Green and growing

My story about being a Green politician in Canada, and why it was the best thing I ever did.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sad state of affairs

There is so much going on in the world today. There are important issues to be dealt with, concerns about economy, war and peace, and the future of our planet. So what is our federal government concerned with?

Well, if you listen to the news, it would seem that our politicians are engaged in a number of games with various names, such as "who is the biggest crook?" and "who can bend the rules the furthest without (a) breaking the rules, or (b) breaking them, but not getting caught?". There is a new game developing called "who can call whom what names and still get away with it?". Also, another game called "who will I support this week and what do we get out of it?".

We will keep Karlheinz Schreiber in Canada, in case we need him. Except, of course, no-one that I know believes anything that he has to say, so how could he possibly help. The ethics committee will launch an inquiry in the Cadman allegations, unless, of course, it interferes with any possible, but yet unconfirmed, RCMP investigation into the issue. Some ethics committee, eh? They want to explore and bring to light things which are unethical, but draw the line and refuse to investigate those things that might be illegal. Doesn't leave much room for relevance, in my opinion.

We know that someone leaked a memo (an alleged memo, I guess is more appropriate, since I have never seen it) that may very well affect the outcome of the Democratic nomination in the US. We condemn the Americans if we sense that they are interfering in Canadian affairs. Yet, we have done it to them, and we don't know who did it. Wouldn't that list of possible people be a pretty short list? Or are these sorts of things posted on an internal government intranet so that anyone can browse through and distribute as they see fit?

There is something rotten here. There is something rotten in Ottawa.

It is no wonder that many people do not vote. Why would anyone want to be a part of this circus? By voting, do we not endorse all of this behaviour? By voting, do we not begin rooting for one team? (ie. I hope that there aren't as many crooks on my team as the others). By keeping my vote secret, I can switch teams based on the latest scandal of the day. Pollsters get paid to keep their fingers on the pulse of this change. If the numbers get big enough, well, it's time for another election, so that we can make legitimate the consequences of streams of media news stories about the games above, and how they have been played.

But are we not missing something here? What about the people of Canada? What about the seniors who need increased levels of health care? What about the youth who are entering an uncertain economic time and an even more uncertain career future? What about the children who, in the 21st century in one of the richest countries of the world, still do not get enough to eat every day? Who is concerned about our farming industry? Who improves the plight of the native peoples of Canada? How will we justify our present inaction to the yet unborn great-grandchildren faced with the horrific consequences global climate change? Or, should we just burn all of the oil and the trees and leave nothing behind?

I am saddened when I look at how our elected officials seem to take their jobs as if it were some kind of hockey game to be won. It is as if all of these issues exist so that they can score "points" and thereby improve their chances of re-election, and tighten their grip on power.

I, for one, want a government more interested in solutions than in optics. More committed to people than insults. A government that aspires to world leadership in all aspects of governance. A government that I can be proud of. A government that is willing to share the glory of good outcomes with all parties in the house.

Is there not a better way? If you have never voted, or if you have stopped voting because of the apparent futility, I would urge you to come out and vote for the Green Party. I will do my best to return our government to being a caring and responsible institution, focussed on solutions, and respectful towards all people. Something I can be proud of.


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