Thursday, July 24, 2008

A pithy comment about the Green Party of Canada

I feel a bit bad for finding this so amusing. I have a lot of friends who are Green Party supporters. Hell, in the past I voted Green a couple of times. But I couldn't help snickering at this:
You don’t own the environmental issue; the NDP has owned that for decades. You don’t own the tax issue; the Conservative Party has owned that for decades. You don’t even own the idea of stealing other parties’ ideas; the Liberal Party has owned that for decades.
The thing is, I do think there's a legitimate place for the Green Party in the Canadian political landscape. There are plenty of people who are politically around where the Liberals or the old PCs would be, except that they recognize that some environmental issues absolutely must be dealt with to avoid an enormous disaster (how enormous is debatable, but it certainly won't be a good scene if global warming advances too far, for instance). So if a sizeable number of those people find a political home there, that's fine. Myself, I'm sticking with the NDP.


Lord of Wealth said...

The issue is not so much who owns or created a policy stance but which stances are right(correct), and which ones they actually believe enough to enact!

The NDP did own the environment because they were able to talk the talk and had no one better to challenge them, but they failed each time they had to act as Mark Francis points out at the provincial level.

The NDP cannot do the right thing about the environment without detroying their labour credibility. You can't scream support GM while it builds SUVs at the same time trying to find real sollutions to Green house gases.

Likewise they target the new Immigrant vote and our own poor vote who wish to become like us and get the opportunity to consume like the locusts we are, (thank you unrealistic tv created expectations)

In reality the western dream is dying and its hard to be truthful about that when the socialist doctrine and economic beliefs are that we can and should give everybody more. Unfortunately they cannot hold to the realties of environmental destruction and resource depletion and still try to sell a utopia of riches.

Is there every any new ideas in politics? its just the mix of which ones you pick that differentiates parties

nitroglycol said...

Oh I know, I acknowledged that the comment was a bit harsh.

As regards the NDP's actual action on environmental issues, in Manitoba it hasn't been too bad. There have been substantial increases in protected lands (and permanent protection of a large chunk of the boreal forest is in the works, pending approval by some of the First Nations). Wind farms are going up around the province, and they're bringing product stewardship in line with Ontario. Of course there are some sore spots. For me, a big one is the fact that they continue to tolerate municipalities' use of malathion to fog for adult mosquitoes- unfortunately, they actually get more public criticism for not doing enough fogging (people actually call the minister's office demanding that the government force their municipality to fog!) For this reason, I doubt any government, NDP, Liberal, Conservative, or even Green, would have the courage to stop this practice, despite the fact that it's largely futile.

Having said that, Manitoba is not Canada, and we don't have the elephant in the room that you mentioned. The only vehicles we build here are buses. I still think that opportunities may exist to change that in places like Ontario now that it's pretty clear that fuel prices aren't likely to fall much below their current levels. What I'd like to see Ontario (or the feds) do is to support GM- but do it by giving them support to retool plants to build buses (and maybe fuel-efficient cars).

It is indeed true that the left has traditionally been focused on the idea that there's plenty to go around and that scarcity is a myth. The sad thing is, at one time this was true, but industrial societies have squandered so much of their wealth that we are now faced with genuine scarcity, which creates severe challenges for anyone interested in social justice. Nevertheless, I still think there are opportunities to improve the distribution of wealth while increasing sustainability at the same time. It's just a lot harder than it would have been if we'd started a century ago.