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Hebert: Include May on leaders debates

Basically, Chantal says today that Jack Layton’s and the NDP’s argument for keeping Elizabeth May out of the debates is flimsy, and she should have a place at the debate table. You can read her list of reasons why here, but this part here of her column is what stood out for me:

At this juncture, one in 10 voters is inclined to support the Green party in the next election, more than the number that plan to vote for the Bloc and enough to impact on the outcome of the campaign. In absentia, May is already partly responsible for the tenor of the debate on the environment in the House of Commons. Without the recent surge in Green support, the opposition parties might have been inclined to think outside the box of the Kyoto Protocol. Whether it is good policy for the Liberals and the NDP to stick to the targets of the treaty remains to be seen. But they clearly feel it is good politics to fend off the Greens in the next campaign. For all those reasons, the Greens need to be subjected to some of the scrutiny afforded their more established competition.

There are some in the NDP (including Kuri at her blogsite here) who feel its better to let May participate in the debates, because it will expose her as a sham to the Canadian electorate. I don’t agree obviously with that conclusion, but it does fall into Hebert’s line of reasoning that they deserve to be scrutinized more – not just to see if they aren’t a good option, but on the other side of things, whether they are a legitimate option.

37 comments to Hebert: Include May on leaders debates

  • Thanks for your answer.

  • After reading May’s statement in her letter to the NatPo, do you still contend that she is anti-choice?

    Yes, because she brags about talking women out of abortions in her little speech to the nuns in London. She says that “no one in their right mind” can be for abortions. (Let me tell you, when I needed one, I was pretty damn for abortions!) She qualifies our right to choose to very limited, tragic situations. In order to be pro-choice, you should allow women that choice without any personal, moral qualifications, without pathologizing us, and without condescending.

  • Thanks for answering my question, Kuri.

    I have one more. After reading May’s statement in her letter to the NatPo, do you still contend that she is anti-choice?

    I ain’t tryin’ to be a smart ass. I really want to know if that’s how you interpret her statement. I can’t see it as anything but pro-choice but if you still think she’s anti-choice, as you said earlier, I want to know how you can come to that conclusion after reading her own words.

    JB

  • Do you think a woman has a frivolous right to choose?

    Abso-friggin’-lutely! Her body, her choice, I don’t give a shit why. The moralizers (and this seems to include May) need to just butt out.

  • Kuri, I just read May’s quoted statement from yer link. I didn’t see where she said she was “anti-choice” as your smear said. Here is her statement regarding choice:

    I am strongly in favour of a woman’s right to access a safe and legal abortion. However, I think the polarization of the issue does our society a disservice. We should be able, even on a highly emotional issue like this, to hold a respectful dialogue. Perhaps former U.S. president Bill Clinton expressed it best: “Abortion should be safe, legal and rare.”

    Fairly pro-choice, wouldn’t you say?

    When you said the “fiscal conservative says it all,” I took you to mean that it says it all. If you care about a lot more than that, perhaps you shouldn’t have said that it “says it all. I was only taking you at your word and telling you that, for me, fiscal policy does not “say it all.” I guess you’re now saying that it doesn’t “say it all” for you, either. That is a different position than your earlier one.

    RE abortion, I realize men cannot have an opinion, but I’ll repeat the parts of May’s quote that your own blog emphasized and see if they mean what you’ve contended — that May is anti-choice and considers “women who’ve had abortions as either ‘crazy’ or ‘victims’.”

    May: “I don’t think a woman has a frivolous right to choose.”

    Obviously, the key qualifier is “frivolous”. I doubt that “frivolous” is defined in law but I’m no lawyer. I would posit that any surgical procedure is serious and should not be undertaken frivolously. Since you’ve emphasized this quote and you’re in disagreement with May, let me ask you a Yes or No question:
    Do you think a woman has a frivolous right to choose?

    May: “Abortions are legal because they must be to avoid women dying. But nobody in their right mind is for abortions.”

