Tag Archives: Green Party of Canada

MayDay 2011: Alternatives for Conservatives (repost)

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For most of us, there should be no doubt that the Conservative Party of Canada is broken and represents everything that’s wrong in the world:

  • Poor fiscal management
  • Broken promises
  • Corruption and contempt for Parliament
  • Ignoring your beliefs and value system

Take heart if you’re a small-c conservative and you’re looking for someone that’s not a crook or someone that’s willing to spin any lie just to grab your vote!  There are many alternatives out there.

Seriously.  Here are just a few:

The Green Party (Site)

I fully admit that this (and all summaries below) is a very superficial summary, but the Green Party represents some of the following basic principles:

  • Let the market do what the market does best
  • No deficit
  • Lower taxes on personal income
  • Proportional representation
  • Taxes on waste

In essence, they feel to me like a libertarian party, but with a shade of green.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Don’t believe the mainstream media: the Green Party of Canada is not a ‘lefty’ party ‘full of hippies’.  The Canadian Greens put the market in front of most of their policies and most of their platform has a vibe of ‘white collar’ politics.  While they’re very popular with young voters, most seniors tend to vote Green because they want to stay ‘mainstream’ while also staying faithful to small-c conservative values.

Libertarian Party (Site)

The Libertarians are strong believers that the government should not be in our lives in any way, shape or form.  The less government, the better.

The resulting promise of less government is lower taxes, reduced waste and less frustration for those who simply want to get on with their lives.

If you’re not familiar with the Libertarians, a very famous one is Ron Paul in the US.  Ron Paul is a Republican from Texas, but doesn’t believe in the largesse of government that has been brought about by all parties, including those of a conservative bent.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Libertarians attract those that have had enough with promises, regardless of how much (or little) they will cost.

To see if you’re a Libertarian, try their Canadian quiz.  You may be surprised just how closely you’re aligned with their beliefs!

Canadian Action Party (Site)

One of the central planks of the Canadian Action Party is their demand that we get rid of the Bank of Canada.

While most of their other policies rank towards the left of the spectrum, this one puts them squarely in the middle of Libertarian territory, as Ron Paul has been an advocate of abolition of the Federal Reserve and deficit financing for many years.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

To be honest, I’m not so sure there’s a good answer to this question, but if there’s not a Libertarian or Green candidate in your riding, these may prove to be a good alternative.

Another reason why you would consider them: like the old Reform folks, they’re very supportive of an Elected Senate. Unlike the NDP – which would do away with the Senate altogether – the Canadian Action Party would fill the gap left when the Reform Party was vapourized in 2003.

Christian Heritage Party of Canada (Site)

I’ll go on record and remind everyone that I’m not a fan of the Christian Heritage Party (CHP), but I am a fan of democracy and it’s certainly their right to be out there soliciting votes.

The CHP is the only party to my knowledge that asserts its religious affiliation (Judeo-Christian) in the general public and is a viable option for all of those people that have been supporting the Conservative Party of Canada but who have yet to see progress made on issues like abortion, same-sex marriages and so on.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

If you used to be an Alliance member or simply want to see more overt religion in the policy-making that happens in this country, this is the party for you.

Since the ‘Unite the Right’ campaign washed all of these stronger theological discussions under the table, you’ve been struggling to find a voice with mainstream parties and you’re more than happy to support those that ACTUALLY reflect your value systems and who don’t pretend to reflect them just to grab a vote.

Pirate Party of Canada (Site)

The Pirate Party of Canada got its start when our government began to crack down on people that were using file-sharing and copyrighted materials for personal use.

They reflect the popular Pirate Party in Europe that actually won a number of seats in

There aren’t many candidates in this election, but the party is growing and we expect them to add candidates as the campaign progresses towards May 2.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

While the PPC may be seen as a single-issue party, they have a Libertarian bent that’s very refreshing, particularly if you’re young and you believe in openness, transparency and the elimination of copyright regulations that favour big companies and cost consumers billions each year.

Progressive Canadian Party (once the Progressive Conservatives) (Site)

The Progressive Canadian Party (PCP) is what remains from the aftermath of the Unite the Right campaign in 2003 that saw Stephen Harper consolidate and take control of the following parties:

  • Conservatives
  • Reform Party of Canada
  • Alliance Party

Or … CRAP as an acronym.  Sorry … my anti-Conservative bias is showing 🙂

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Any ‘Red Tory’ would be proud to vote for the Progressive Canadian Party, as they continue to reflect the softer side that the Conservatives lost when Stephen Harper took the reins of the CPC.

