The vision is simple: save 2 Million dollars in borrowing costs.

Thank you all for a heartwarming and hopeful pop up protest!    The vision is simple:

Union Bay landowners will *save **two million dollars *in borrowing costs for our Water Treatment Plant!

How?

By setting up a service agreement with the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) would mean the RD would take over administration and the collection of taxes kept separately, and then Union Bay would qualify for infrastructure grants and municipal financing. Currently, as an Improvement District, UBID does not qualify for grants or reduced financing costs to cover an estimated $4 million dollars.

“In essence, that move would save 700 households $2 million because that’s what the borrowing costs would be to borrow $4 million at your regular interest rate over 25 years,” trustee Susanna Kaljur said.

In August 2017 Facilitator Jim Mattison wrote a $55,000 report for Union Bay titled: “Clean and Safe Water for Union Bay”  It is a detailed history of our water and has several recommendations on page 26 and 26:  

4. “When an Improvement district is faced with changing technology and massive expansion, it may be time for the community to seriously consider coming under the wing of a regional district.”

It is time to save money for landowners and set up a service agreement with CVRD, we can do this if we have two candidates to run and win on this platform.  It is worth 2 million dollars divided among less than 700 households!

https://union-bay.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/UBID-KIP-Final-Report-2017-August.pdf

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/second-union-bay-protest-highlights-residents-discontent-with-ubid-board/

Here is my Go Fund Me to help with my legal costs: https://www.gofundme.com/support-kaljur?member=&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=contacts-v2-invite-to-donate

Second Union Bay protest highlights residents’ discontent with UBID board

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/second-union-bay-protest-highlights-residents-discontent-with-ubid-board/

The protest was organized by a group called Supporters of Susanna

Jolene Rudisuela

UBID trustee Susanna Kaljur stands on the side of the highway outside the Union Bay Improvement District office. Approximately 35 people showed up to the Thursday afternoon protest. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

A second protest was held in front of the Union Bay Improvement District office on Thursday, with residents lined up along the highway, holding signs and voicing their concerns about their local governing board.

A similar protest was held two weeks prior, with residents showing their disapproval of the cancellation of board meetings, as well as their closure to the public. Many also showed their support for trustee Susanna Kaljur who had been temporarily suspended from the board.

READ MORE: UBID board suspends trustee

RELATED: Union Bay trustee files lawsuit against UBID board chair

A Thursday’s protest, Kaljur stood on the side of the highway, alongside approximately 35 residents, holding a sign emblazoned with the words, “We want clean water now”.

Though she has been reinstated to the board, she said she is angered by the cancelled February and March meetings as there are currently many important issues that need a functioning board to progress.

Kaljur said her hope for the protest was to raise awareness about some of the issues and to get two like-minded candidates to run for the two board positions available in the upcoming election.

“We have a lot of things at play like the water treatment plant – our tenders are up right as we speak,” she said. “With two people and myself, we regain the majority and we will get [a service agreement] initiated with the Comox Valley Regional District so that we can proceed with our treatment plant and all the other infrastructure that needs to be done.”

Kaljur explained that entering into a service agreement with the CVRD would mean the regional district would take over the administration and the collection of the taxes, and Union Bay would also then qualify for infrastructure grants and municipal financing. Currently, as an improvement district, UBID does not qualify for these grants to cover the estimated $4 million cost of a water treatment plant.

“In essence, that move would save 700 households $2 million because that’s what the borrowing costs would be to borrow $4 million at your regular interest rate over 25 years,” she said.

Kaljur also discussed her unlawful suspension from the board, the closing of UBID meetings to the public in January and the changed election date. At the in-camera January meeting, which Kaljur was not a part of, the election date was moved five days before the Annual General Meeting, a move Kaljur worries will prevent landowners from making an informed decision while voting.

This is a sentiment that some of the protesters shared as well.

“My concern is that we won’t have a financial report and we won’t know about the new water treatment plant before the election,” said one landowner.

Another landowner expressed her concern for the ongoing boil water advisory and the lack of information that has come from the board.

“It’s pretty upsetting that we don’t get representation,” she said. “I’ve been here for only a year and a half and I’m just shocked. We’re being kept in the dark.”