    Being for the right to choose and being “for abortions” are two different things. Again, I speak as a man and I realize my limitations but I see abortion as a serious surgical procedure that, in most cases, could have been prevented by use of any number of widely available birth control methods. Let me paraphrase “Wars are necessary to to avoid agression, repression and genocide. But nobody in their right mind is for wars.” May did not say, as your smear contends, that women who’ve had abortions are “crazy.” She said that being “for abortion” is crazy.

    May: “I cannot imagine the circumstances that would ever reduce me to it.”

    Perhaps Elizabeth should consider the possibility of rape as such a circumstance. A pregnant rape victim would certainly be faced with a monumental decision. If she’s considered the rape possibility, May’s statement seems to indicate that, in her own personal case, she would not choose an abortion. Her body, her choice.

    May has been unequivocal in her pro-choice stance and she’s supported the official pro-choice stance of the Green Party. The misinterpretations by the National Post and others with an anti-Green axe to grind are part of a disinformation campaign and are not backed up by the facts or by May’s own words.

    JimBobby

  • [quote comment=”3583″]The NDP smear campaign continues.[/quote]

    It’s not an NDP smear campaign. It’s been a number of feminist bloggers who picked up on May’s horribly insulting remarks and pushed the agenda until the MSM picked up on it. Unfortunately, this isn’t an NDP issue, however, it *is* very much my issue. In fact, I’d like to see the NDP defend reproductive freedom more vigorously.

    [quote comment=”3583″]If “fiscally conservative” says it all, then I assume you don’t really care at all about social issues.[/quote]

    No, I do care about social issues – but I care about a lot more than that. I guess that’s hard for the paleo-partisans to comprehend….

    Also, Scott, this is usually IP’s argument, but coalitions take place after the people have expressed their democratic will. Arrangements beforehand aren’t coalition, but collusion.

  • Let’s call a spade a spade. With the exception of a few NDP bloggers like Kuri… the real reason the NDP folks don’t want her in the debate is they’re afraid she’ll do real well and siphon off support from them… because they’re afraid something like London-North-Centre will occur again on a national basis, where the Greens siphoned off votes from all 3 parties, but most of all from the NDP.

    That’s the reason the NDP doesn’t want her in the debates. They couldn’t come out without looking silly arguing that before the May-Dion pact, so they’re trying to use this as an excuse for their claiming she doesn’t belong there.

    I repeat.. coalition governments with cooperating parties in Europe don’t prevent those 2 parties or multiple parties from participating in debates.. so Dion and May’s deal – which is on a FAR smaller scale then what you see in Europe where broader agreements are made between parties – is a poor excuse (yea.. excuse.. not reason) to be keeping May and the Greens out of the debate.

  • What the paleo-partisans seem to be unable to grasp is that the GPC and May are lookin’ at the longterm. Normal politicians don’t do that. They’re not interested in anything besides getting votes and they make absurdly ridiculous promises in their attempt to fool voters with teh hopes thatthey’ll form a government. The GPC doesn’t expect to form a government so votes are a bit less of an issue. The well-being of the planet is foremost for the GPC. The planet will be better off with PM Dion and a smattering of GPC MP’s.

    Ah, so the Greens are nothing more than holier-than-thou enviro-flakes with a Messiah complex. Give me a break. The well-being of the planet will not be greatly impacted by having a handful of Green MPs without official party status (or are they going to win 12+ seats? haha).

    A politician is a politician is a politician, and May at best sometimes sounds like a lobbyist – which is precisely what she was until recently. She’s endorsed Dion for PM – has she ever criticized the Liberals for climate change inaction over the course of their 13 years in office? Since becoming GPC leader? Hmm?

    Had she not made this deal with the Liberals, I might be persuaded that she belongs in the debate. As it stands, she does not, however.

  • “Except, the Green leader is anti-choice and puts down women who’ve had abortions as either “crazy” or “victims”. That’s not even socially liberal. ”

    The NDP smear campaign continues. First, she’s an American. Now she’s anti-choice. What’s next? Is she planning on blowing up some clinics?

    Here’s Elizabeth may on abortion. If “fiscally conservative” says it all, then I assume you don’t really care at all about social issues. I do. Many otrher Canadians do too. A party’s fiscal policy does not “say it all” to me. Far from it.

    JB

  • Except, the Green leader is anti-choice and puts down women who’ve had abortions as either “crazy” or “victims”. That’s not even socially liberal.

