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Go May go! Stephen, ya gotta go


Go Greens Go! I am thrilled and delighted that Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has won her seat in British Columbia. This is the first election of a Green Party candidate in North America. At last. She even ousted the Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn.

May achieved this success in her Saanich-Gulf Islands riding even after a media consortium, which included the CBC, refused to allow her to participate in the nationally televised federal candidates’ debate. Her victory occurred in a province where some people think that even Stephen Harper’s views are too liberal (scary!).

For instance, a local eight-page rag where I live, The Sunshine Coast Times,  was promoting the “search for truth, justice and the real Canadian way” of the Western Block [sic] Party. The publisher includes this disclaimer in his paper: “If you are a tree hugging, dope smoking, granola eating, left wing commie pinko and are prone to vote liberal, the material herein will probably cause you some serious pain.”

Like I said: scary. Go, May, go. However, one measly seat in a huge nation like Canada does not give a party any significant clout. The Green Party here is still only a ghost of its political role and impact in Germany, its founding nation. In Australia, the Greens have five senators, one MP, and 24 elected reps in state and territory parliaments plus more than 100 local councillors, according to Wikipedia. Canada, we need a lot more elected green thinkers in the political arena.

Meanwhile, the NDP has become the official opposition in Canada, for the first time ever. Another tremendous victory. Yet people are saying  that NDP leader Jack Layton will have less power now than he did as part of the previous coalition. I think that’s an overstatement.

However, the new majority government of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is indeed a sad day for Canadians and the environment. What are people thinking? Harper is a strong proponent of Alberta’s Tar Sands, and like his former U.S. political buddy, George W. Bush, refuses to acknowledge the threat of global warming and the related impact of human activity. I won’t regurgitate  Harper’s long, poor record on disregarding ecological concerns — it would read too much like a eulogy for the earth.

You can get a good summary of Harper’s standing on the environment and other issues by watching this tongue-in-cheek video by a group of edgy women on Saltspring Island, part of May’s riding. Sadly, Canadians didn’t hear their message: Stephen, ya gotta go.

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UPDATE: A friend who read this post tells me that he’s skeptical of Elizabeth May, since learning her stance on abortion. Leftie activist Judy Rebick ended her support for the Green Party after she says that May called abortion “frivolous.” May is quoted on Life Site News as saying: “I don’t think a woman has a frivolous right to choose. What I don’t want is a desperate woman to die in an illegal abortion.”

What does May mean by “frivolous”? I don’t know. May does support her party’s position of keeping abortions legal. You can read the original story, posted in 2006, on the link above and make your own decision.

May 3, 2011 at 7:35 am
  • May 7, 2011 at 3:15 pmHeather Conn

    Thanks for your concise comments, MC. I’m guessing that this was Elizabeth May’s meaning too, but without asking her, I don’t know. I certainly don’t support using abortion as a replacement for birth control.

    As for the tar sands, I believe that the concept of improving them is illusory. For me, it’s all or nothing in this area. I think that Canada and every other country needs to recognize the world’s peak-oil status and commit wholeheartedly to researching and adopting alternative energy methods and funding far more public transit options. If there were more wide-scale financial and other incentives for households and businesses to switch to passive solar power for instance, buy electric or hybrid cars, etc, and move away from oil, we wouldn’t be so dependent on it as a fuel source. To not move in this direction sooner, rather than later, is foolhardy, in my view.

  • May 7, 2011 at 2:51 pmMC

    I would like to hear from you about how the oil sands can be improved?

    ” “I don’t think a woman has a frivolous right to choose. What I don’t want is a desperate woman to die in an illegal abortion.”” I read this as abortion should not just be a last ditch effort for birth control, and that we should be aware of the consequences of our actions i.e don’t have repeated unprotected sex with no birth control thinking ‘meh, if I get pregnant I will just have an abortion’.

  • May 4, 2011 at 11:46 amDave

    Waking up to the fact that Canada is a captured petro-state. The corruption of our political institutions is almost inevitable. The weight of so much petro-dollars and very hard to overcome. Until we get off the black stuff it is going to be very hard going.

    While I was a long time NDP supporter I am afraid that the holy mantra of JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, will make it hard for them to directly effect environmental disasters such as the tar sands. I think the only hope is to pour significantly more effort into alternative fuel generation and strive for many more green collar jobs.

  • May 3, 2011 at 8:17 pmFrank L. McElroy

    Cheers to the Greens and the NDP. I enjoyed watching the speechifying on streaming video from CBC tv in Massachusetts. Think Layton will do fine because he’ll have to if there is to be anything left of Canada after four years of tory majority. A sad day in one way, but just great in the other.

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