The election is scheduled for April 20 with the advanced poll on April 9. The AGM is scheduled for April 25.

Kaljur’s term as trustee is finished in April 2020 and she says she is not planning on running for another term.

Approximately 35 Union Bay landowners stood along the highway Thursday to protest the closing of UBID meetings to the public, the cancellation of February and March meetings and the rescheduling of the election date. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Approximately 35 Union Bay landowners stood along the highway Thursday to protest the closing of UBID meetings to the public, the cancellation of February and March meetings and the rescheduling of the election date. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Union Bay Improvement District will be mailing out apology letter contrary to Haraldson’s claim “that’s why there is a newspaper”.

From: Peter Johnson <pjohnson@sms.bc.ca> 
Sent: February 15, 2019 2:32 PM
To: Jason Gratl <jason@gratlandcompany.com>
Subject: Union Bay Improvement District

Mr. Gratl:

I am legal counsel to the Union Bay Improvement District.

I have been asked to advise you that in response to your letter dated February 12, 2019, addressed to members of the Board of Trustees, the attached letter has been posted to the Union Bay Improvement District website, and that a copy of the letter has been sent to your client.  

The Improvement District does not have the resources available to mail a copy of this letter to each elector today. The Improvement District is prepared to mail a copy of the letter with the next water bills, which will be sent out at the beginning of March.

I trust this satisfies your client’s concerns regarding the decision to suspend her from office.

Peter Johnson*

*Peter D. Johnson Law Corporation           

2nd Floor 837 Burdett Avenue | Victoria, BC V8W 1B3

Phone 250 380 7744 | Fax 250 380 3008

pjohnson@sms.bc.ca | www.sms.bc.ca  

The contents of this electronic mail transmission are privileged and confidential and for the sole use of the designated recipient. If this message has been misdirected please delete it and advise our office.

Haraldson states: “that the change of dates for the election and nomination period was a “strictly administrational” (sic) change, in order to fix an error in the original posting and comply with Elections BC.

Haraldson quotes from the article below:

“Those election dates were set wrong the previous election, and that’s why we are [changing them],”

“The change didn’t [require] her to be there, or myself.” 

What is the point of a Board?! The Administrator has no decision making power only the Board has the power to make decisions which affect Landowners such as dates for elections and AGM.  

PROVINCE WON’T BE STEPPING IN TO UNION BAY DISAGREEMENTS


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James Wood

JAMES WOOD, STAFF FRIDAY, FEB. 15TH, 2019

 The community of Union Bay is pictured in a Goat News file photo. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio 

UNION BAY, B.C- The provincial government won’t be taking any action in Union Bay.

In recent days, four trustees of the district’s elected board have apologized to their fifth board member, Susanna Kaljur, who was “suspended” earlier in 2019. Kaljur had threatened legal action earlier this week over her suspension, and other actions taken by the board.

RELATED: https://www.mycomoxvalleynow.com/48594/union-bay-suspends-trustee-susanna-kaljur-indefinitely/

In a letter, the four trustees have said they were told by the province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing that there are no provisions under the Local Government Act allowing the board to suspend an elected trustee from office.

“We acknowledge that the decision to suspend Trustee Kaljur is of no force or effect,” read the letter.

“We sincerely apologize to Trustee Kaljur for our actions in this manner and regret any inconvenience our decision may have caused her. We hope that as a Board, moving forward, we can work collectively and cooperatively to serve the interests of our residents.”

Kaljur had also threatened legal action against Haraldson specifically, due to what Gratl described as defamatory statements by Haraldson published by MyComoxValleyNow.com in an interview after Kaljur’s suspension.

In the wake of Kaljur’s first letter, the newsroom reached out to the municipal affairs ministry to get clarity what the board can do and what they can’t do.

Asked if the board had any legal authourity to remove or suspend another trustee board member, Municipal Affairs said the Local Government Act did not include specific provisions regarding the suspension of improvement district trustees.

They also said the province couldn’t provide legal advice to an improvement district, when asked if they planned to instruct the board to take different action or allow Kaljur to return.

They were unaware of any previous instances of improvement district trustees taking legal action against their fellow trustees.

In the wake of the apology, Kaljur has indicated that it was only one of the things she was looking for.