Most of the memes related to ‘family’ and religion are absent from the guiding principles of the party.  Instead they focus on unique concepts like sustainability, ‘100 mile diets’, education, health care with some injection of private business and so on.

United Party of Canada (Site)

The United Party of Canada (UPC) is another recent response to the last election where dark-blue Conservatives ran rough over basic principles related to balance, equity and fairness.

Most of their policies reflect this response, including the following directions:

Why would a conservative vote for them?

The party is described as being centrist and would appeal to those ‘Red Tories’ that don’t have a Progressive Canadian candidate running in their riding.

Western Block Party (Site)

The Western Block Party offers those west of Ontario to consolidate their vote and influence into something more tangible, much like the Bloc Quebecois has in the past with Quebec.

The greatest challenge with the WBP is that the founder was the lawyer that represented Ernst Zundel, famous Holocaust denier.  Unfortunately, this taints the party somewhat, but if they are able to focus on the primacy of the West, they’ll be able to attract votes from Albertans, Manitobans, BCers and those from Saskatchewan.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Despite the potential to be seen as a separatist or racist party, conservatives in the West that feel ‘left out’ by their party (including the Conservative Party of Canada) and who don’t believe that Quebec should be pulling all of the strings when it comes to politics will find a home here.

Online Party of Canada (Site)

While the Online Party of Canada is relatively new, there’s a possibility that they may gain momentum – even in this election – because of some of their unique policy platform ideas.

Why would a conservative vote for them?

Even though they’re a relatively ‘fresh’ party, they have potential to attract a lot of conservatives that want Canada to advance as a republic as opposed to a commonwealth country.

CONCLUSION

If you’re a small-c conservative, don’t feel overwhelmed, ignored or lost when it comes to going to the polls on May 2.

THERE ARE OPTIONS and it’s up to you to exercise your right to vote those options.

Of course, if I’ve missed any alternatives, please post them in comments below.

MayDay 2011: Shame on the CBC

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Shame on the CBC.

SHAME!!

The CBC is a publicly funded institution that is blocking out legitimate debate in Canada’s 2011 election.

For the record, I only want Elizabeth May to join the debates because we need to see that the Green Party is more like the Conservatives than any other mainstream party.  As such, her presence would actually fracture the Conservative vote as opposed to dilute the centre-left vote.

That said, I have a modest proposal:  we find a way to have a “non-broadcast consortium” debate that leaders of ALL parties are welcome to join in on.

We need to send a message to all of the broadcasters – including the CBC – that elections are important to Canadians and that this kind of ‘shaping’ of the debates is counter to the democratic ideals of all Canadians.

We need to methodically block them out of the process and take this into our hands.

Of course, I’m useless when it comes to building something like this, but here’s how I see it working:

  • YouTube or Vimeo based
  • Users can pose questions
  • Leaders respond to those questions
  • It can either be real-time or delayed, but it would be important that each leader post their own video response to the questions
  • Answers to questions would be circulated to the users that posted the question AND the network of people that they follow

The absence of any leader would be to their detriment because they will lose out on opportunities to influence a growing volume of Canadians that RELY on social platforms to get their information.

So (and here’s the lame part) … can anyone help me get this going?  If it already exists (is LeadNow doing something like this?), please post a source and link below and I’ll do my best to circulate it.

MayDay 2011: The Debates and the True Colour of ‘Green’

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Stephen Harper and his media friends are holding Elizabeth May at bay for a specific reason:  the Green Party of Canada (GPC) is more BLUE than people think.

In fact, this gets back to a classic debate about what the Green Party represents.  Most of the media stooges who fail to do their research almost always describe the Greens as being aligned with left or centrist views as opposed to right-wing, market-based solutions views.  Even the CBC ‘Vote Compass’ shows the Greens way off in the upper left quadrant as opposed to being in the middle or to the right.  I’m not going to suggest that this is a conspiracy, but I’m still a little suspicious of these results.

A lot of this bias comes from the notion that the Greens are anti-business.  They’re not.  At least, I don’t see them as being that way.  At the Ontario level, the Green Party of Ontario is lead by Mike Schreiner and a core focus of their platform is based on supporting and fostering the small business sector.  (NOTE:  Again I acknowledge that these are my perceptions and I’m open to correction).

That said, what I am trying to clarify is that if you are left or centre oriented, voting Green may not be the way to go because you might be surprised that some of their solutions do not fit your own personal ideology set.

However, if you’re a red tory or a small-c conservative with a conscience (and such a breed actually does exist), vote for the Greens.  The good news for the rest of us is that you’ll fracture the Conservative vote and give the Liberals and NDPers a much better chance of forming the next government.

