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Submission WEST AND AYERS-0081 (Online)

Submission By John Allen West and Virginia Ayers
AddressNew Westminster, B.C.,
CategoryCitizens' Assembly process
The Assembly should hear presentations in plenary session and should be chaired by a randomly appointed chairperson.  Members of the Assembly who do not think there should be electoral change should surrender their seats. [3 pages]

Submission Content
[This submission can be read in its original format on the web at: ]

Towards Individual and Collective Enlightenment & The Harmonious Leisure State Through Electoral Evolution and Honourable Settlement.

Submission #3 to the Citizens' Assembly
January 26, 2004

Dear Chairperson, Mr. Blaney, Doctors Carty and Sharman, Members of the Assembly, staff, and interested people generally:

Please bear with me whilst I address myself in a personal way to Dr. Blaney.

I am doing this in this rather public way with Dr. Blaney's encouragement, he being indubitably a sport. We had the start of this conversation at the Wosk Centre Sunday 25th, January 04.

Dear Jack, I guess it is all a matter of having or not having personal principles, and integrity. To speak to you privately and publicly in this manner is a privilege and one which I will do my best honor. To be honest - I was quite ticked-off as I know you were with me for pursuing you for substantial understandings, so I feel I have to pin you down a bit. This is the third draft of this letter - and cooled down considerably from my earlier ones.

My skin is white but my heart is red. The white man (and now I see myself as brown, “poor boy went Native”) - the white man speaks often with a split tongue because he has a split mind. He will never find peace or balance and security as long as he ignores the spiritual, tribal and cultural ideals of our hosts - the First Nations People. These ideals are all too often obscured from public understanding. I consider myself a  seeker of truth and a lover of wisdom. Fortunately for me I had brain damage at fourteen, by some accounts, so I was too out-to-lunch trying to discover how the world worked for my simple self, that I got to miss most of the classes where they teach you how to hornswaggle the people with high-sounding mumbo-jumbo. That is Professionalism or the way to make money immorally but legally from the mugs less well-lettered. What George Bernard Shaw called “Conspiracies against the Laity”.

This system, based on a hegemony of one, large extended family given to conspicuous consumption, which is in total control of the world's money, and ensures a cradle-to-grave debt and economic enslavement for the commons. The system is designed to keep the farmers, the productive workers and peasantry in their proper place, that is, fighting each other for the symbols of material success - which is a long way from the back room deals of the Greed Heads, those confused and fearful Creator's children like many of us on this Mother Planet under our Father Sun altogether in the same Soup or Surface Chemistry if you like. The very rich are more to be pitied than blamed - most of them - are worth more to many people dead than alive, so that many of the wealthy live squirreled away in mortal fear. Very Sad.

But it is this overwhelming fear that they will lose what they have, and often these are not well gotten Gains and therefore carry guilt. Consider what the results were when the Elector of the Duchy of Hessian made a dirty fortune by not paying the merceneries King George bought to fill out the British Army to police the Colonies of America. This resulted from the very sensible commons movement, The Lollards, who refused to go to fight in overseas Colonial Wars, which are always the result of investors following pirate adventurers.

Negative projection onto the future is the source of all anxiety and fear. Fear is also a result of an inadequate comprehension or love of the forces that create the individual. Fear is promulgated on all sides by those who would sustain the current, utterly corupted Satus Quo. You are right, Jack. I do talk a lot. I'm born a Bard, a Fluid Druid, which is not a religion, by the way; it is the practice of intelligent choice-making, eclectic philosophy. If there is a practical good idea out there, check it out - then adopt it. It is also a very good practice to acknowlege the source(s).

During our discussion last saturday 24th you gave me a verbal assurance - a man-to-man undertaking - that Oral Presentations would be heard before the Plenary Body in September, following public interest being shown at 42 local assemblies to be held around the province. In that chat we had, you will also recall my expressed disappointment with the set-in-concrete Program Schedule designed in your office with minimal, if any, input from assembly members. This is autocracy, control and enforcement of an educative process designed to waste the precious , and - might I add, as a taxpayer - the expensive time of the Assembly in plenary session. This educative process - while a product of the misapplied random selection process - will require some coaching in a few cases. It is an insult to the intelligence of the wider public. This Assembly is a sample of the voting Public. They are long-suffering - as are all Canadians - but not fools. Why not start out by asking for their common sense and probably very insightful ideas for the Future of Elections and start from there. Abandon this educative, locked-in agenda. You may dumb down a few, but to insist on this entirely academically-driven agenda is to reveal yourself as a paid political functionary, right along with Mr. Gibson - with his fat paycheck and the not-so smart purpose to make this style of assembly fail - so that the franchised, professional power-grabbers can continue to gather at the trough and sustain their mindless political parties.
What you did Sunday, is in my view, hardly forgivable. It was to further try to block the path to the possibility of Consensus for electoral reform. Without so much as a bye-your-leave of the Assembly you raise the question whether Oral Presentations should ever be heard by The Assembly in plenary session. What utter nonsense. What else is the purpose? To give Dr. Carty the opportunity to prove before a large audience that he really can talk the hind leg off a donkey?

