I’ve been asked lately, particularly by members of the NDP, why I have switched to the Toronto Centre Greens after many years as an active New Democrat for whom I even considered running this time last year. Recent polls show many others, some of whom I have mingled with at Green Party campaign functions recently, or read about, might well be asked the same questions.
In my letter of resignation as Membership Secretary, last December, to the Toronto Centre NDP executive I noted – without spelling it out – that my brother’s fall and subsequent death last April and May had taken away my appetite for the cut and thrust of partisan politics. Understandable and understood.
Subsequently, as politics again started to infiltrate my consciousness, I was less impressed – even irritated – by what I was hearing from our elected leaders. ‘Making Parliament work’ was a slogan being passed around – seemingly used and then discarded – by each of the elected parties. Clearly Parliament was, and is, not working. Bickering and behaviour, with which children should not be stereotyped, has prevailed.
Meanwhile, again having been absent from this while absorbing the almost-daily news of worsening climate change and some interesting ways to deal with it, I began to be much more worried about the environment in which my niece and nephew are growing up. Life-and-death issues, so front of mind recently, had begun to be about more than family. Yet the parties in Parliament kept on throwing mud, teasing out each others’ hypocrisy, and doing little or nothing to effectively advance the climate change file. The decline of the auto sector, and the manufacturing sector in general, was noted (and hands wrung) while alternatives to the automobile have been thwarted.
I heard Green Party leader Elizabeth Green articulate many of my views.
But it’s not just about ‘green’.
The labels “left” (whether socialist or not quite), “liberal” and “conservative” don’t need to have the gravitas they used to. I don’t mind, and even aspire to, conservative management of my personal finances. (I live in hope.) Just stay out of social conservatism. A liberal, middle-of-the-road approach to some things does not offend me and is often a way to get things done. A leftist, or socialist, approach to some things still resonates strongly with me.
These niches, these points on the political spectrum, do not need to be either/or choices. So long as the planet’s sustainability, and our collective role in that, is paramount I can find solutions which might make for strange bedfellows if I remain tied to the left-centre-right model.
The Green Party of Canada’s stated values are a check-list to keep in mind on all policy matters while being more pragmatic than ideological. The party tries to give credit where credit is due, when it considers the positions of other parties, in the interest of advancing solutions consistent with its values.
I appreciate the party’s openness with its policy documents – everything, and more, anyone might need to be an active, informed Green freely available.
Chris Tindal sent around this flyer a few months ago and it sealed the deal for me at the aforementioned time that I was beginning to reassess my capital-P politics and my wish for a positive, proactive voice. I have frequently posted specific links to Chris’ campaign – videos, blog posts, etc. – which articulate some of the many reasons I support him.
Oh, and as the very limited media coverage of his campaign has often conveyed, Chris is funny, articulate and does good internet!
Finally, I am impressed with the infectious enthusiasm of Green Party members and volunteers – many of whom are working across the country – to help Chris Tindal on Monday.
It all adds up!