“There are a number of issues which the board has not addressed adequately, which may result in further legal action,” she said, in a written statement.

“Both the apology for suspension letter and the apology letter from Ted Haraldson for defamation against myself (which has not yet been received) must be sent by mail to every landowner as Union Bay has a large number of seniors who do not use computers.”

Kaljur is also questioning the validity of any decisions that were made at UBID board meetings during her suspension.

“The board meetings of January and February 2019 occurred without my knowledge or public notice, due to my being illegally suspended,” she said. “Now that the board has agreed this was illegal, this decision renders those meetings null and void which includes the highly irregular alteration of Union Bay’s election days and AGM.

“The simplest, fairest remedy is for the original election dates, open/close of nominations and the AGM revert back to the original dates voted on and passed at the 2018 AGM April 19, 2018.”

Asked about the validity of actions taken by the district board in the last two months, during Kaljur’s suspension, the ministry supplied the following.

“In regards to decisions that were made by the UBID in the last two months, this is under the realm of legal advice and the province cannot provide this,” read the statement.

“The Ministry continues to be available to the improvement district to assist, where appropriate, as it works through its challenges.”

Asked to clarify what they meant, the ministry again stated that they or any other ministry cannot provide legal advice to improvement districts or local governments.

“Further, the ministry cannot comment on decisions that may be subject to legal action.”

Today was the deadline for the other demands in Kaljur’s letter, which included an apology from board chair Ted Haraldson.

“Until all these conditions are met I will not be accepting any apology and I will have no other recourse but proceed with my lawsuit,” said Kaljur.

The newsroom reached out to Haraldson for comment today but did not hear back. However, he did speak to the Comox Valley Record, saying that the board had complied with all the demands it deems reasonable.

The same apology letter from the board will not be sent to landowners in Union Bay by mail, according to Haraldson’s comments.

“The apology has gone out on our website, [which] goes to all the landowners,” said Haroldson, speaking to the paper.

“It has not been mailed out – it’s gone out on the website to all the landowners.”

Haraldson also told the paper that the change of dates for the election and nomination period was a “strictly administrational” change, in order to fix an error in the original posting and comply with Elections BC.

“Those election dates were set wrong the previous election, and that’s why we are [changing them],” he said, to the paper.

“The change didn’t [require] her to be there, or myself.”

The upcoming election and annual general meeting are the following.

March 5 – Call for nominations

April 2 – Nomination window closes

April 9 – Advance poll

April 20 – Election

April 25 – Annual general meeting

Haraldson also saw no reason for an apology, saying there was no defamation of character.

The next Union Bay board meeting will be held on Thursday, February 21st, at the Union Bay Hall.

Update on the Record article

The following was added to the article from yesterday.

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/union-bay-improvement-district-board-apologizes-to-trustee/

Union Bay Improvement District board apologizes to trustee; deadline remains for other demands

When contacted by The Record, Haraldson said the board has complied with all the demands it deems reasonable.

The publicly posted apology will not be sent to landowners by mail.

“The apology has gone out on our website, [which] goes to all the landowners,” said Haroldson. “It has not been mailed out – it’s gone out on the website to all the landowners.”

When asked how those without computers are to receive the apology, Haroldson was curt.

“That’s why there’s a newspaper.”

According to Haraldson, the change of dates for the election and nomination period was to rectify an error in the original posting and was strictly administerial, in order to comply with Elections BC.

“Those election dates were set wrong the previous election, and that’s why we are [changing them],” he said. The change didn’t [require] her to be there, or myself.”

The dates for the upcoming election and annual general meeting are as follows:

March 5 – Call for nominations

April 2 – Nomination window closes

April 9 – Advance poll

April 20 – Election

April 25 – Annual general meeting

As for a personal apology regarding the allegations of defamation of character, Haraldson sees no reason for an apology.

“There is no defamation of character,” he said.


Union Bay Improvement District board apologizes to trustee; deadline remains for other demands

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/union-bay-improvement-district-board-apologizes-to-trustee/

UBID board complies with one of the demands of a letter threatening legal action

The Union Bay Improvement District board has complied with one of the demands of a letter sent by the lawyer of suspended trustee Susanna Kaljur.

