JCT: I posted a report with a video of yesterday's
University debate. In case it's too much of a pain getting
to the good parts, here's a transcript of my parts:
UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH ALL-CANDIDATES DEBATE
Turmel: I'm called John The Engineer Turmel. I've worn the
white hardhat in 66 elections. I'm in favor of the LETS
software, which is interest-free banking. You should be able
to log on to the Bank of Canada's computer, open an account
like PayPal, borrow interest-free because they've got no
depositors who want interest, settle all your student loans
and interest-bearing mortgages and debts and after that, all
payments go against principal. And that way, everybody gets
out of debt someday. It's interest that drowns people in
debt forever. Well, in 1984, I financed the production of
this LETS software, which has now spread around the world.
In 2000, I got invited to the United Nations to do the
speech on banking and then in the Millennium Declaration,
resolution C6, they talk about the UNILETS resolution. Here
in the picture of all those world leaders back in 2000, and
on the inside, you can see Fidel at the bottom here, Ehud,
Arafat, Tony Blair, Clinton, the King of Saudi Arabia, and
John Turmel. I was there too. Of course, I don't make it on
the news here in Canada, you have to get it on your own,
search it out. What is it about this software that makes it
In a nutshell, I'm what you'd call a Green Libertarian
Socred. I want to get cops out of gambling, sex, drugs and
rock & roll, and I want interest-free loans at the Bank of
Now, for gambling, yeah, I've been busted umpteen times for
running games until they gave up on busting me and opened
casinos themselves. That's why I live across the street from
the Brantford Casino. Here's my book on Poker.
And of course, legalize sex because shy and less-attractive
people have the right to get laid too.
And of course, legalize drugs. Here I am with 7 pounds of
marijuana on Parliament Hill bringing it to the Prime
Minister. And I made them drop the charges against 4000
So I'm in favor of personal liberties, that's the
Libertarian, and I'm in favor of interest-free loans at the
Bank of Canada, that's the Sociable Crediter, and you're
going to find out how many times I find interest-free
banking as the solution to your problems tonight.
JCT: When you think of the 66 times that interest-free
credit cards from the Bank of Canada have been rejected by
the voters, it's almost comical.
Question #1: Why running?
Turmel: I started my political career with a 2-line poem:
Why represent our collateral with their chips for a fee,
When we can represent our collateral with our chips for
free? The problem is that the Bank of Canada has given up
the right to create and lend out money to the chartered
banks, the loansharks, the Scotia, the TD, the Royal, the
ones that charge you interest. But if you could ever get
access to your Bank of Canada instead of your Royal Bank
computer, they don't have depositors who want interest. So
it's basically working like a poker chip bank. You give them
an IOU for work. And you can pay it off with cash or with
work. It's called the "time standard of money." If you
Google for "time standard of money," I come up because I
coined it at the United Nations. Someday, you'll be able to
pay back your debts not only with cash which most can't find
without a job or whatever, or with work. With your time.
Now in the final analysis, your time is what's valuable
about all of you. But the banks have said: "no no no, this
is the stuff standard of money, or the gold standard of
money. You can credit at my bank, you bring gold or you
bring stuff, but your work, your manpower is worth nothing
in our society."
Well, in the new world, where the Time Standard of Money
will rule, your willingness to work is all you need to get a
Question #2: Poverty
JCT: The Green pointed out he's wearing the "Make Poverty
History" wrist-band. Sort of a wish rather than my LETS
Turmel: Did you notice how many times the others said they
were going to give you charity, or give you a hand-out or
give you a grant? I won't. I'm going to give you a chance to
work it off. I say my way is better. Google for "anti-
poverty engineer" I come up. Google for "anti-poverty
system" and my Local Employment-Trading Software comes up.
