Archive for February, 2009

evolving social ideal

February 27, 2009

What ultimately determines rights and wrongs… all of our rules are a combination of law and the social ideal. And that’s always all over the map. Once upon a time, the law and social ideal said that blacks should be slaves and women shouldn’t vote.

– Ron MacLean

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos Video Podcast February 11 2009

shades of honesty

February 23, 2009

This morning on CBC Early Edition, Rick Cluff asked me an uncomfortable question; “Did you ever lie when you were in office?” Uncomfortable because there’s no safe, honest way to answer the question directly. It fits among others, such as… Do I look fat in this dress? or… When did you stop beating your wife?

As noted in previous posts, particularly we’re all liars from just last week, Homo sapiens are not perfectly honest creatures. We lie to ourselves and each other frequently, daily. Anyone who says he doesn’t lie just proved himself a liar. I am just as human as you are. I have lied. I remained human when I held an elected office. I lied there too. Given the realities of human nature, is the issue of honesty black and white? Is it realistic to expect someone seeking public office to suddenly shed their humanness to become the most honest person in their community?

I’m hoping my petition spurs a public dialogue on the shades of grey of honesty. At what point does an innocent white lie, intended to make a better story or prevent unnecessary insult, become a black lie of unacceptable deception or unfair characterization? Read on »

do what you think is right

February 22, 2009

You can’t do what I do if you’re worrying about how people view it… you know, people who don’t understand everything about what you’re doing; who don’t have as much access to the facts as you do. And so, from early on, I always said, particularly as it related to articles and commentary, don’t pay attention to the good because it’s never as good as they’ll say, and don’t pay attention to the bad because it’s never as bad. You have to do what you think is right. And that’s what you have to live with because you’re always going to have critics.

– Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Quoted from The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos Video Podcast February 05 2009

we’re all liars

February 19, 2009

CBC Doc Zone broadcasted a documentary on lying earlier this month. Below are excerpts from the last 5 minutes of “The Truth About Liars”. Lines that are not otherwise attributed are quotes from the narrator, Anne-Marie McDonald. The full video is embedded at the end of this post.

The secret of politics is this: tell people the lies that are consistent with their own self-deception [that is, the lies that people tell themselves]. If you can do that, you’re a successful politician. So, we’re not really that concerned about politicians lying to us. If we were, we would be horrified at every bit of political campaigning because it’s mostly all bullshit.

– David Livingstone Smith,
University of New England

The experts say our faith, our trust, that leaders are telling the truth has been eroding for years. Now it’s become commonplace to see our leaders in business, entertainment and sports face disgrace in front of the television cameras. And then, often, life seems to go on pretty much as it did before: our heros reduced and returned to us, our respect replaced by cynicism and satire. But is this spectacle changing how the rest of us behave? Experts say there is no evidence that we’re all lying and cheating more; it may just look that way because television and technology allow us to see it more, to catch our leaders in the act.

Finding the truth about liars begins with accepting some facts: We all lie; We’re going to have to continue lying if we’re going to get along. Read on »

liar’s supporting cast

February 15, 2009

Coleridge’s slate email saga was not a solo performance. Nor was his wife the only other player. His tangled tale was made possible by a cast of supporting characters.

In his election campaign he made up a slate of other candidates and labelled it the “Real Estate Slate.” He said the City loaned Bosa money, certain candidates were heavily financed by developers, and others advocated outlandish development schemes. These were all lies; Coleridge made it all up, just like his bizarre stories about the email’s source.

But he’s been a known liar for many years. I’ve heard stories of other dishonourable dealings, but the one for which I have seen documented evidence took place in 1999 and was also an issue of public trust. So, how could he continue to be elected to public office?

That’s a good question. Here’s some for the people who helped him cover up his lies and get re-elected… Read on »

weight of the wait

February 13, 2009

And the wait begins. The judge gave no indication of how long it might take for her to render a decision. My lawyer’s guess is that we won’t be waiting more than a month. But she might come back sooner than that knowing that the Local Government Act directs the court to act as “expeditiously” as possible. She seemed to be fully aware and sensitive to the impact her decision would have — whatever her decision is — on the community of White Rock. So, hopefully we won’t be waiting very long to learn the outcome of my petition.

day of the respondent

February 10, 2009

All my witnesses appeared in court yesterday and provided their evidence. Coleridge has begun to present his evidence and will continue to do so today. He has expressed intent to have only two witnesses: himself and his wife.

perception stains

February 8, 2009

I find it interesting how my reflexive tendencies for righteous irreverence is both celebrated and reviled in the community. The difference is usually whether a person agrees with me or not. If they do, they thank me for my courage to state what so many others have been too polite to say publicly. If they don’t, they chastise my lack of respect for social conventions. Read on »

petition hearing next week

February 7, 2009

The hearing for my petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia begins Monday February 9.

I am asking the judge to remove James Coleridge from the office of Councillor for the City of White Rock due to particular actions he conducted during the election. The Local Government Act requires an unusual, expedited process. Evidence cannot be entered by affidavit; all witnesses must appear in court to provide their evidence verbally.

The hearing will begin at 9:45am in Vancouver and could take up to four days.