On Jan. 10, UBID trustees Ted Haraldson, Rick Bitten, Glenn Loxam and Peter Jacques voted unanimously to suspend Kaljur from the board, for what they deemed as inappropriate behaviour.

RELATED: UBID board suspends trustee

Kaljur challenged the suspension, saying it had no legal standing.

The board received a letter from Kaljur’s legal counsel on Feb. 12, demanding a published apology signed by Haraldson, Bitten, Loxam and Jacques, with the threat of a lawsuit for non-compliance.

RELATED: Trustee threatens legal action against UBID board

There was a Feb. 15 deadline to meet the demands of the letter.

On Feb. 14, the UBID board posted a letter of apology on its website, signed by the four trustees who originally voted to suspend Kaljur.

“We have been advised by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing that there are no provisions under the Local Government Act allowing the Board to suspend an elected Trustee from office,” read the note, in part. “We acknowledge that the decision to suspend Trustee Kaljur is of no force or effect. We sincerely apologize to Trustee Kaljur for our actions in this manner and regret any inconvenience our decision may have caused her.

“We hope that as a Board, moving forward, we can work collectively and cooperatively to serve the interests of our residents.” (see end of article for pdf of letter)

A second portion of the Feb. 12 letter threatened legal action against Haroldson specifically, for what Kaljur’s counsel deemed as defamatory comments “published in the Comox Valley Now(sic) online newspaper.”

Kaljur pointed out that the publicly posted apology was only one of the demands in the letter.

“There are a number of issues which the board has not addressed adequately, which may result in further legal action,” she said.

“Both the apology for suspension letter and the apology letter from Ted Haraldson for defamation against myself (which has not yet been received) must be sent by mail to every landowner as Union Bay has a large number of seniors who do not use computers.”

Kaljur is also questioning the validity of any decisions that were made at UBID board meetings during her illegal suspension.

“The board meetings of January and February 2019 occurred without my knowledge or public notice, due to my being illegally suspended,” she said. “Now that the board has agreed this was illegal, this decision renders those meetings null and void which includes the highly irregular alteration of Union Bay’s election days and AGM.

“The simplest, fairest remedy is for the original election dates, open/close of nominations and the AGM revert back to the original dates voted on and passed at the 2018 AGM April 19, 2018.”

The Feb. 15 deadline remains in place for all other demands in the letter.

“Until all these conditions are met I will not be accepting any apology and I will have no other recourse but proceed with my lawsuit,” said Kaljur.

Suspended Union Bay trustee threatens legal action against UBID board

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/news/suspended-union-bay-trustee-threatens-legal-action-against-ubid-board/

Suspended Union Bay trustee threatens legal action against UBID board

Legal counsel for Susanna Kaljur contends suspension is baseless; demands apology

Suspended Union Bay Improvement District trustee Susanna Kaljur has threatened legal action against the other UBID trustees – Ted Haraldson, Rick Bitten, Glenn Loxam and Peter Jacques – claiming her suspension from the board has no legal standing.

She has also demanded a written apology from UBID chair Haraldson for “false and defamatory” statements published on the “Comox Valley Now” (sic) online newspaper.

A Feb. 12 letter to the trustees, sent by Jason Gratl, legal counsel for Kaljur, stated the Jan. 10 decision to suspend Kaljur indefinitely is baseless.

“There is no provision of the Local Government Act or regulations thereunder, or even a District Bylaw that allows for the removal of an elected trustee,” Gratl said in the letter.

The letter goes on to insist that each one of the aforementioned remaining trustees “publicly acknowledge that your purported removal is of no force and effect,” and demands that the acknowledgement be mailed to every elector in the Union Bay Improvement District. It offers a Feb. 15, 4 p.m. deadline for the acknowledgement, to avoid a lawsuit.

The second part of the letter deals with a quote Haraldson is alleged to have offered to the Comox Valley Now (sic) online publication.

The Feb. 12 letter addresses the following quotes: “As a trustee making these statements in a public blog about our employee is certainly cyber bullying” and that the “allegations can create … public safety concerns to UBID” and that “she’s endangering the public” by telling the public that a water turbidity threshold has been exceeded.

