SocialCoin – The Socially Responsible Alternative to Bitcoin

 I am placing this concept in the public domain for anyone with the necessary technical skills to create the structures and necessary algorithms to implement it.

Wikipedia provides an extensive section on Bitcoin and in particular Bitcoin mining.

Essentially Bitcoin is created by an energy wasting computer process they call mining. The value (profit) is based on “proof of work” provided by the computer process and not by any product mined, as no product is produced in so-called Bitcoin mining. A computer algorithm determines the amount of value (profit) that accrues to the Bitcoin “miners:

So how does SocialCoin work. Mining SocialCoin involves utilizing energy, resources and labour to create social housing, But based on the Bitcoin model the value (profit) is not produced by the product created, so the housing created can be given freely to public or non-profit housing agencies, housing co-ops or directly to those needing housing. Like Bitcoin, the product created is irrelevant to the creation of SocialCoin. Like Bitcoin the value (profit) derived from mining SocialCoin is based on the work done and derived by a computer algorithm and accrues to the SocialCoin “miners”.

I challenge any economist to demonstrate that this concept is not as feasible as Bitcoin.


Can Proportional Representation Save Our Parliamentary Democracy

           Parliament - Etymology

The English term is derived from Anglo-Norman and dates to the 14th century, coming from the 11th century Old French parlement, "discussion, discourse", from parler, meaning "to talk".[2] The meaning evolved over time, originally referring to any discussion, conversation, or negotiation through various kinds of deliberative or judicial groups, often summoned by a monarch. By the 15th century, in Britain, it had come to specifically mean the legislature.[3]   Source:Wikipedia

The very essence of our Parliamentary system is talking, and more importantly listening, and debating and elected representatives actually changing their opinions. Parliament and the provincial legislatures is where policy and laws are supposed to be made.

We have let our system become one where policies are made by political spin doctors designed not for the good of the people but for the purpose of winning the most votes. Individual Members (MPs and MPPs) have become meaningless with all the emphasis on the parties and particularly the leaders.

We have this situation because we have a system where a party can win a majority of seats with a minority of votes and where party leaders, particularly leaders of the governing party, have almost absolute control of their parties making individual Members nearly irrelevant.

Supporters of our current system like to claim a Proportionate Representation electoral system would give fringe parties excessive power, But what it would really do is give individual MPs or MPPs power. One party and one leader would no longer have absolute power but the elected Members would have to work together to build consensus, meaning individual Members would actually matter.

The one benefit of the current First Past The Post/Single Member Plurality (FPTP/SMP) system is that we elect local constituency representatives. We can still have that with a Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system with the addition of extra Members to align the membership of the legislature with the votes by party overall. Everybody’s vote would count even if you lived in a constituency were the party you support has no chance of winning. Your vote would still count and you would still be represented., Indeed you would actually have a reason to vote.

We could actually have a system where the elected Members govern and we do not simply elect a dictator (usually with a minority of votes) every four years.

For a more comprehensive look at our parliamentary democracy and how to improve it see On Democracy.


The Bridlewood Small Hydro Line Pathway – The Crumbling Continues

A year ago I wrote a blog post, Climate Change, The Pandemic and Multi-Use Pathways (MUPs), in which I talked about the state of Ottawa’s Multi User Pathways citing The Bridlewood small hydro line as an example.

This is the current state of that pathway compared to a year ago.

May 2022

May 2021



How to Make Credit Card Purchases Safer – Banks, Are You Paying Attention

Do you worry about the security of your credit card information when you provide it to lesser known merchants to make payments ? Do you worry that the information you provide to well known major merchants could be stolen as their databases are hacked as seems to happen regularly ? Do you wonder why merchants need to have access your credit card information ?

What if when you went to pay for goods online, or using merchant point of sale terminals, you were diverted to your bank’s credit card site where you could make payment using a secure transaction and have the bank send confirmation to the merchant that payment was made, without having to provide any personal financial information to the merchant. For recurring payments like monthly service fees the bank could provide an ongoing confirmation that expires on a date set by the purchaser. Would that make you feel more comfortable and more secure ?

