn’t have to be police), completely unfettered access to your online information through your internet service provider.

Don’t want to take my word for it? Then take Terry Milewski’s word for it. The longtime political reporter for the CBC has a great breakdown of the worst parts of the legislation here.

So what can you do? Without getting up and even leaving your computer, you can do the following:

  • EMAIL YOUR MP. The Parliament of Canada has a great website where you can easily find out your member of parliament’s contact details and send them an email. Find your MP now!
  • SIGN THE PETITION: Is writing an Email, or a letter too hard? Then sign an electronic petition. Go to, where you can sign the petition through a an easily filled form.
  • SHARE IT! Share this message through Twitter, FaceBook and Email. The more Canadians that get involved, the better the chance that the government will actually notice.

All of these things will take less than five minutes of your time.

If you stick your head in the sand, then the government will get away without whatever they want. When freedoms are given away, they are not easy to get back. A message needs to be send.

Come on Canada, make some noise.

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New Surveillance Bill May Breach Charter

CBC is reporting that the online surveillance bill may breach privacy law & the charter, according to critics and experts.

Cough cough. CALLED IT!

In fact, I beat the CBC by over a 24 hours.

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Big Brother Is Getting Bigger

Internet Privacy is back on the table again. And as per usual, it’s being rushed through the House of Commons, since the Conservatives would rather not have the public pay too much attention to what they’re up to.

In fact, in announcing that they were introducing the new laws which would allow law enforcement to demand sensitive and identifying information from ISP’s without a warrant, the Conservatives launched the first salvo saying if you opposed the bill you’re on the side of child pornographers.

Really. So almost every provincial privacy commissioner, along with the federal privacy commissioner, whom have raised grave concerns over the looming legislation, are on the side of child pornographers. Every Canadian who thinks that the government shouldn’t be snooping through their internet packets without justifiable cause, is on the side of those who victimize and exploit the most vulnerable. Really. Wow. That’s a pretty big blanket statement. (more…)

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