(See end of article for copy of the letter.)

According to the letter, “These statements are false and defamatory. Nothing Ms. Kaljur has said about any UBID employee amounts to cyber bullying. Trustee Kaljur has not created public safety issues. Trustee Kaljur has not endangered the public.”

Gratl then requests a written apology from Haraldson to Kaljur, with the same Feb. 15 (4 p.m.) deadline.

“Should you fail to make this apology, I am instructed to commence a lawsuit against you personally.”

Kaljur expects the board to comply with the demands listed within the letter.

“It is in the best interest of the landowners we serve, that the current Trustees; Ted Haraldson, Rick Bitten, Peter Jacques and Glenn Loxam, comply with these demands,” adding that she will follow through with a lawsuit should the contents of the letter be ignored. “I will be pursuing legal action against each trustee personally should they choose not to comply… My legal counsel Jason Gratl has made this very clear in the letter sent to the trustees.”

When Haraldson was contacted by The Record for comment, he said, in both instances, there has been no decision regarding any response to the requests.

“No decision at this time; that’s all I can really say right now.”

Kaljur is hopeful of a resolution, stating that, as an elected official, she has a responsibility to her constituents.

“I will continue to serve until April 2020 and to carry out my commitment to the electors,” she said. “I took an Oath of Office to be honest and uphold our bylaws, policies and the Local Government Act. I have done so and shall continue to do so.”

If you see a non-traditional power-holder being patronized, mansplained and condescended to, interrupted, gaslit, belittled, bullied, poor-shamed, sexualized, harassed or otherwise erased, say something. #feminism #politics

https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/02/05/opinion/andrea-reimer-surviving-shattered-glass-ceiling

As a woman in politics, breaking glass ceilings isn’t even half the battle. Having a seat at the table doesn’t always mean the seat you’re at is the same size, or that it gives you the same access as traditional power holders. And all the shards left behind by that broken glass ceiling can be just another arsenal for those who already had plenty of weapons to keep us out of power.

My experiences in politics comes from serving four terms with progressive, left-leaning governments in the City of Vancouver, but this isn’t about left or right, or even politics: it’s about every work environment where women are not traditionally in positions of authority. The question that hasn’t been answered is whether having women in the majority will make a difference. But we are about to find out.

If you see a non-traditional power-holder being patronized, mansplained and condescended to, interrupted, gaslit, belittled, bullied, poor-shamed, sexualized, harassed or otherwise erased, say something. #feminism #politics 

With the stencils barely dry on their art deco office doors, Vancouver’s new city council has been getting down to business. Like many newly elected governments, they’ve produced a flurry of motions leading to long meetings and likely more than a few of them wondering if running for office was a good idea. While there’s much that could be said about the policy proposals and advocacy positions they’ve put forward, even with the livestream muted it’s hard not to notice the real history being made: eight out of 11 members of the new council are women.

It’s been well-commented on as a barrier-breaking moment for women’s representation in Vancouver. But having shattered more than a few glass ceilings in my time, getting into elected office is just the beginning of the struggle. 

Four years ago — a few days before my first meeting of third term on city council — I was working alone in the council offices. When I prepared to leave the building I was attacked by a man waiting outside my office. Not attacked as in yelled at (although that was part of it), but actually physically assaulted. It sounds traumatic, and it was. It’s not every day that you have a guy threaten to beat you and then swing a skateboard at you while you desperately try to push him out of your office before the skateboard makes contact. But once I knew I was safe behind a key-carded door, I went about my business and didn’t even report it until the next day. This doesn’t belie some inner calm, but rather an inner wariness. It felt like a logical extension of the daily aggressions all women have to deal with in positions of power, and that I had dealt with from day one, term one.

On my very first day in office 16 years ago, I was young, low-income and elected as a Green. First I was written off as irrelevant, and then when I was elected, I was often trivialized and had to fight to be heard and seen. Fair enough: I was the first Green Party representative elected to a school board in Canada and people had no precedent of what to expect.

Since then, I’ve been elected to council three times and spearheaded nationally and globally recognized initiatives. I became the city’s first permanent deputy mayor, routinely ranked on “Best of the City” lists for elected officials, and was named to the “Power 50” four years in a row, the only Vancouver councillor ever to do so.

