Green and growing

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

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Now that the dust is settling ...

I am caught between two outcomes, one good and the other, not so good.

The good outcome is Elizabeth May's election in Saanich-Gulf Islands. With Elizabeth in the House, we can expect to see a different and more cooperative level of discourse there. Issues that were ignored during this election, such as the environment, aboriginal issues and democratic reform will be discussed and the public, if they choose to look, will see the benefit of having a Green voice.

The not so good outcome is that we have a majority government. This is, in fact, a mixed bag for me. I am relieved that after 5 years of high alert, and having to be ready to run in another election at any minute, we can now step down from that tension, and resume the process of building our constituency. This is a welcome outcome. However, I fear for the future of this Parliament, as we must remember that the party that was found in contempt of Parliament (that is, ignoring the will of the people through their elected representatives) now has permission to completely ignore Parliament.

We must accept the wisdom of the electorate, but we must also acknowledge the distortion provided by the first past the post system. The government did not get a majority of the votes in this election. They got about 40%. 60% of the voters did not want this government. 50% more did not want it than wanted it. We are already hearing about receiving a mandate from the people .. the truth is, no such thing happened. But with more than 50% of the seats in the House, they can pass any legislation they like, without consultation, and without regard for the 60% of the people whose values are different.

So what will they do with this power? I fear for democracy, the poor, the environment, First Nations, and small business. I wait for the government to prove me wrong to worry. With a majority, there are no excuses. What happens now is squarely the responsibility of the governing party.

It remains to us to document the events of this parliament, so that intention cannot be re-spun in the next election. I hope that the government will do its best to reach out to all Canadians, and exercise compromise in its approaches to issues, rather than deepen the shallow, partisan, mean-spirited and heavy handed approach to governance that we have come to expect from this government.

I wish you all well.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

LKM Green Party AGM today at 2:00 in Strathroy

Going to #LKM Green AGM today at 2:00 at Duke of Earl (Frank and Centre) in Strathroy .. come on down #elxn41 #cdnpoli