Most seniors that are frustrated and disgusted with the Conservatives and Stephen Harper are taking this route and are voting Green.  They refuse to vote NDP because they’re not ‘socialists’ and they have a long memory when it comes to fiscal questions raised as far back as Pierre Trudeau.  Recently, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives just put another nail in their ability to garner senior votes when Shelly Glover in Manitoba created ageist confusion by declaring that a 68-year old candidate was ‘past her expiry date’.

On a personal level, I could be convinced to vote Green because I’m a small business owner, but I also don’t want to split the vote away from the leading contender in my riding that will defeat a Conservative and will vote according to this situation.

Ultimately, a split small-c conservative vote is exactly what the Conservatives want to avoid and is why they want to block the Greens from the debate.

Getting back to the GPC:  The reality is that most of their positions declare that if we let the market work, we’ll solve most of our environmental and economic problems.  I know it’s a simplistic summary, but the reliance on market tends to outweigh recommendations related to government interjection and regulation.

Here’s a quote from their site in context of specific platform issues:

“Smart Economy”

We support:

  • no more grey-industry bail-outs
  • income-splitting for families
  • lower payroll and income taxes
  • higher taxes on polluting industries

By ‘grey industry bail-outs’, I’m assuming this refers to the bailouts that were organized for GM and Chrysler.  The NDPers and the Bloc were passionate about car-industry bailouts because it meant protecting union jobs in Ontario and Quebec.  The Liberals were concerned about the companies because they wanted to maintain seats in vital suburban ridings around Toronto and Montreal.

The Conservatives could have cared less, but they eventually supported the bailout, most likely because they saw an opportunity to scoop up votes in the much-desired suburban ridings.

As you can see, the Green point of view is more consistent with the Conservatives.

‘Income-splitting’ was the first platform promise unveiled by Stephen Harper just a couple of days ago.

Lower taxes are fine, but do we know if the Greens support progressive taxes (ie. higher proportionate tax rates on higher income earners)?  I’m not sure, so I welcome feedback and clarification from any Green readers out there.

Where Greens and Blues Diverge

My understanding (and that’s what this blog is all about – if I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments below) is that the Green Party is very different from the Conservatives because the Greens are about Parliamentary reform.  Proportional Representation (PR) is at the top of their list and might become an election issue or question if they are allowed to debate.

That said, PR has also been a central piece of the NDP platform for a very long time, and we’ve yet to hear a peep from Jack or others at the provincial level when it comes to introducing reform that will actually stick.

Ironically, PR was also central to the Reform Party back at the end of the 80s and into the 90s before the Conservative emerged from the CRAP (Conservative-Reform-Alliance Party).

This proves that as parties become more ‘mainstream’ their concerns about democratic reform become more marginal and less important than seeing that ‘majority’ light at the end of the tunnel.

Regardless, you can see that the Greens are actually more consistent with the Conservatives.  This would become much more evident in a public debate.

As a result:  Elizabeth May is intentionally blocked from the debates in order to keep the confusion going for left-centrist voters and to protect the Conservatives from any kind of splitting of their votes.

Green Party Backgrounder

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Stuart Herzog posts a couple of wide-ranging background pieces about the Canadian version of the Green Party and descirbes why it’s unlikely that they will be a success in Canada.

Original link here and background piece on the Failure of Green Electoralism.

He points out two critical elements for me that tend to get completely screwed up and ignored by the media in Canada:

  1. the Green Party has been taken over by the disenfranchised Right, and
  2. it represents small-c conservative and middle class values.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to toss my radio out the window or chuck a shoe at the TV when some mandarin tries to make us believe that the popularity of the Green Party leads to a direct fall in support for the NDP.  Once you scrape the surface on their people and their platforms, you realize that the media couldn’t be more wrong.

In fact, as Green Party membership shrinks or grows, it’s going to have an impact on the Conservatives and possibly Liberals.  The only people that bail on the NDP are those that follow party politics on a superficial level.  Oops:  that could be a lot!!

Anyways, over the past few years, I’ve considered supporting the Greens in Canada, but because their party leaders put too much faith in the market, they prove themselves to be an oxy-moron:  you can’t solve market problems with market solutions.

Thank you Stuart for these insightful pieces!

Canadian Election: A Call for Solidarity on ‘The Left’

A few years ago, the folks on ‘the right’ were represented bya mis-aligned, rag-tag group that now forms our minority government and constantly bullies the opposition into their bidding.  They threaten election, they will likely call one within the next couple of days and they will likely continue … with another minority leadership.

