A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Going Green

An open letter to Elizabeth May, the Green Party and my fellow citizens.

For some time now I have been considering what, if any, political party I should support federally when next we, the citizens of Canada, get the chance to show who we trust to run our country. It is a difficult choice, do we vote for the best of the worst that are currently playing political games in Ottawa or do we try and get some fresh blood and ideas in the House in the form of either independents or Greens or other minority partys? After watching the government and the opposition parties over past year or so I have come to the conclusion that our only hope of any change for the better, as opposed to the ever increasing downward spiral of democratic deficit currently in effect, is fresh blood. The only real chance of that happening is to start by electing a few Green MPs, something that I believe is a real possibility next time around IF this fledgling party can get their ideas and platform out in the public eye more and convince folk that the alternative, that being more of the same, is unacceptable. Part of that message must be that not only are the Greens for doing thing different in regard to the environment but they are committed to doing things different, as in real open, honest and democratic, in parliament whilst at the same time pushing for change in our electoral system to make our MPs more accountable.

Now you must understand that I do not agree with ALL their ideas or conclusions, but I recognize that no one can please all of the people all of the time and we must all come to the best compromise. I for one am uncomfortable with the total removal of nuclear power from our mix of electricity supply and have some concerns about the price our rural citizens are paying to provide power for our urban neighbors with power from gigantic wind farms. However a little flexibility on these points can go a long way towards alleviating my concerns, build the wind farms offshore when ever possible, have sufficient nuclear available to cover time when wind or solar is not on line, and so on.

I did read the “alternative” stimulus package proposed by the Greens and whilst was not in 100% agreement found little that I could strongly disagree with. It is a shame that only those of us who found mention of it in Elizabeth’s blog and a few others even knew it existed. This should have been out front and center whilst all that budget debate was taking place, only if the Green party ideas are “in the news” BETWEEN elections will they be able to make that leap to elect some MPs to the HoC. In this regard the “Green Insider” has some very good ideas and it is well worth reading his ongoing series of articles.

Now the important bit from my point of view, and a part of the platform that needs to be heard loud and clear is this:-
During the last election the Green Leader was the only one that really expressed any concern about the way our parliamentary democracy is being eroded, our systems being systematically ignored, the manner in which we elect our representatives being compromised, and other such concerns. THIS is the issue that needs to be the focus of ALL honest and caring MPs and potential MPs. Unless our democratic processes are protected and enhanced, we the people, will soon lost the ability to have any real effect upon government. Many citizens already have given up, witness the miserable turn out during the last election, read a few blogs, once you separate the really partisan commentary you will see that so many are just sick and tired of the political games being played on our dime!

One of the other things that really strikes a chord with me is the Support Local mantra that would get our economy working from the bottom up instead of the top down. We have all seen where the “global economy” crowd have brought us to, we must indeed stop giving foreign nations and multinationals more control over our lives than our own citizens enjoy.
So whilst I generally agree with the Green Party platform, will almost certainly be voting for my local Green candidate, who in this area a least has a damn good chance of getting elected if his message is not lost in the pre election media blitz from the other lot, I ask all Greens and the Party Executive to consider this………

If individuals, political partys, the PMO, or others in, or with access to, government can ignore or change the rules to suit their own purpose, if MPs blindly vote with the party despite their personal or constituent’s views, then our Democracy will rapidly go from what is now at times an oligarchy to a defacto dictatorship. It is this that MUST be the focus of any party that wishes to win the trust of the public, those that sit back and do nothing are no less guilty than those who seek to destroy it.

As long time MP David Kilgore said in one of his speeches “All too often in Canada and elsewhere there has been a tendency to equate democracy with the holding of elections, forgetting that democracy must be continuously nurtured – not just once every four or five years. Democracy demands vigilance, and a willingness to pose difficult questions and to take risks. I do not mean by that only taking to the streets to complain about what is wrong, but also advocating constructive alternatives.”
More from David and more links at my post here

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