I have raised public protests from the very start of this process, particularly about the way, by means of the public misuse of Orders in Council, Mr. Gordon Gibson - who is every extra inch a Liberal - having been the leader of the  party at one point in the past - is given the job at $1200-a-day to quite literally bend out of shape a particular system for Electoral Reform, namely, the BC NOTA electoral option – an idea which I shared freely with the Chief Electoral Officer. Mr. Gibson did this make-over to suit the purposes of this current Liberal Cabinet - specifically to head off those of us who are able, because of years of experience and observation, to conceptualise practical, intelligent electoral reform. For those of you who who are unfamiliar with the Elections Act - it is already the well- paid job of the Chief Elections officer to make recommendations with help of an all-party committee for Changes in Electoral Processes. As a social activist I have been pushing hard to get these civil servants to do their jobs.

All of the above is respectfully offered for your serious consideration.

Yours in the love of knowledge and Truth
Rev. Bro. John Allen West

"To ignorants obdurde, quhair wilfull errour lyis
Nor sit to curious folks quhilks carping does deject thee
Nor sit to learned men, quha thinks thame onlie wyls,
But to the docile bairns of knowledge I direct thee.” - King James 1, King of Scotland


Dear Doctor Blaney,

Following several fruitless efforts to communicate with you on substantive issues concerning your chairmanship of the Assembly, I am writing this letter to you in the style of constructive criticism and making it available to your Citizens' Assembly - or at least those members who make regular use of your Website - and the wider public.

I have been present as an observer over two weekends and I have been deeply disturbed by the style and manner in which a back-room agenda has been forced on these volunteer members of the randomly selected Assembly. We all agree that an Assembly, especially one engaged in the evolution of the Electoral Process, has to show respect for the hand that feeds it, to each other, and to those who are hired to assist the process. However, as a grandfather and member of the general public, I feel obliged to blow the whistle long and hard, to ensure that you and your academic sidekicks are prevented from usurping our brains and hyjacking the peoples' legitimate opportunity to evolve our reform of political processes, which is clearly the will of the people of this Province.

In regard to that I would put it to any member of this assembly,who for what ever reason is firmly convinced that no changes in the Electoral System are required, should do the ethical thing and surrender their seat. This has to be a positive Process. It should not be hard to find replacements with open minds.

The current pantomime must stop, masquerading as it does as an educative process. Lengthy sermons and pontifications which skirt and avoid serious alternatives to adversarial, combatative professional politicians and all the endless corruptions, dirty tricks and outright thefts that the current structure tolerates, serve no purpose. There is an Elephant in the room and it is called Common Sense. Acknowledge it.

If the Assembly is to be anything more than a fly speck on history, Dr. Carty's and Dr. Sharman's rhetorical, meandering bafflegab must be restrained. To be kind to you gentlemen – because I do find you personally very fine people - your inside-the-box thinking and palaver may be sufficient to keep you employed in the ivory towers, but your lack of conceptual coherency brings into question the whole intellectual legitimacy of what is called Political Science. What exactly has been achieved by your “This way, That Way-ing”. You should know your oft repeated joke: “I'm sure that is as clear as mud” - is no joke.

In the real world, outside of the walled elitism of the Universities - outside the cozy blinkered box of tenure, stipends, sabbaticals and the other perks, the people, your people, are sorely opressed. People are suffering. What has political science ever done to prevent the slide into partisan idiotocracy. What right do you have to impose your hidden agendas on this Assembly, to impose agendas with a particularized purpose - and that purpose is specifically to ensure the failure of this type of Assembly to reach accord or consensus? Have either of you two experts attempted to invent a system that might answer our needs for intelligent electoral restructure? If you have not, then move over and let the peasants have a go. What is needed is a bloodless coup, a velvet revolution. What is needed is a bit of MF (moral fortitude), trust in the Great Sprit, and self respect. We freethinkers who have dedicated years of our lives to bring about Electoral reform, to promote a return to good management of collective affairs - we are being shunted to the sidelines. Every indication is that the Assembly is set on the course of self-destruction by a Liberal Party agenda fronted by the Appointed Chairman.

What about a Randomly appointed chairperson each day, and an agenda and time table decided upon by the Assembly? Or do the latter-day aristocrats not trust the Assembly's collective commonsense to manage the affairs of their meeting. Do they fear the emergence of natural leaders? Bah! Humbug, Jack. Move aside and drop the feather.

It might a good idea to “smudge” the place with Sage and Sweetgrass before we go much further.

Peace. John

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