Erasure, gaslighting and harassment 

Yet just a few months ago I had a former council colleague refer to me on social media as “kiddo” because I had the audacity to seriously consider a mayoral run. In this man’s eyes, my age, gender and lived experience prevented me from taking reasoned, autonomous action.

And it’s not just men. During the recent municipal election, a former female council colleague blatantly erased my role in a major policy initiative I had championed and inserted herself in my place. She’s older, much more affluent and apparently didn’t think lying at my expense is a big deal. The media I contacted to correct her lie quietly did so, but never publicly called her on it.

It’s this type of casual erasure that is the most exhausting, and the terminal stop on a train that’s travelled right through the last 16 years of my public life and has included being patronized, mansplained and condescended to, interrupted, gaslit, belittled, bullied, poor-shamed, sexualized, harassed and ultimately physically assaulted.

I know I am not alone. Only three of the region’s 21 municipalities had women as mayors prior to the 2018 election and all decided not to run for mayor again. Regardless of what you think about their politics, or mine, the whole point of democracy was to move away from a system where privilege trumped reasoned debate.

There is one basic rule that must exist in a democracy: if everyone is created equally, then everyone has an equal right to participate in governance. When groups of us — large groups of us — are relegated to “kiddo” status by those who enjoy gender, race and class privilege, they are telling us they do not view women, or Indigenous people, or people of colour, or millennials, or people with modest incomes, or anyone who is not them, as equals. That’s not freedom of speech in an empowered democracy: it’s just power using its privilege to further itself.

Despite a large contingent of women, privilege does still define this council which is now painfully white in a city that is celebrated for being anything but that. Those that have trumpeted the numbers of women without referencing this have missed the point on representation. The barriers that make municipal government exhausting for white-passing women are the same ones preventing Indigenous people and people of colour from getting there at all.

Ways to amplify and support women facing discrimination

There are things that can be done to support the women who are there, while still recognizing there is a long way to go on representation and a fully actualized democracy.

1. Speak up: When I was on school board, I learned a lot about bullying. Simple lesson: bullies won’t stop and victims can’t stop the bullying so it’s up to the onlookers to take action. If you see a non-traditional power-holder being patronized, mansplained and condescended to, interrupted, gaslit, belittled, bullied, poor-shamed, sexualized, harassed or otherwise erased, say something.

2. Mindful language choices: Using “kiddo” and “girl” as synonyms for “woman” are obvious no-no’s but the pervasive problem is much more subtle. Standing up for women’s equity means using language that doesn’t mark us as “other” when we are holding the positions of power that men routinely do. Let’s put it this way: if the dude chairing a meeting is a chair, then the woman doing the same is not a “Madame” Chair.

3. Empower more voices: Despite a raft of motions at the first few council meetings, no one sought to re-establish the resident advisory committees which appoint several hundred residents to provide policy advice from lived experiences. For the past 10 years this included renters, seniors, urban Indigenous people, children, youth and people of colour. Committees have a mandated requirement for a minimum 50 per cent women and girls, and prior to dissolution had broad ethnic, class, age and geographic representation. The council needs to re-establish these to broaden the narrow perspective it represents.

4. Use the F word: It’s a mistake to believe that being a woman makes you a feminist. There were five women on the last council and five feminists but they were not exactly the same people. Hold women accountable not to what they are, but for how they choose to show up for other women and girls who haven’t had the privilege or power these women enjoy. Holding women accountable for their legitimate actions is as important a sign of respect as the kind of kudos men of achievement are awarded every day.

Reading this, you may be left with some questions. For example, did these issues play a role in my decision not to run again? They did.

In fact, it was the single largest factor. On vacation with my family a couple of years ago, I realized I was exhausted. Some of this was from the workload that women who come from places that don’t normally lead to elected office expect to endure, but most of the exhaustion was from the sheer effort of dealing with dozens, sometimes hundreds, of daily cuts… and the silence of those around me who observed it and did nothing beyond acknowledging that it must be difficult to cope with.

I am taking the mute button off in the hopes that the women that come after me don’t become victims of their success, a success our democracy desperately needs to have fully empowered to become a truly representative democracy.