Tag Archives: green party

Greens Seeing Red: The Star

I’m pretty sure “red/green” puns have jumped the shark and should now be filed under any headline having to do with Kermit’s observations on how easy being green isn’t, but I’m not going to file a complaint or anything. From today’s Toronto Star:


NDP Leader Jack Layton‘s dalliance with the Tories on the issue of Senate reform is raising eyebrows among Green party members.

They wonder what happened to Layton’s insistence in the last election that bringing in proportional representation should be a top priority for the minority Parliament. Proportional representation is a voting system that gives seats in proportion to the parties’ total popular vote across the nation.

But when Harper and Layton talked recently about parliamentary reform, it was the Senate – not proportional representation – that was Layton’s priority. Layton is proposing a national referendum on the future of the Senate and Harper offered his tentative support for the idea.

Yesterday, Layton was in Calgary to “shore up the support of Western Canadians in the NDP’s bid to hold a referendum on the future of the Senate.”

So what about proportional representation?

“Since Parliament can realistically only deal with one democratic reform issue at a time, Mr. Layton’s out-of-nowhere proposal to abolish the Senate is at odds with the NDP’s traditional support for reforming our voting system,” Chris Tindal, the Green party’s democratic reform advocate, said in a statement. “What has happened to his priorities and his promises?”

NDP must reaffirm commitment to fair voting, Green Party says

Crossposted from greenparty.ca

For Immediate Release
November 8, 2007

TORONTO – NDP leader Jack Layton’s abrupt decision to support Stephen Harper by making the Senate his democratic reform priority raises serious questions about the NDP’s commitment to Proportional Representation, Green Party of Canada democratic reform advocate Chris Tindal said today.

“Since Parliament can realistically only deal with one democratic reform issue at a time, Mr. Layton’s out-of-nowhere proposal to abolish the Senate is at odds with the NDP’s traditional support for reforming our voting system,” Tindal said.

“It’s an open secret in Ottawa that Mr. Layton’s goal is to displace the Liberals and become leader of the opposition under the current First Past the Post system. During the 2004 election campaign, Mr. Layton made electoral reform a priority. Since then, we’ve heard almost nothing from him about fair voting. What has happened to his priorities and his promises?”

Fair Vote Canada, a multi-partisan organization that advocates for electoral reform, insists that the necessary discussion about the future of the Senate must come after citizens have determined how their MPs are elected. “At the federal level, the first and most urgent priority is beginning a citizen-driven process to determine the best electoral system for electing MPs,” said a July 2006 statement by FVC. “Job one is to create a truly representative House of Commons and legitimate majority government.” Under the current voting system, majority governments are often elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, leading to “false majorities.”

Tindal said that even if Mr. Layton’s proposal for a snap referendum on abolishing the Senate was constitutional – and it isn’t – it is both premature and too narrowly defined. Instead, he should immediately reaffirm his party’s commitment to Proportional Representation and push for a federal Citizens’ Assembly to explore that issue.

The Green Party recognizes and supports the need for Senate reform but believes it must explore all options and happen within the context of public involvement and study, and not until after citizens have had a chance to reform the federal voting system.


Green Party Leads In Saskatchewan Riding…

…if only just for one moment.

Saskatchewan Election Results Green Party 2007

I don’t think there’s been a general election in this country in over two years that hasn’t had us leading in at least one riding for at least a few minutes. Sure, that’s a very different thing than actually winning seats or finishing a close second under First Past the Post, but it’s also the sort of thing that used to be considered an impossibility. Now it’s normal and expected. Look for us to continue to accomplish the impossible.

Conservatives Attack Vision Green

The Conservative party actually bothered to pay people to go through Vision Green (our 160 page policy document released on Monday) to find stuff they could pick out in an attempt to make us look as crazy as possible. (I’m going to file this under “you know you’ve made it when.”) Today, they’ve posted a large image on their homepage (wait, that means they had to pay a designer too…that’s not cheap) that links to what they consider to be the “highlights” (their word) of our document. Of the hundreds of ideas and solutions contained within, there are four specific points they’ve decided are worthy of more attention, seemingly because they all start with the letter “P:”

PEACE – In addition to their policy of changing the “Department of Defense” [sic], to the “Department of Peace”, the Green Party is calling a “notice of withdrawal” from the NATO mission in Southern Afghanistan, and a review of our participation in NATO and other military alliances (Vision Green, p. 133, 141).

Uh…wait, sorry, was there a non-spelling-related criticism coming there? No, that’s it? You’re just mocking us for our commitment to work towards peace? Ok then. Moving on.

POT – The Green Party will “legalize marijuana” by removing it from the schedule of regulated drugs (Vision Green, p. 107).

Correct. You know what other group of hippies recommends legalizing (and regulating, taxing) marijuana? The Canadian senate. Anyone who’s studied this issue knows that prohibition on pot has failed, and only serves to criminalize a huge number of Canadians while simultaneously financing organized crime and contributing to gang violence.

PROTECTIONISM – The Green Party wants to “immediately provide the required six months’ notice of withdrawal from NAFTA”, and to scrap the Security and Prosperity Partnership with the United States (Vision Green, p. 146, 148).

The six months notice is to trigger much needed re-negotiations of NAFTA, particularly the parts that say it’s ok for American companies to poison our drinking water, so long as they’re making money while doing so. That’s not trade protectionism, that’s protecting Canadians. Besides, it’s not like the US is respecting NAFTA anyway.

AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT…PARKING TICKETS – Attention shoppers, the Green Party wants to force malls and “megastore retail outlets” to charge customers for parking (Vision Green, p. 67).

Believe it or not folks, the Green party wants to discourage out-of-control sprawl and a debilitating dependence on cars. Shocking news indeed. (Attention shoppers, we cannot shop our way out of this problem.)

Look Stephen, last week we found out that concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have already reached critically high levels that we previously believed would take ten years to accumulate. Meanwhile, the arctic is melting more rapidly than even the most pessimistic climatologists predicted. In other words, we should now be in crisis mode, and must take emergency measures. Given our situation, taking action to discourage the most “mega” aspects of our car culture is the least we should do.

Of course, I don’t expect the Conservative party to understand that. It’s clear they still don’t have any understanding of the extremely serious situation we’re in. That makes Harper and the rest of this government Dangerous with a capital D and that rhymes with E and that stands for Election. Canadians, I know you don’t want one right now (at least, that’s what my TV tells me), but you may need one. Soon, at least.