All it is is a way of registering what you are willing to do
for your neighbor and you spend an hour with him and it gets
traded around (showing fairshares booklet with many trades
on cover). It's the same in France with the Systems
d'Echange Local (booklets with many trades on cover). It's
in 58 countries. Guelph used to have a Guelph LETS 20 years
ago. There was a Green running it, Bill Hulet. Well, guess
what? LETS used to be on the Green party program in 1988
(exhibit page). Now I told you I was a Green-Libertarian-
Socred. I was thrown out of the Greens, probably the only
guy in Ontario ever thrown out of the Greens, thrown out of
the Libertarians, thrown out of the Socreds. What is it
about this software that upsets them so much? Well, it's now
gone from the Green Party platform. You won't find interest-
free money there any more. I'm showing the Edmonton LETS
(news clipping) you've got British LETS (Guardian clipping),
you've got LETS all over Canada and all it means is that you
have your list of things that people in your neighbourhood
are willing to do for you in exchange for an IOU for an hour
of labor. I went overseas, paid with an IOU for a night of
accommodations back in Canada for 39 nights of my 40
overseas. People put me up in exchange for an IOU for a
night back in Canada, no motel. So I'm saying that it's
already there, you've got to check it out and build it
Question #3: Parliament dysfunctional
Turmel: Of course, it's dysfunctional. Look at the kind of
people who get in. Last Monday night. I've still got
bruises and they decided that only the Big Four get on the
show. I went there and said: I want to participate. They
said: no you can't. I asked the other candidates: Hey, stand
up to Big Brother. Whenever one of the other candidates says
to let us stay, Big Brother usually backs down. Did one of
the four candidates speak up to defend my right to
participate? Noooo. Is there anybody here who thinks I
should have been barred from today's debate too?
JCT: A lot of nos but a lot of people laughingly shouting
Turmel: Okay, because I'm quoting the meeting at the Dublin
United church where not one person said yes. Not one person
at the Dublin Street church said that I should have been
banned. And yet they say that a "majority" at the Board of
Trade fat cats voted to have me banned. Well, it's nothing
like the majority here too. That's kind of sad. So one
more time: How many people think I should have been banned
from here today too?
JCT: Lots of nos. Almost no one said yes.
Turmel: All right. Not too many yesses are in favor of
exclusion. So anyway, I lambasted my opponents for not
standing up for my right to participate and remember how
the Greens used to be there complaining that the Green
should be there with the little guys, now that they've got
the chance of getting on the show, you don't hear that no
more. So that's the kind of people you get if you vote for
them, you know if you vote for me, you'll have a leader, not
a follower. These guys aren't leaders, they had their chance
and they blew it.
Mike Nagy: For the record, the last chamber debates in 2006,
I actually told the moderator that all candidates should
always be invited to all meetings and I said the same thing
this time when I was asked.
Turmel: You had to say it on TV though. For it to work.
Nagy: I'll just take a few more seconds.
Turmel: Take mine.
Question #4: Student help
Turmel: No matter how you cut it, it always ends up being
grants and charity as your way out, that you'll never be
good enough to pay it off yourselves. Right? Isn't that what
they're saying? What I'm saying is, a student loan, when you
get out to work, 6 months after university, interest kicks
in and then you're going to start grinding. Then you're
going to think of me and you're going to think: yeah, I
should have voted for the interest-free engineer. But you
wait, six months after graduation when the loansharks dig
in, then you'll start to take me seriously, if not now.
Imagine though if you could get a student loan in Grade 1.
So that you can go on field trips with the rich kids. You've
got a bicycle, you've got a baseball mitt, with the rich
kids. You've got a football, basketball, can go to camp with
the rich kids. And you pay it back when you're an adult. Now
whatever they lend you goes against principal when you pay
Right now, government borrows 10, spends it, then they've
got to tax back 11 to pay back the bank. Which is why
they're always short. Borrow 10, spend it, tax back 11.
Now, if they could get to the Bank of Canada, borrow 10,
spend it, tax back 10, then it would work. They could borrow
enough to pay for everything and then tax it back so it
would all be paid off. King Henry's tallies in 1100. Go read
about them, they worked. Abraham Lincoln's Greenbacks,
interest-free money, it worked. You've got to do your
homework. I did mine. I just don't have time in these few
seconds to educate you about this kind of esoteric
Question #5: Energy
Turmel: Back to a "not-enough-money" problem. We don't have
enough money to pay for clean energy, the dirty polluting
energy is the cheapest, so we're all paying for the cheap
dirty energy. Well, when we've got enough money, we can
afford better cleaner energy. To give you an example, 15
years ago, North York Hydro started issuing gift
certificates to pay your Hydro bill. Now, is there anybody
in the room who would not take an Ontario Hydro $20 bill
that you can pay your power or any one of your neighbors can
pay their power in exchange for work? Is there anyone who
does not see that an Ontario Power $20 Dollar bill is real
money? But we don't pay any interest. And I wrote at the
bottom of this article: too bad they didn't think of paying
their employees with them, all they're doing is selling them
to the customers. They could have printed up enough Ontario
Hydro dollars to finance everything interest-free. And all
that interest they save, we don't have to pay. I'm saying
that there's so much being taken from us in loansharking
that if we get that back, there's enough for everything
These other candidates have all said: I'll spend this, I'll
spend that, he's (Liberal) for "funds" for everything.
