I want my Canada Back

At each all-candidates’ meetings since the election began, Peter Braid has said that the Conservative government has introduced “the toughest regulations in the industrialized world” to deal with climate change and atmospheric pollution. Most recently, he said this in front of a crowd of senior citizens at Luther Village. In the audience, I (and all the candidates, from what I can tell) didn’t know what he’s talking about. I would like Peter Braid, on behalf of the Conservative Party and Stephen Harper, to explain what he means by this statement. I am not able to imagine a framework in which what he has said — repeatedly — could be truthful, although I have tried. Last I heard, Canada — Stephen Harper’s Canada — was at the top of the list in everything we don’t want as far as climate change goes.

If I am wrong, and Peter Braid is right, I will be overjoyed. I so want a Canada to be proud of, a Canada in which climate change is taken seriously and emissions levels are tackled and reduced. I want my Canada back. And the Canada I want will not led by a government that lies to me and my community about what it is doing about climate change — or anything else, for that matter. 

Voting Strategically

A lot of people think that a Green vote could split the opposition and make it more likely that we end up with something they really don’t want: a Conservative majority in Parliament. But I don’t think that makes all that much sense. Here are some reasons why I think it’s “strategic” to vote Green.

  1. Green voters have had a great influence on the development of policy and options in Canada — two of the other major parties now sport imitation Green climate change policies (as much like the real one as that Gucci bag at the flea market, but still, better than nothing). So our votes count, even when they don’t produce seats.
  2. We have a real chance to elect MPs this time around, and think about it: wouldn’t you rather have 20 Green MPs sitting in opposition, than no Greens? Why would we sacrifice the opportunity to vote for who we want to just to ensure another Parliament like the last one?
  3. Canadians have been voting “strategically” (that is, for their least-feared, instead of best-loved, option) for years. Look what it’s got us. The last Parliament was, by all accounts, dysfunctional. That’s not good for Green values, and it’s not good for Canada.
  4. Our votes should make us feel good. We should vote according to our consciences. Second-guessing 20 million other voters and the system isn’t a great gamble. We should vote Green because we want to.
  5. Voting Green shows support for reform of the voting and representation system in Canada that would make all this worry about “strategy” at the polling booth evaporate. Mixed-Member Proportional Representation would ensure that every vote counted for what it is: an expression of people’s beliefs, values, and ideas.

More Than Voting

I began volunteering with the Green Party because I felt compelled to do more than vote. This election, if you’d like to have a greater impact, here are some ways you can help Cathy’s Green campaign.

Listed in order of greatest need (i.e. we need lots of canvassers!):

  1. Want exercise and good with people? We’re sending out foot canvassers to knock on doors to identify Green supporters and those who would like to talk to Cathy. Come by our office (405 King St. North, just south of Weber) with at least two hours availability at one of the following times: Weekdays at 2, 6 or 7 pm, Saturdays at 11 am or 2 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.
  2. Prefer to work from home? Join our effort to reach people by phone canvassing to identify Green supporters. You’ll need an internet connection you can use while calling. (You can come into the office to do phone canvassing, too.)
  3. Good at offering hospitality? Join our office managers, welcoming volunteers and visiters to our campaign office. Daytime and evening hours available, and we’ll do our best to pair people up to keep things fun.
  4. Love to cook? We’d like to make sure we can offer our volunteers refreshment after canvassing a poll or putting up signs. Bring a pot of vegetarian soup or a tin of cookies by the office, or sign up to do it regularly.
  5. Want to experience the momentum? On election day, Oct. 14, we will have a coordinated effort to Get Out the Vote (GOTV). Let us know if you can help make calls or drive people with limited mobility to their polls.
  6. Have a couple hours and a vehicle Oct. 15-16? Help us take down all our lawn signs.
  7. Enjoy getting about and have a vehicle? Help put up lawn signs.
  8. Like interacting with voters? Help staff our St. Jacob’s Farmers Market table on Thursday mornings or afternoons.