Not all Metro Vancouver residents buy into democracy

Residents of Metro Vancouver are only moderately committed to democracy and many are open to alternative forms of government such as rule by expert, strongman or the military.

Those are among some of the findings of a new public opinion survey from Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

The online survey of 1,506 Metro Vancouver residents from Aug. 7-13 was released in a report this week as part of a larger project intended to build a stronger commitment to Canadian democracy, according to the report.

The survey found about 35 per cent of residents believe representative democracy is a good way to govern and that all other systems are bad. Another 47 per cent believed representative government was good, but other systems were too. And 17 per cent said only other systems — or no systems — were good.

About 61 per cent of respondents believed direct democracy was a good or very good way to govern. Rule by experts, rule by a strong leader and rule by the military received 50, 20 and nine per cent support, respectively.

Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver residents appeared to be open to populist arguments and nativist appeals — as described in the report as “common people vs. the elites” and “Canada-first” appeals. About 75 per cent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate if they stood up for common people against the elite, and 52 per cent said they would be more likely to vote for candidates who put Canada first, even if it negatively affected relations with allies.

Many Vancouver residents expressed negative opinions about citizen participation in a democracy. About 40 per cent of respondents said voting “by people like me” doesn’t really affect how government runs, and 52 per cent said ordinary citizens can’t do much to …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Court date set for Kelowna man accused of killing wife, daughters

The pretrial conference for the Kelowna man accused of killing his wife and two daughters days before Christmas last year is scheduled for next month.

Jacob Forman, 34, is charged with murdering his wife of 12 years, Clara Soledad Forman, and their daughters Yesenia Kate, 8, and Karina Anne, 7, sometime between Dec. 17 and Dec. 19, 2017.

No details about the deaths have been released.

Forman appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna Monday via video from the Okanagan Correctional Centre.

Jordan Watt, appearing as agent for Forman’s lawyer, confirmed the pretrial conference was scheduled for Oct. 10.

He estimated it would take one hour.

The pretrial conference has been delayed several times because Forman changed counsel partway through the process.

Police were called to the family’s home on Bolotzky Court in the Rutland area of Kelowna the afternoon of Dec. 19.

Forman was originally charged with second-degree murder in the three deaths.

However, in March, the Crown upgraded two of the charges to first-degree murder, and the case was transferred to B.C. Supreme Court from provincial court.

Forman has not entered any pleas to the charges.

…read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Body of murdered Japanese student found in suitcase, Vancouver trial hears

A Burnaby RCMP officer found the body of a missing Japanese student in a suitcase in a hedge on a downtown Vancouver property and knew what it was when he saw a hand, he testified Sept. 24 on the first day of the second-degree murder trial of the man accused of killing her.

Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was reported missing in September 2016, and was the subject of a public search, which included the release by police of a photo of her and a man walking together.

Her body wasn’t found until two weeks later. The naked and badly composed body was found on the grounds of an abandoned property called Gabriola Mansion in the 1500-block of Davie Street in the West End, on Sept. 28, 2016.

William Schneider, 51, was charged with second-degree murder and interfering with human remains that same day. Because of the decomposition of the body, the cause of death was never determined, court heard.

Schneider, whose thinning brown hair was neatly trimmed and who was wearing a striped-grey and white-collared shirt, pleaded not guilty to both charges and sat in the prisoner’s dock without expression.

When he arrived for the start of the trial, Kogawa’s mother burst into tears. She did not speak to the media.

In his opening address, Crown prosecutor Geordie Proulx told the court that Schneider told Burnaby Mounties where to find the suitcase after Schneider’s brother visited Schneider in Vernon. Schneider was suicidal, court heard.

After Kogawa was reported missing, police released to the media a photo of Kogawa and Schneider walking together at the Harbour Centre mall, taken on Sept. 8, 2016, in the hope that the public could identify the man.

Sept. 27, 2016 – Police are continuing their search for missing Japanese student, 30 year old Natsumi Kogawa who was reported missing by her boyfriend in Vancouver …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Trump leads aggressive, all-out GOP drive to save Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON — Republicans mounted a combative, coordinated drive Monday to salvage Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination as they fought to keep a second woman’s allegation of long-ago sexual misconduct from derailing his confirmation. President Donald Trump leapt to his defense, the Senate’s top Republican accused Democrats of a “smear campaign” and an emotional Kavanaugh declared, “I’m not going anywhere.”

In the run-up to an appearance by Kavanaugh and his main accuser at a dramatic Senate hearing, the Republicans embraced their newly aggressive stance with his nomination dangling precariously. The similar tones and wording they used suggested a concerted effort to undermine the women’s claims, portray an image of unity among GOP senators and press ahead to a confirmation vote.

Trump called the accusations “totally political” and among “the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., angrily accused Democrats of slinging “all the mud they could manufacture.”

Unintimidated, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, retorted, “If you really believe they are a smear job, why don’t you call for FBI investigation?” Schumer accused the Republicans of “a rush job to avoid the truth.”

Trump has made clear he won’t order an FBI investigation of the allegations. And McConnell said that Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing would proceed and that full Senate consideration would follow “in the near future,” though he mentioned no date.

In a letter to the committee, which plans the climactic hearing featuring Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, the nominee accused his opponents of launching “smears, pure and simple.”

In an unusual strategy for a Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh, 53, now a judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, also sat for an interview along with his wife late Monday on the conservative-friendly Fox News Channel.

Careful not to assail Ford …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News