Green and growing

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

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Change in the weather

This week we had our first hard frost. To me, that is the clearest reminder that winter is coming. We also experienced continuing concern about the financial markets, lead by the banking crisis in the US. We are also see the aftereffects of the leader's debates which aired on October 1 and 2.

For the election, the talk used to be about whether or not the Conservatives would get a majority. The polls suggest that such a thing is impossible now, and the talk is about whether or not Harper will hang on to power. What a difference a week makes!

I think it is appropriate for the Conservatives to lose some support right now. It's not because of their fundamental values, many of which I agree with. The problem is that they have set a new, low standard for ethics in government. It started the very first week. Harper appointed Michael Fortier to the portfolio of Public Works, even though he had not even run in the election (he was appointed to the Senate, but has never sat in the House of Commons to be accountable to the people). He brought in rules to prevent MP's from becoming lobbyists for a period of time, and simultaneously appointed a lobbyist to the Defence portfolio. To round out the cabinet, he added a Liberal or two, after convincing them to change teams. If I was a voter in one of those ridings, I would be pretty upset.

In the last weeks of the 39th Parliament, we saw the Prime Minister call an early election, breaking the spirit and intent of his own fixed election date law. Why? I believe that he wanted the election out of the way before the economic situation hit the fan. I guess he miscalculated that one. We saw multiple partisan fliers distributed at taxpayer expense into this riding and most other ridings in Canada. We didn't see the economic forecast that the government commissioned which indicated that carbon taxation would result in a positive GNP growth. Instead, we saw yet another round of negative advertising, some of which was run prior to the election call so that it would not be included in the spending limits that govern elections.

We are still waiting to hear the results of the inquiry into the Cadman affair, the abuse of spending limits in the 2006 election (the in-and-out scandal) and exactly which confidential documents did the Minister of Foreign Affairs leave at his girlfriend's apartment for her to dispose of.

All in all, I think it is appropriate that this government should be taught a lesson. They have done nothing to improve our trust of elected officials at a time when we desperately need to have faith in our leaders.

It's time to try something new. I hope that you will have a close look at the Green Party. Please give me a chance to show you that government can be done better!


At 4:42 PM, Blogger noamzs said...

Strategically, it was a good move for the Conservatives to call an election before the 'economy hits the fan'. I guess they weren't counting on it hitting the fan during the campaign, which is probably the worst thing that could have happened for them. Combine that with a pretty shoddy campaign that they have been running, and it makes for the tight race for which we are now in store.


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