Thoughts on the MySpace Presidential Primary

Post ImageTechCrunch posted yesterday that MySpace is going to be holding a presidential primary on January 1st and 2nd, 2008, which is before any of the official state primaries. Every member will be asked to vote for their favorite candidate. Michael Arrington makes a good point about why this should be done on Facebook instead:

Facebook’s user accounts are each tied to an email address or cell phone, resulting in far fewer fake or duplicate accounts. Given the low quality of the MySpace user base (multiple accounts, no identity check, etc.) it would be relatively easy for a campaign to create a significant number of fake accounts to stuff the ballot box in their favor. Facebook can also tie their users to U.S. residency much easier than MySpace.

I would add another reason: Facebook is not owned by News Corporation! Not that I would expect Facebook to be completely impartial, but more so than the owner of Fox News.

I don’t think anyone is going to take the results very seriously, but I like the idea regardless. Anything that might make politics more relevant to the younger generations is worth trying. So far Barack Obama has a massive lead in terms of the number of friends he has, but expect the other candidates to catch up.

Read: TechCrunch

ETS fares could rise drastically in 2008

Post ImageIf you think a $59 monthly pass for Edmonton’s Transit System is expensive now, wait a year. A proposed fare policy would increase the cost of a monthly pass to a whopping $74:

Coun. Mike Nickel supports the hike, arguing transit has to recover more of its costs through the fare box. He rejects suggestions that the increase would lead to a drop in ridership.

“No I don’t think it will discourage ridership. Actually, people have to measure their other modes of transit against the costs of ridership. Gas is costing more for your car, insurance is costing more for your car.”

Actually insurance is getting cheaper in Alberta, is it not? And Mr. Nickel neglects to recognize that lots people (myself included) don’t replace a vehicle with public transit entirely, they use both. I save most of my money not on gas and insurance, but on parking.

Here are the prices in a few other Canadian cities:

  • Calgary: $75/month
  • Vancouver: $69/month for 1 zone, $95/month for 2 zones, and $130/month for 3 zones
  • Ottawa: $71.25/month

Compared with those cities, the proposed fare for Edmonton feels like a rip-off does it not? Calgary and Vancouver for sure have better transit systems than Edmonton does (partially as a result of geography and population density). On the other hand, a monthly pass in Red Deer is $58, so maybe it’s not such a bad deal after all.

Any fare hike would not take place until 2008, and it has to get to city council first anyway (currently it is with the council’s transportation committee).

Read: CBC News