Victoria Trying to Silence Victorian Analysis

So there is some drama at Victoria City Hall this week. Last week, my partner Jaclyn (who runs Victorian Analysis) arrived at City Hall for the start of the PLUC (Planning and Land Use Committee) meeting to find the media table had not been set up.  It appears the city is trying to strong-arm her out of operation by making her working conditions more difficult.  And Mayor Lisa Helps was on the radio today “defending” the city’s position.  While she tried to defend the act as one of fairness and equity, judging from the content of her responses all she appeared to do was demonstrate that the city is using that as a weak excuse to attack the one dedicated citizen journalist that they have.  The details are below. Continue reading Victoria Trying to Silence Victorian Analysis

Brief Update

So it’s been a while again.  I just wanted to have an update on here for the few people who do check here looking for my posts.  Jaclyn and I got married during the break, which is primarily why I haven’t posted in a while.  We went back home (for me) to PEI, and did a road trip honeymoon through Cape Breton and Newfoundland.  The picture up above this post is Jaclyn, my sister Michelle, my brother Peter, and myself on our wedding day.  It was a very casual affair, seeing as we’d been together for 6 years by this point.

Also going on for me right now is the start of a new school year, so I’ve been preparing my lessons for my web design classes starting this week.  I have enjoyed my new career, and I am looking forward to teaching classes on material that I’ve been through once before this year.

On top of that, I’ve been working on a couple of projects, coding-wise.  It’s nice to actually enjoy coding again, after dreading it for so long.  And I’ve got a couple of ideas that I think could turn into something quite successful, if not something huge, should I be so fortunate.

As for the political front, I’ve been doing some reading and self-study, and I want to add some content to this website that will be a good jumping-off point for some ideas I’ve been batting around for a while.  More on that to come.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, “I’m not dead yet!” and please come around every now and then to see what’s going on, if I don’t reach out to you first!

Why Victorian Analysis Matters

It may not be obvious to the outside observer, but there are actually two parallel conversations about government at the local level, and yet only one of them gets any form of reliable media coverage.  These two systems are 1) the policies and issues discussed and decided upon by council, and 2) the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating those decisions.

Traditional media has evolved around the first system; reporting on and critiquing the decisions made around the council table.  When council decides to build a new piece of infrastructure, such as the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, traditional news will give you the highlights, what was decided, how much it will cost, etc.  If council decides to increase affordable housing infrastructure, traditional media will tell you how much money is being allocated, how much housing will be provided, etc. Continue reading Why Victorian Analysis Matters

Anger

Throughout my life, I’ve had anger issues.  This comes from growing up with a father who had his own anger issues, it being a learned behaviour.  Over the years, my anger has been both a blessing and a curse.

Anger, focussed properly, can be a good motivator, pushing me to attack difficult problems and providing me with the energy to solve and conquer them.  My competitive juices can be increased by well-placed anger, and when I am motivated I can achieve great things.  As long as these problems are things I can solve on my own.

The trouble is my anger also tends to bleed through in my communication skills, and, in this area, it is much more of a destructive force.  When I get angry, I’ve noticed that my speaking and communication style tends to bring out negative responses from others; folks will get intimidated or dismissive or lose interest in some fashion or another.  In any case, I know listening to me when I’m angry is not a pleasant experience, and that people will tune out of the conversation. Continue reading Anger

Happy Canada Day!

I know I’ve been mostly dormant for some time, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day!  Also, I wanted to let folks know that I will be writing regularly on this site again, starting today.  My teaching has wrapped for the year and I have some free time right now, so it seems like a good time to try to take another kick at the can, blogging-wise.

This site has been through several iterations over the years, from a local government wiki to my election site when I ran for mayor last fall.  For the time being, this site will serve as my personal blog.  I’ve been continuing to learn about government and governing in Canada, and I have a number of thoughts that I’d like to share, so that is what I will be doing.  In the meantime, if you do want to find out what is happening in the city of Victoria, please visit Victorian Analysis, a site run by my partner Jaclyn.  She has a masters in public administration, and is using it to decipher the confusing and bizarre information that emanates from the city, and she does a great job explaining how things can and should work (and why they don’t, presently) at Victoria City Council.

I’d also like to use this site to try to gather like-minded people together to discuss the problems with our current governmental system and find clever and interesting ways to try to “hack” our system and turn it into something better.  But that will be for another post.  Anyway, I know I only have a trickle of occasional visitors right now, so for those who do check in, thank you for still being curious and please keep coming back.  I will do my best to reward you with interesting thoughts and ideas.

For now, enjoy the rest of your Canada Day!

Jason Ross