Green and growing

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

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Glimpse of an image

I happen to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister last Friday when he was at Fanshawe College to make an announcement about a $2B in job retraining and other infrastucture investment. With him were the Conservative MPs from the surrounding regions, as far away as Haldimand-Norfolk. Notably absent from the stage was Irene Mathyson, the MP whose riding Fanshawe College is in.

This makes sense if the event is a partisan event. But an announcement from our government about spending $2 billion of our tax dollars (which we don't have and will have to borrow and eventually pay back with interest) seems to me to be an event which should include the local dignitaries, even if they are with other parties.

Of course, the Prime Minister does not want anyone to think that anybody in Parliament does anything for the people except the Conservative party. If only that were true ....

In person, the PM looks much like he does on television. His hair is perfect. His government, not so much.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Update on a government

Wow, how time flies!

Since my last post the government asked the Governor General to prorogue parliament for six weeks, presumably to let things cool down. She granted this adjournment and in the meantime, the Liberals quickly eliminated Dion and replaced him with Ignatieff. He then decided that it would be better to have a coalition with the Conservatives than with the other two parties, as that would appear to make him look more statesmanlike, ie. improve the chances of electability. In the meantime, the Conservatives suddenly realized that their strategy of ignoring the economic crisis was not playing well (ie. reducing their electability), and suddenly turned into Liberals and introduced the largest deficit budget in the history of Canada.

There, that should show the voters that we care, they thought. And perhaps it did. Most voters are tired of all these games, and are finally happy that the elected officials are doing what they were elected to do, rather than spend all of their time repositioning themselves for the next election. But, the budget fails to make any significant investment in the kind of infrastructure Canada needs for the future. Instead, there is money for carbon capture rather than conservation, preservation of an auto industry which invented and remains trapped in obsolescence, and a pile of money targetted to cash-strapped provinces and municipalities which must provide matching funds. If you are going to provide an economic stimulus, then at least build the foundation for long term, sustainable industry.

Now, there is a flap over whether or not these extra billions of spending can be effectively controlled or not. The government appears to be saying no, we have to spend this money so fast that we know that mistakes will be made, and don't blame us for it. Rick Mercer has a great blog post at . Once again, conservative values appear to have been tossed out the window.

There is a great blog post at which summarizes Stephen Harper's serendipitous rise to power, and the inevitability of his fall. It is great reading.

Canada, I hope your next government is deserving of your support.