An election is a good time to put people first

In Canada, we have a federal election this October. We are already seeing the two faces of the right-wing party that is currently in power. Between elections they reduce democracy and environmental efforts, by making life better for big corporations and more difficult for hard-working people. Then, during elections, they throw families a few bones, try to sound like they care, and make fun of an opposing leader’s hair.

The current party has also cynically and ruthlessly called an early start to the election, knowing their business-friendly advertising coffers are more full than the other two parties. If this plays the way they hope, even if they get a minority government they’ll be in a strong position due to money, not policies or caring about Canadians.

Defeating this right-wing party is not about this being time for a change in general, but being very specifically a time when people are waking up to this unfair, winner-take-all economy (and the politics that are making it worse, not better for people).

We need candidates who become active voices in parliament – not silent servants of the prime minister – who demonstrate through progressive legislation that they care about people.

For Canada, this means voting either Liberal or NDP, and when possible, avoiding vote-splitting (where more votes go to a Conservative candidate than the total of Liberal and NDP votes in a given riding). You can help prevent this by signing up at, who will send you information about opportunities to prevent vote-splitting in your riding.

You can also get riding information to prevent vote-splitting at They provide information on your riding’s voting counts in the previous federal election.

A good time to put people first is now – in our homes, in our communities, in our businesses, and especially in our elections. People matter most.

Growing Pains as we wrap up the Era of Business-is-King

Here in London, Ontario there was a long (2 month) labour strike, as members of CUPE Local 101 struggled to resist the City managers’ attempts to micro-manage and excessively control their work, benefits and promotions. (

It is sad and frustrating to see the City managers being such bullies, and trying to grab more and more control from their employees. They don’t yet understand that the business-is-king era is coming to a close, and that community and shared participation are coming into focus. While money is important, people and quality of life need to be shown as being more important.

Here in London we are seeing how wrong things go when managers try to take excessive control and employees try to stand up for quality of life. Even here are old-school managers still trying to keep employees under their thumbs instead of opening their hands to cooperation and shared efforts. They are dinosaurs – hoping to be even bigger dinosaurs, and don’t want to recognize that the meteors of social change are impacting people around the world.

While the strike was finally settled, the mayor (Matt Brown) and the city councilors were silent during the strike, supposedly to not interfere with how the strike was resolved. But in actuality, the people of London need these municipal leaders (many of them fresh to city hall) to be vocal in encouraging city decisions to value hard-working people and to talk-up the importance of community.

As a side-note, Mayor Brown is great about appearing at community events and looks very chipper and friendly in photos (Mr Brown is in red, from his Facebook page). Sorry, that is no longer sufficient, and I hope that the mayor and councilors do some real soul-searching and reading about the economic inequality ruining lives.

Strike-wise, the City of London did finally rescind their demand that the employees work on Sunday, which they could not prove was needed. But the inside workers still accepted working 6 days a week, and getting a pittance of a raise.

It was sad to see how, right here in our our city, managers continue to overstep what is reasonable in this new era.

Even worse, many Londoners voiced the “we suffer so they should suffer too” mantra, saying that the inside workers had it better than they did so they shouldn’t complain about being treated poorly. That type of race-for-the-bottom mindset is terrible and sad to hear, and it plays right into the hands of big corporations who are increasing their wealth thanks to increased productivity, even as they cut wages and convert full-time work into temp work without benefits. 

How are we going to make the world better for people if we aren’t working together, respecting shared goals and community?

Robert Reich – A great source of economic and social insights

 Robert Reich understood the problems with our economy years ago, and works tirelessly to educate people and inspire economic change.

Here’s an excellent video outlining the 3 Big Lies (Myths) that prevent hard working people from getting a fair share of the world’s growing prosperity. Once you understand these 3 myths you will notice them being repeated in the media and hear them repeated by politicians under the influence of the rich.


Let’s find ways at work to share decision-making, good efforts and prosperity

People are important, and employees are vital contributors to our businesses.

So let’s find ways to include their input, their participation and their ideas.

Let’s stop trying to micro-manage and control employees, and instead find ways to cooperate and share goals, decision-making, good efforts and prosperity.


Helping what-we-know become what-we-have

The more we know of life and successful organizations, the more we realize how much people matter.

We need changes – in our lives, economy and governments – that reflect what we know, and show that people matter more.

(painting by Pavel Guzenko