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The Purpose of this Vote :
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In 1991, after three encounters with police, Gwen Jacob was arrested for public indecency for going topless in a public place. Eventually, the Ontario Court of Appeal ‘granted’ her the “right” to do so. Now the Province of Ontario is ‘tops-free’ in all public places.
This is an example of ‘Judge-made-law’. No one got to vote on it.
A second aspect of this case, is that, according to law, ‘indency’ is defined as anything that violates local Community Standards, yet these standards are unwritten.
I believe that it is unjust to enforce, through the legal system, unwritten and ever-changing rules of conduct. I also believe that ‘Judge-made-law’ is a bad thing. For these two main reasons, I decided to conduct a vote on the topic of Community Standards regarding attire – or lack thereof – on an undesignated public beach, or other undesignated recreational area in Alberta.
I am also an anti-HIV activist. Since moving to Alberta from New Brunswick, I have noticed that the English Social Value System is extremely strong in Alberta – stronger than in any other part of Canada that I have visited. This System has many virtues and there are very good reasons why this system has been so successful, yet this same System also has some vices. From my observations, I can only conclude that this System seeks to Sexualize the Human Body but I am not sure that this is necessarily a conscious decision on the part of its adherents. I am claiming that it is a consequence of the English Social Value System as a whole.
So this is my secondary reason for conducting this vote. To combat the Sexualization of the Human Body, I need to study the Social Values that promote it.
In this vote I am attempting to answer three questions:
Q1: What are the current Community Standards regarding appropriate attire in an undesignated recreational area?,
Q2: If a Community decided to create a designated area for those who wished to practice more liberal values regarding their attire, what rules should apply to each area? (i.e. can our current Standards be divided into mutually exclusive standards?),
Q3: What would be the optimum relative size of such areas, based on current Community Standards?
About the Vote:
This vote was conceived and conducted by me, Robert Crawford, the author, and is not connected, in any way, with any organization. I paid all expenses out of his own pocket with a hope that the results will be a valuable public service. I am solely responsible for: creating the questions, soliciting voters and writing the report. I did everything myself, so any complaints, should be directed toward me.
This vote was conducted, mainly, on the beach at Sylvan Lake Provincial Park, and in a small part, in the surrounding town of Sylvan Lake during the summer and fall of 2008. All but six votes were supervised by myself (i.e. I was within sight of the voters or a short distance away.) Six votes were conducted by a trustworthy barmaid at a local bar since I had 95 votes and was attempting to push the total number of eligible votes over the 100 mark. I was desperate.
I allowed anyone to vote with the understanding that those under the age of 18 and those who were not resident in Alberta would have their results tabulated separately. The main results reported in this paper are those of persons over the age of eighteen and resident in Alberta (but I didn’t ask their length of residence – an oversight.) The second category of voters are termed, ‘non-residents’ and they were all over the age of eighteen. They were resident in other Canadian Provinces. The third category of voters are termed, ‘teens’. They were above the ages of sixteen and below the age of eighteen and all residents of Alberta – mostly, local teens and all but one teen was female. The purpose of the second and third categories is for comparison with the main category of ‘eligible Alberta voters’.
About the Author:
Bob Crawford is an amateur anti-HIV activist, trouble maker, artist, writer, protester, social engineer and volunteer living in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada.
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