Historically, there were at least three major, nationally recognized ‘right wing’ parties vying for leadership of Canada (or at least the West), including:

  • The Reform Party
  • The Alliance Party
  • The Progressive Conservatives

Add to that the volume of even smaller more radical groups and the right-wing vote looked like it would be permanently fractured beyond any ability to win a few seats, let alone run the country.

They knew this.  The Liberals knew this.  Even the NDP knew this.  We (‘the left’) all gloated in the knowledge that we’d never have to worry about sending our kids abroad in US battles or risk privatizing health care.  No missile defense system here.  We’re all small-l liberals.

And then the Right surprised us all.  They did what the left should have done long ago (and still can).  Ironically, they showed a sign of solidarity and ‘unionized’.

They got together.  ‘Collective Power’ could have been their mantra.  They realized that there was strength in numbers, not power in fragmentation and small voices being silenced by the wave of Liberalism that ran Canada for decades.

They all banded together to create ‘The Conservatives’.  No more ‘Progressives’ here.

They all got behind an intentional strategy to put their squabbling aside and steal the government from the progressives and left.

And their plan is still moving forward today.

I’ll wager that the election that will be called was part of Harper’s plans two, maybe even four, years ago.

Il’l wager that most of the bullying and taunting of the opposition labelling them as ‘kind’ and ‘soft’ have been in the works for half a decade.  Prime Minister Martin was depicted as ‘constantly dithering’ in order to add a level of uncertainty and unkind apathy to a man who was caught up in the wasp’s nest set up by his previous boss.

Stephane Dion is depicted as a whiner.  The kid who would tell his mom that the school yard bully is stealing his lunch money.

The Green Party is gaining momentum and the face of Elizabeth May will become better recognized than out other leaders.  Jack Layton of the NDP risks losing many seats to a sense of ‘green guilt’ that is washing over the populace.

What to do?  What to do?

Punch the bully in the nose.  Surprise him.  When he gets mad and throws a trantrum, his credibility goes down the toilet.

We all know the answer:  we must engage in our show of solidarity.

Maybe Buzz Hargrove was on to something a few years ago when he asked locals to support Liberals in weak NDP ridings.

What I do know is that if we don’t consolidate the left-wing vote and then settle things after we’re in power, we’ll never be in power.  This election will drain the coffers of all of the opposition parties.  It’ll kill them if there’s another election in October 2009.

What was once killing the Conservatives is now killing the Progressive Left.  Fragmentation is not our friend.

A majority government for the (now obviously Radical Right) Conservatives is just an election away and we’re ‘dithering’ and ‘whining’.  The Liberals have voted for the Conservatives more times than I can imagine, but apparently, ‘our government doesn’t work’ (straight from Harper’s mouth).

We’ve lost funding for the arts, women’s causes, legal rights for less-privileged citizens, the right to abort (it’s there, it just hasn’t been tested yet), our communication infrastructure, our lives as we eat because of industry self-regulation, our right to peace (‘support our troops’ is now more ubiquitous than ‘just do it’) and the Conservatives will keep chipping away at everything else that we hold dear until we’re just another state.

Let’s put an end to this nonsense.  LET’S GET TOGETHER.  NOW.

I suggest the following:

  1. The Liberals, the Greens and the NDP represent the majority will and vote of Canadians.
  2. We will not be able to consolidate under one banner before the election.
  3. These three parties must agree to disagree on issues before the election.
  4. During the election, these three parties must show solidarity.
  5. Our only competition is the Conservative Party of Canada.
  6. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties (the Greens, NDP and Liberals) should meet before the election to create a strategy of ‘inclusion’ (a government run by the will of the majority of Canadians) by means of ‘exclusion’ (reducing or eliminating candidates in key ridings in order to guarantee seats won for the Progressive Left).
  7. This means we will have to choose the ridings that each party will be closest to winning (including the Green Party) and take them from the Conservatives, without fragmenting out own vote.
  8. The result:  we spend the same amount of campaign funds on fewer ridings.  This means we will increase the odds of winning more ridings collectively.
  9. The leaders of Canada’s Progressive Parties will have to get together after the election to form a Canadian Caucus, one that truly reflects the majority of Canadians (not this one-third nonsense that rules us now).
  10. After the election, we will lay out a specific strategy that will marginalize the Right.

Some of the points sound awful.  They sound defeatist and undemocratic.  But if we don’t do it, we’ll hand over the will of the majority of Canadians to a small group of people that are determined to alter the future of this country to their benefit and the detriment of the majority.

Please, people.  Answer my call.

To paraphrase John Lennon:  A great future starts today.  If we want it.


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