I refuse to believe that in this day and age the technology to do this does not exist and I refuse to believe that nobody has thought of this before. I can only wonder who profits from retaining the current unsafe and insecure system for making credit card purchases.

Banks and credit card companies, are you paying attention ?


Now Comes The Necessary Part Ontario Edition

Nevertheless, and irrregardless of and notwithstanding that federal-provincial jurisdiction exists the actions that are necessary for the next Ontario government to take are the same as those the newly elected federal government needs to take. It’s the same electorate and the same Canadians and the same solutions that are required.

To that end I am simply annotating my recent blog post to establish its relevancy to the Ontario election.

Now Comes The Necessary Part

We can argue all we want over whether the election was necessary but what is definitely necessary is the government tackling the pressing issues of the day, issues that have been pressing for decades and in some cases since before Confederation.

Indigenous Reconciliation

This is clearly an area where the primary jurisdiction is federal but that does not change the fact that both the federal and provincial Crowns have been responsible for the encroachment on First Nation's Lands and the denial of their inherent rights. The Ontario government has a clear role to play in reconciliation, along with the people of the province.

The longest standing issue in Canadian political history is the plight (struggled over what language to use here) of the original inhabitants of North America and the effects of European “discovery” and colonization.

[Side note: I often think the dictionary should define “discover” as “stumble upon”.]

The recent discovery of 150 (latest count Canada wide 6,000 and growing) unmarked graves at an Indian Residential School in British Columbia has focused Canadians thoughts on the treatment of North America’s indigenous peoples from unfairly negotiated treaties to the lack of clean drinking water on reserves.

People are finally realizing that it was not simply a problem of a few bad people abusing a few children in a few schools but a systemic policy of cultural genocide (“take the Indian out of the Indian”) seen as, in the words of the Indian Affairs Department, the “final solution to the Indian problem”. The facilities included such high levels of neglect and abuse that the likelihood of dying in an Indian Residential School was slightly higher than the likelihood of dying as a soldier in World War II.

Of course the term school for these facilities is inappropriate. Schools have graduates, not survivors.

It is no wonder there are problems in indigenous communities when the destruction of indigenous families and culture was government policy for so long.

Governments have committed themselves to reconciliation but what will that be. From my euro-centric viewpoint I would see it as a new social contract between Indigenous Peoples and the rest of Canada, something that will have to be achieved by consensus. But it will be up to Indigenous communities to decide when reconciliation has been achieved as they are the only ones capable of judging that.

[Another side note: Until then the flags should stay down.]

Health Care

Health care is an area where the primary responsibility is provincial. Indeed the national health care program we have now was pioneered by Saskatchewan under provincial jurisdiction. There is nothing beyond political will preventing the new Ontario government from implementing the measures cited below as an example to the rest of Canada.

Public health care, or Medicare as we Canadians call it, was first implemented in Saskatchewan in the form of hospital coverage in 1947, followed by full health care coverage following the 1960 provincial election. Federally the Medical Care Act was passed in 1968, followed by the Canada Health Act in 1984 which affirmed and clarified five founding principles: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility.

However in the over 50 years since then the system has stagnated, indeed it has gone backwards with the federal level of funding decreasing over time. We need to finish building the system and we cannot wait another 50 years to do it incrementally. The government must act now to extend the system to include:

- at least 50% federal funding

- a family doctor for every Canadian

- full mental health care, including psychology services where medically necessary

- full long term care for those requiring residential care

- full prescription drug coverage

- full eye care coverage

- full dental care coverage

- full physiotherapy coverage where medically required

Climate Change

Combating climate change will require a myriad of policy decisions that involve both federal and provincial governments, The new Ontario government must move to address this in the areas under it's jurisdiction.

The first warnings of climate change and it’s effects were noted over 50 years ago and the warnings have become more dire year after year with governments responding with lots of promises but little real action. The irony of all this delay is that the longer we wait to act, the more drastic actions we have to take to respond to this crisis. Those against taking drastic measures should have been calling for us to take action sooner rather than arguing against taking action at all.

The idea of starting new fossil fuel projects at a time when we need to start phasing out fossil fuels is simply ridiculous yet it is treated as a serious option in industry and government circles. How drastic to we want the measures to have to be when we finally realize we have to take action before it is too late.