Where's he going to get the money? No one talks about that.
He's going go to a bank and borrow it from a loanshark and
charge you tax to pay them interest. All of them, they're
all suckers for the banks and I'm the only guy who's going
to screw the banks out of their interest.
Question #6: What other party would you support
Turmel: I told you, I was at the founding Green convention
and a year later, I was out. So I can't say the Greens
because they threw me out even though they adopted my
program and then dropped it later. Oh, I'm a Libertarian.
I'm in favor of personal liberties, I want cops out of
gambling, sex, drugs and rock & roll, I want people to be
left alone. But they don't have a financial program. They
don't have anything to do about interest rates. Let the
loansharks bleed the poor, that's their attitude, that's
libertarianism for some of them. And finally, Social Credit
I probably would want to join but they're not there anymore.
Well, in 1981, I ran as the leader of the Social Credit
Party of Ontario for Premier of the province. And in 1993, I
founded my own political party, the Abolitionist Party and I
ran 80 candidates, one more than the Greens, and everybody
knows that if they ever call an election for prime minister
of the planet, who's going to be the first candidate. Me.
And it's going to be the same program, UNILETS, interest-
free banking for the world, if not for Canada or for Ontario
or for Ottawa. It doesn't matter the size of the database.
John The Engineer can install the software on any database
anywhere on the planet.
So, you've got a right to stay poor, stay miserable, and
enjoy it, or you've got the right to vote for me and watch
some change happen.
Question #7: Accountability?
Turmel: I don't have to worry about that. I'm an engineer.
I've got an iron ring from a Canadian university. When I
tell you I can do something, you can bet on it. I'll pull
out cash and bet that my software works all around the
world. I'll pull out cash and bet nobody can find a flaw. So
as for accountability, I say I'm right, I'll bet I'm right.
Anybody with a bit of high-tech education can appreciate
that this ain't hard to do. Time-barter software, keep track
of how many hours you worked so you know how many hours they
owe you. What's hard? And it's spread all over the planet.
It's just that they've got you conned into using bank money
and making you think no one's going to lend you any money
without paying any interest. Yes, but if you're the guy
creating the money, you can lend it out with no interest.
It's only when you're borrowing from someone who saved it
that they'll say: give me my interest. But if they print the
stuff, why should they get the right to charge interest?
So anyway, there's time-money. Your money, your collateral
is inside you, it's not your stuff, it's not your gold, it's
the "Time Standard of Money." And I don't have to solve any
accountability problems, you can bet, right? I'm the only
high-tech candidate. None of the low-techs can bet they're
right. I'm the only guy to flash the cash and say bye bye
trash. I'll put my money where my mouth is.
Turmel: Well, now you know why I'm in the Anthology of Great
Canadian Characters. This is my page from the Guinness Book
of Records, same page as Her Majesty the Queen under Royalty
and Government. Most elections contested. It didn't go to my
head because in the American version, they put me on the
same page as the world's biggest bagel.
The media have a lot of fun. When I lost against Sheila
Copps in 1996, "Super Loser Fails Again." And exactly one
month later in the Hamilton Spectator, there's an article
that says: Creating work by working together. Hamilton Self-
help group starts up Hamilton LETS. Mission accomplished. I
didn't have to get elected.
Well, maybe you guys will re-start up your Guelph LETS.
Maybe I won't have to get elected.
But, nobody spoke about the war tonight. Let's face it, you
guys are the generation of dead war heroes coming up. That's
their plan for you. Think about it. We are in Afghanistan
chasing the guys who did 911. George Bush sicced us, the
posse, on the guys who did 911. Well, guess what? I don't
believe any Arabs took down three buildings with 2 plane-
loads of gasoline. Anybody here think they're that good? We
should be surrendering, not fighting, if that's true. I have
to believe that the US government was in on those
demolitions and George Bush sicced us, the "Patsy Posse" to
go chase the wrong guys, the innocent guys in Afghanistan.
