On May 25 1997, the Citizen published a Letter to the editor
titled "Trader system upset at promotion by Turmel" from six
organizers of the 100-member Ottawa LETS (Local Employment-Trading
System) which make several critical and erroneous comments about my
election campaign in Ottawa West-Nepean to which I wish to respond:
1. "We would like to bring your attention
to the disturbing candidacy
of John Turmel in the riding of Ottawa West. Mr. Turmel is running on
a platform promoting the Local Employment and Trading System (LETS).
However, as members and managers of Ottawa LETS and HomemakerLETS, we
would like to make it very clear that we in NO way support his
candidacy. Mr. Turmel is not a member of any LETS in our area. In
fact, he is considered a thorn in the side of the whole global LETS
JCT: I was invited
to be guest speaker at the 1996 New Zealand
National LETSystem meeting not because I'm a thorn in the side of the
whole Global LETS movement but because I'm the Papa Engineer of the
whole global LETS movement. When I started my Global Abolish Interest
Rates project in 1979, LETS was but a gleam in this engineer's eye.
Not only was I the consulting engineer to LETS project engineer
Michael Linton but I was also the major financial backer in his early
1984 software development efforts. Michael was the Mama Engineer
nursing expanding brood of little LETSes on the Internet all around
the world while I won and spent over a million dollars promoting LETS
politically and otherwise.
I do have a LETS Greendollar account in Toronto, one in
Canterbury, UK, two others in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand,
the one in our Abolitionist Party LETS with the best notes in town.
My decision not to associate with a few brats in the brood who
don't like how I promote "my baby" seems obviously logical now.
2. "We urge Mr. Turmel to cease immediately
aggressive promotion of LETS at all-candidates meetings. In
particular, we ask him to publicly apologize to the students at the
all-candidates meeting on May 15th at J.S. Woodsworth high school,
where he advocated LETS as a solution to teenage suicide. LETS does
not need this kind of "hard sell." It is totally against our values of
caring and community."
JCT: When I was
a student in the 1960s and 1970s with good summer
and future job prospects, I don't remember ever hearing of suicides.
The record number of suicides does call for values of caring and
community which require the hard-sell of LETS employment
opportunities that are not only a solution to teen suicies but to
adult suicides, as well. Anyone is free not see the link of suicides
to unemployment but I think it improper to suggest I cease promoting
the LETS solution to suicide I see. My world-wide aggressive promotion
of LETS may have been unsolicited but I've found most people who use
the LETS life-boats to create their own jobs are more thankful of my
efforts than not.
3. "Unlike Mr. Turmel, we do not claim
LETS is a panacea for all our
social ills. What LETS does offer is a credible alternative to cash
that is much needed during these hard times, as our social agency
partners will attest."
JCT: This "credible
alternative to cash" in a fund-starved world
is a solution for all our financial ills which are at the basis of all
our social ills. I can't think of one social ill that adequate funding
would not solve. Can anyone else?
4. "There are now some 1,000 LETSystems
worldwide, with government
support in several countries. Mr. Turmel is eager to promote this.
What he doesn't say is that LETS supporters everywhere complain about
his incessant self-promotional postings all over the internet. Here in
Ottawa, his combative public persona is making a mockery of our
democratic process, not to mention discouraging prospective LETS
members. As committed supporters of the LETS concept, we believe
enough is enough!"
JCT: Yes, as the
Papa LETS engineer and an active politician, I
am eager to promote even more government support for LETS. Sure, when
I brag about the growth of all the LETSes around the world and the
increasing political support across all partisan party or religious
lines, it sounds self-promotional. It wasn't very self-promotional
during the years when LETS was being laughed off the political stage
and I'm not going to miss the chance to enjoy the last laugh now that
the validity of LETS employment creation is being proven out in
thousands of local field tests around the world.
In the 1996 Hamilton East federal by-election, the Green,
Abolitionist, Christian Heritage, and two independents signed the
PETITION for National LETS given to Sheila Copps who probably filed it
rather than present it to Parliament. In my 1997 Ottawa West-Nepean
riding, the Green, Abolitionist, New Democract and Natural Law
candidates have signed the PETITION for National / Global LETS to be
presented to the victor for presentation to Parliament.
I can't understand why anyone would be discouraged from using
Greendollar chips to trade with just because John Turmel thinks
they're good enough chips to use. On May 23, the Ottawa Sun reported:
"Turmel clearly stole the show" at the Lakeside Gardens meeting and it
was not a combative public persona but over two dozen good punch lines
that stole that show.
5. "Bethany Sutton, Terry Cottam, Katie
Davidman, Joeli Reardon --
Ottawa LETS Council (Tel. 236-LETS; "go LETS" on Freenet)
John Hollingsworth, Administrator, HomemakerLETS
Russell McOrmond, founder, ott.community.lets Usenet newsgroup"
JCT: I have never
met any of these people though I have held
argument with Cottam, Hollingsworth, and McOrmond on the Internet.
They're still bleeding from my Internet barbs and I can understand
their guilty verdicts but I've never been able to understand people
like the other three who can preside over the indictment, trial, and
conviction of an absent defendant they have never met? None of the
Ottawa LETS members I know were consulted in this unilateral decision
of just six managers who are in no way representative of the whole
global LETS movement the Papa LETS Engineer has been working with.
Almost everything I have said during this election has been
transcribed and posted for public scrutiny in the Usenet newsgroup
"alt.fan.john-turmel" or "can.politics" under TURMEL: LETS Candidate
Reports. I hope readers judge for themselves whether my candidacy is
"disturbing" enough to warrant this kind of public censure.
a comment to John Turmel