From an economic point of view there are a tremendous number of opportunities available in the renewable energy sector. Call it whatever you want but the concept of a Green New Deal may be the economic and environmental salvation of our future.

Inequality & Under-taxation

Inequality requires tackling the problem at both ends. At the bottom we need to bring workers income and wealth up. As most workers and jobs fall under provincial jurisdiction it is clearly the Ontario government’s responsibility to increase minimum wages and employment standards, the most important being to make it easier for all workers, especially those in the so-called “gig economy”, to unionize. Also it is well within the province’s jurisdiction to establish a guaranteed basic income to eliminate poverty.

At the other end of the scale, the overpaid and overwealthed, the province has all of the tax measures available to them that the federal government has to redistribute income. To the extent that the income tax system is harmonized with the federal system the province always has the option to do as Quebec has and separate it’s income tax system from the federal one.

Ever since the creation of capitalism there has been inequality because the system is designed to create and reward inequality.

However I have to say that during my lifetime (since the 1950s) it has become noticeably worse. One factor is that the wealthy capitalists have moved the means of production to low wage countries so that their portion of the rewards of labour has increased, while the jobs left behind in North America are lower wage jobs.

They have invented a whole new sector of the economy based on piece-work to avoid paying the existing minimum wages or providing employee benefits and they give it a snazzy sounding name, the gig economy, to try to convince people they are freeing them from wage drudgery and letting them be their own boss when in reality the corporation has more control over them than if they were unionized wage workers.

At the same time the taxation of corporations and the wealthy has declined, partly in response to corporate blackmail threatening to take more jobs elsewhere if they are forced to pay fair levels of taxation.

It is also because wealth equals political power and excessive wealth equals excessive political power and that power is used to enact polices that favour the wealthy.

Governments need to enact policies that are actually designed to serve working people and dedicated to their well being, policies that will counter inequality and under-taxation.

Let us start with decent minimum wages and labour laws designed to encourage and assist workers in organizing unions. Minimum wages should not be designed to keep workers just above the poverty line but designed to provide workers with a middle class income. Our economy has the money to do that it just requires a little redistribution from those with excessive wealth to the people that actually produce that wealth.

We also need a guaranteed basic income for those that for whatever reason are unable to be employed at any particular time.

We can increase employment by redistributing money from the private sector to the public sector via a tax on excessive income and wealth to provide jobs building public infrastructure and affordable housing for everyone.

As for taxation, we can start by raising the level at which people start paying income taxes and increase the amount of tax paid in the higher marginal tax brackets. We also need dedicated taxes on excessive levels of income and wealth. I would tax away all excessive income (above $1,000,000 annually and all excessive wealth (above $100,000,000) but I do not expect any government to go near that. However that leaves a huge amount of room for a wealth tax that will have little practical impact on the standard of living of the excessively wealth while providing great benefit to the common good.

This is not in any way proposed as a punishment but just a means for them to create a better country/world with no impact on their personal well being.

Electoral Reform

Ontario and the federal government currently share the same Single Member Plurality (SMP) electoral system. Both need to change. There is no reason Ontario cannot act first and set an example for the federal government and the other provinces.

Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying “democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms”.

Ever since democracy (“rule of the people” in Greek) was invented by they Greeks we have been looking for ways to make it less worst.

[Yet another side note: My Eurocentric education tells me democracy was invented by the Greeks but I would not be surprised if forms of democracy were being used in non-European cultures before then.]

The key to any democracy is the electoral system, how the people actually select the people to represent them in government.

The system we use now is Single Member Plurality (SMP), more often referred to as First Past The Post (FPTP), an objectively silly name. In Single Member Plurality systems the country (or other jurisdiction) is broken into constituencies and each constituency chooses a representative to send to the legislature. Whichever candidate receives the most votes becomes that representative. We use the term plurality because the candidate does not have to receive a majority of votes cast, just more than any other candidate.

The main benefit of SMP is that voters elect local representatives.

The main drawback is the elected candidates could possibly be the last choice of more voters than they are the first choice. Also theoretically a party could elect 100% of MPs with less than 50% of the total votes, though in practice a typical result may be more like 60% of MPs with 40% of the votes.