So this is the first war Canada's ever been in where we're
wearing the black hats and the Taliban, the legitimate
government, they in the picture there at the UN, they're
coming back. The White Hats are coming back and they're
going to kick out Black Hat asses really bad. I want to get
our kids out of there, it's a bad war, we shouldn't have
been in there in the first place.
JCT: Good round of applause from the don't wanna-be dead war
heroes in the audience.
Now here's the is the report from:
September 05, 2008
Byelection candidates clash at U of G
MK: The byelection may very well be toast, but students came
out last night anyway to hear from the candidates, many of
whom are likely to run in a general election expected to be
JCT: Right, it was only the Rogers-Mercury organizers who
decided not to follow through on their coverage assuming
their readers and viewers weren't as interested as students.
MK: The discussion focused on issues close to students'
hearts -- tuition, the environment and poverty. But
organizers also wanted to let students know whether they can
vote and if so, how.
"Because the election was called for Sept. 8, approximately
5,000 students will not be eligible to vote, though they
will live in Guelph for the entirety of the elected
candidate's term in office," says a brochure prepared by the
student government. About 150 to 200 people -- and all
the candidates -- attended the debate on just the second day
of classes. The student government used the opportunity to
announce a fake vote Sept. 8 to protest the fact many
students won't be able to vote.
JCT: Fascinating. There will be 5000 more student votes.
MK: The debate was a mishmash of the colourful characters
running in Guelph. Libertarian Philip Bender drew some
chuckles in answer to a question about accountability,
explaining his party is about minimizing government
involvement. "I'm not making any promises other than to do
less, and I can be accountable on that," he said.
JCT: Vote for him so he can do less.
MK: Tom King, of the NDP, characterized the current
political climate as a convertible roaring down the 401
toward a wall. "At some point, we've got to park that car
for a bit and find a leader who can drive that car
sensibly," he said. "Or maybe it's a bike for all I know."
JCT: Vote for him and he'll try to find out.
MK: Kornelis Klevering of the Marijuana party was
characteristically colourful, asking people to call him
Brother Kase, and offering decriminalization of marijuana as
a solution to our environmental woes, saying hemp makes a
JCT: The one-issue candidate makes sense on the one issue.
MK: Conservative Gloria Kovach spoke frequently about her
experience in the community and as a nurse, and referred
often to the Harper government's track record on things like
cutting the GST and creating childcare subsidies for
parents. She also emphasized her Guelph roots.
JCT: Like all the majors, they want us to have nice things
even if they don't know how to deliver. She was the only one
staunchly in favor of continued busting for marijuana.
MK: Karen Levenson, of the Animal Alliance Environment
Voters Party of Canada, made it very clear hers is a single-
issue party, saying repeatedly that it doesn't have a stance
on things like poverty and tuition. She also took the
university to task for training veterinarians on live
animals, and for not lobbying for better animal rights.
JCT: Another good one issue candidate. It's sad when a group
forms for the sole purpose of opposing something.
MK: Mike Nagy of the Green party worked hard to drive home
the message that his is not a single-issue party. He called
the Greens a movement, rather than a party. He didn't shy
away from being candid, saying in his closing statements
that "I want to be your MP so bad."
JCT: Because it's just the same old game of which candidate
pleads wanting us to have nicer things that none know how to
pay for is more believable. But they want nice things for
us, they just don't know how to get them engineered.
MK: Independent John Turmell wore a hard hat,
JCT: You'd think these journalists would know my name by
now, you don't spell it Turmell, you spel it Turmel.
MK: referring to himself as "John the engineer" and calling
himself a green/libertarian/so-cred. "I've worn the white
hard hat for 67 elections," he said. He pulled out
photocopies of the "Guinness World Records," which names him
the person who's run in the biggest number of elections,
while presenting his plan for what amounted to an interest-
free economy where work, rather than cash, is a currency.
JCT: Not "work rather than cash;" but "work and cash" can
pay off your debt to the Sugar Daddy Bank of Canada at the
MK: Liberal Frank Valeriote made pains to reach out to the
other parties. To the question of which party he would join
if the Liberal party ceased to exist, he said "I would work
at building bridges with the Greens and the NDP. The right
did it; I'm not sure why we can't do it." He emphasized his
record of community service and spoke often about Liberal
initiatives that had been cancelled by the Conservative
government, like the Kelowna Accord and their childcare