May 16, 2014: Michael Roberto & the struggle for cooperative ownership; Kelly Carmichael on Proportional Representation

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Click image for more on OPIRG Windsor

Listen to entire program here:

On the line from Greensboro, NC was Michael Roberto, associate professor of history at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. He is a contributor to the Monthly Review and his recent article: Crisis, Recovery, and the Transitional Economy struck me as being very relevant to what’s happening, and needs to happen, in this area: namely an economic model that works for people not owners of capital.

In forging their relationship with two community groups, Concerned Citizens for Northeast Greensboro (CCNG) and Citizens for Environmental and Economic Justice (CEEJ), Whitfield and Thompson proposed a cooperatively owned grocery store in Bessemer Center that the city would renovate and then rent to the co-op with an agreement that the latter would eventually buy the space. Unlike a privately-owned chain grocer, a food co-op would benefit the community by (1) supplying affordable and nutritious groceries to residents who were among the most impoverished in the city and whose neighborhoods lay in one of the largest of the city’s food deserts, and (2) build new wealth on the basis of cooperative ownership and democratic control in a community badly in need of capital formation but often left out of the city’s plans for economic development. (Michael Roberto)

Click image to read more on Renaissance Community Coop

Click image to read more on Renaissance Community Coop

In this audio section Roberto describes the struggle to achieve a local democratic economic alternative:

 

More on the history of building the Greensboro grocery coop (Click Image)

More on the history of building the Greensboro grocery coop (Click Image)

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Proportional Representation as a voting system, is practiced in 80 countries around the globe. From the FVC website “In 2011, just 39% of the voters gave one party 54% of the MPs and 100% of the power. Our skewed system threw seven million votes in the trash so those voters are not represented in Ottawa. When we add proportionality to our electoral system, voters are treated equally. We actually get what we voted for. Results are fair. Parliament reflects our diversity. Seats are truly at stake everywhere, so MPs are held accountable.”

Kelly Carmichael, who is the Executive Director of Fair Vote Canada was on the line to talk about PR. Is PR the cure for a dysfunctional political system? No, but a truly fair system of voting is a basic requirement of a people-powered political process:

Click Image for campaign info

Click Image for campaign info

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Featured Music

Rodney DeCroo (@DeCrooRodney)

War Torn Man

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Click image for more info

 

 

 

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