There are two main proposals to replace this system: Ranked Ballots (preferred by the Liberals but not in their platform) and Mixed Member Proportional (proposed by the NDP in their platform).

Ranked Ballots solves one of the problems of SMP in that it avoids the last choice of a majority of voters being elected as MPs or forming a government. It however will likely create an even less representative House of Commons based on voters first choice party preferences.

Under Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) a majority of Members of Parliament are elected in the same manner as SMP to represent defined constituencies. Then an additional number are selected from party lists in order to balance the percentage of MPs from each party with the percentage of total votes received by each party (often referred to as the “popular vote”) to form a House of Commons representative of the views of the total population. Under MMP there is usually a threshold of percentage of total vote required to be allotted seats, often 5%, to avoid radical fringe groups having representation. However if that threshold is met a party receives representation. But is not representation of all voters what democracy is about.

One of the main criticisms of MMP is that it is unlikely to provide one party majority governments (unless a majority of voters support one party). But is that not what democracy is supposed to provide, a legislature that reflects the will of the people. Would we not be better off if parties learned to work together for the common good rather than simply engaging in political posturing. By reducing the power of a single party in government you reduce the power of a single person (the majority party leader), and perhaps get back to actual representative government rather than the trend of effectively electing (even if indirectly) a dictator to rule over Parliament.

Changing our electoral system to a more democratic one, MMP, is the most important thing the government can do.


These are not the only issues of importance but ones that have not been properly addressed over decades and more. We need the political will to address them all now without the excuse that the solutions need to be implemented incrementally.

Both the federal and the new Ontario government need to act urgently on these priorities.


Another Way of Looking at Political Parties in Canada

With Pierre Poilievre as the Tory leadership front runner I anticipate the Conservative and People’s parties fighting for the right wing fringe vote and collectively becoming the Party of the Deplorables.

Wishful thinking sees the New Democratic Party returning to it’s ideological roots as a party of principles fighting for progressive change reclaiming it’s role as the Party of the Idealists.

Leaving the Liberals as a party focused on getting elected by promoting policies that appear just progressive enough to win votes without upsetting the powers to be that actually control the country as the Party of the Opportunists.



Wondering Who to Support in the Ottawa Occupation

Well, if the answer is not totally obvious this might help.

The Voice of the Occupiers

The Voice of the Occupied


No more need be said.



Much Ado About Truckers and Building a Canadian White Supremacist Fascist Movement

So what is going on with the truckers. They are calling it a protest. But it is not like any protest I have ever been involved in.

Protests are designed to attempt to make change. While they may be aimed at getting governments to change their policies, gaining public support to pressure government is always an aim of legitimate protests. To get the public’s attention of course you need to get he media’s attention and that usually is done by means of a large protest or some form of disruption.

The truckers are in an excellent position to do that. Large transport trucks take up a lot of space, one truck can taker the space of 100 marching protesters, so they can easily make a protest appear to be larger than it actually is. And trucks can be disruptive. You want attention, block the streets and clog traffic. So do that for a day or weekend and you have the media’s attention and you can get your point across.

Of course the truckers argument against the government protecting the health of it’s citizens is a hard sell to the general public.

So while you might need some disruption to get peoples attention you do not want to alienate the public whose support you are trying to gain.

So blasting neighbourhoods with noise, shitting on peoples lawns, attacking them as they go about their daily business and otherwise harassing and terrorizing them is not what a protest is about. Neither is openly displaying signs and symbols of hate a tactic used to gain the general public’s support. That is aimed at a much smaller target audience.

So what is going on. This is clearly not aimed at gaining public support. Nobody thinks they are that stupid. Something else is going on here.

We have bullies using tactics that appeal to other bullies. I believe it is clear that this is a recruiting move aimed at the worst elements of our society, bringing them together to form some sort of comradeship and solidarity. And one cannot discount the usefulness of this as a dry run for something even more nefarious than terrorizing citizens, but a rehearsal for actual insurrection.

Any actual truckers involved are just being duped and used as pawns in something very dangerous. What we are seeing is just one component of the building of a white supremacist fascist movement in Canada aimed at destroying the very fabric of our society.