Today I spent the day collecting the 120 signatures I require to complete my nomination papers for Elections Canada. It was an interesting opportunity to hear people’s concerns and give constituents a chance to meet their Green Party of Canada candidate in the riding of Midnapore. There was a great deal of discontent with the current government. I heard concerns such as crime, the low price of oil, high-voltage power lines in the riding, loss of pensions, and the lament that there are not enough political options for people. We had many people compliment Elizabeth May on her performance in the first Leader’s debate and the request echoed that Elizabeth May should be included in all upcoming leader’s debates because she has something to offer the electorate that other leaders cannot.
I’m confident the Green Party of Canada will make significant inroads into the conscience of constituents. Many took extra attention to the explanation of my pledge to the voters of the riding to accept a wage lesser to that of a current MP and matching that of a standing Canadian soldier with the remainder of my personal MP wage going to the installation of solar panels on public buildings in the riding. I was challenged on many occasions as to why I would engage in such a pledge and the answer is simple: we need to transition rapidly to a renewable energy economy, one that considers carefully our energy use, and one that promotes energy conversation just as much as energy security. Many were interested in the innovation and rapid rate of change relative to solar generation and I was surprised how many people were informed of new developments in the solar industry. I also had one constituent discuss the development of cold-fusion that is now taking place by a researcher in BC; the conversation was hopeful and poignant. The political desire to fund alternative energy with tax incentives for research and development must be implemented to accelerate the creation and commercial application for advanced renewable and conservation energy systems. The political will amongst constituents is in abundance and it is time our political culture supported that inspiration.