It’s the first day of the campaign and I worry people will become fatigued with the amount of information available for processing to gain a clearer and trusted understanding of how to vote. This is precisely why voter turn-out in Canadian elections is low. Our Westminster system limits our selections, creating a polarizing effect. The result is a partisan system that appears more like “fiddle while Rome burns” than logical or intelligent progress; which is why most people just boycott the process and turn to forgetting there is an election to consider. This is particularly accurate when it comes to technical, social, and commercial innovation. Canada usually follows what the US does, even though we sometimes follow far behind. For example, as a technical innovator I met recently explains, we should be following the regulations of the EPA when it comes to the regulation of water. It is legal in Canada to freely spill toxic effluent into fresh water rivers that are six times the legal limit in the United States without consequence.
While the Green Party appears to be and gets portrayed by parties frustrated that we have better appeal to the voter by panning us with the slogan that we are a one issue party, the problem is that the problems we are trying to fix are not fixable unless we specifically address a number of very relevant issues, the primary being electoral reform. Proportional Representation is the way to overcome this enormous hurdle to the progress of Canada. The vote for a Green candidate is a strategic vote for democracy.
Here’s quick overview of Canadian politics that I came across on the internet. (I hope to find more websites that do comparative analysis of the parties and issues.)
It might help inform your vote, even though I take issue with the portrayal of the Green Party. It’s understandable that many will not grasp how a relatively new party formulates itself in a system that is contextualized by our overburdened understanding of two party politics that we absorb from being exposed to so much US media. The NDP’s decision to pull out of the debates is a clear indication that the NDP have fallen prey to the influence of our perceived two party system via our American friends – they’ve fallen right into the trap of the Harper neo-conservatives who want to mimic US-style politics.
The reason I am a Green is because we do not fall on left or right of the political spectrum. While it may be frustrating for people now, it will become clear why this is a characteristic of the Green Party and its candidates. We are seeking progress, agreement, cooperation, and advancement for the betterment of Canadians and the future of Canadians because we know we live in a diverse society with multiple points of view; we are not seeking self-aggrandisement or rooted power. We would be fine with other parties taking the lead to accomplish what we demand of preservation of our environmental legacy and bettering Canadian society but unfortunately, such policy and focus is not available in its entirety from other Canadian political parties. We believe we are on the right side of history, specifically because our political conviction arises out of the world’s most pressing issue: climate instability and ecological stress. We are looking for solutions that tend towards consensus, not fragmentation.
While the entire platform will be released incrementally over the coming weeks, please examine our Green Vision so you may familiarize yourself with what we stand for and how we hope to accomplish our goals.
And as always, inform yourself about what is promised and promoted by all the Canadian parties you have to choose from – there are more than just two (the Liberals want you to imagine there are only Liberals and Conservatives, the NDP wants you to imagine there is only the NDP and Conservatives). An informed vote is how we gain the most value from voting, so discuss the issues with people. This election is too important not to talk about it and get people out to vote. We know that if more people simply voted, the Harper neo-cons would be shown the exit door and that would nullify this notion that we must vote strategically. Just voting and get everyone to vote is enough to limit the influence “strategic” voting has on your task of getting Canada right.