  • [quote comment=”3550″]Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. It’s just so dang confusing to paleo-partisans.[/quote]

    This here T-Rex doens’t find it confusing at all JimBobby: fiscally Conservative says it all. What has this meant here in fiscally conservative Alberta? Lots of money for big business, no money for infrastructure, for education or social programs. I’m all for fiscally responsible (which was basically what the NDP has done most of the time provincially in Sask. and Man.), but fiscally conservative is another thing entirely. And, yes, fiscally Conservative, socially liberal is entirely consistent with a centre-right position.

  • Ted,

    If you follow that argument and applied it to Quebec then you would have shut out the ADQ from any such debate of those “likely to form government”. What it does is presume the outcome of a vote before it ever happens, it prejudices the choice (real or perceived) that those voters (and there are a lot) that base their decision on the actual election period (unlike you and me who probably have made their choice prior to the writ being dropped).

    I completely agree that we need to have a more substantial vetting of each parties policies in a controlled a fair manner on television (and in the media in general), however, a two party debate goes against the grain of democratic choice.

  • Dionosaur

    The GPC has sent an e-mail stating that her ‘experience with Mr. Dion is that he is honest, intellectually rigourous and thoroughly committed to Kyoto. She formed and expressed that opinion before he became Liberal leader, and she continues to express that opinion now.’

    For some reason, she has extrapolated this opinion into fact. If she is buddies with Dion, that is acceptable. I’m sure that there are MPs or members of parties that have friends or people they respect in other parties. However, this should in no way necessitate that hard-working members of their respective parties should step aside based on their personal opinions. The Green Party needs to remain 100% independent of the Liberal Party.

  • Ted

    I think that keeping it in the hands of the broadcasters is better actually. If it is Elections Canada, then there will never be any change. They will adopt a set of rules and then, in order to be fair, will never change those rules. Leaving it with broadcasters means at least that there is a lot of behind-the-scenes negotiation and possibility for change. The broadcasters would also always be a little bit more free of the political appointment process.

    Sean: how does having two people debate instead of 5/6/7 limit voter choice? There is no change to the ballot. MPs are still running from each party in each most of the ridings. We’d get some good information from the only two parties that have a chance to form the government. If that ever changed you’d have to change the format again.

    Canadians would actually get more choice because they’d actually be able to make an informed decision about who will form the next government PLUS they get to see the others throw out their best punchlines and regurgitate their campaign literature in 45 second sound bites. The best of both worlds.

  • Of course normal politicians are interested in getting votes for their parties. They actually, you know, believe in their party’s platform and think it might do the country some good if they can persuade others to their way of thinking.

    Tell me JB, does this visionary new politics of which you speak have a way to get around giving Dion the top job without choosing the local Liberal candidate on the ballot? If it doesn’t, it just looks like May is selling out the rest of her party so she can take a run at a seat in parliament. Very old politics there, don’t you think?

    As to the planet being better off with Dion, all I can say is we had the Liberals for a long time and CO2 went up rather than down. Liberals always put their interests ahead of anything else and that includes the planet. Drink their Kool-aid at your peril I guess, but don’t pass the cup my way.

  • actually I think getting a seat in parliament is foremost for the Greens…

  • Actually Ted I think I was inline with your comments, you seemed to be suggesting that their should be a debate with only two of the parties involved.
    Yes I admit that I mis-read your post, however, the merit of my comments still stand when it comes to your idea of a debate with only two parties involved…regardless of your suggestion that it be in addition to an all-party debate. Again, the Liberals and Cons both only represent approximately 1/3 of the country, so limiting the choice (or perceived choice) of voters something we shouldn’t be entertaining. In addition, less educated voter seeing the leaders on tv still has a large effect and by limiting the exposure of all of the credible parties (Lib, Con, NDP, BQ, Green) we would be giving preference to one party over the other.

    However, I do agree with you (and others in this comment stream) that the debates in their current format are useless. The one-on-one debates are a terrible idea in such a crowd, not to mention that some of the subjects and party pairings are poorly chosen. I don’t have a suggestion on how to improve the debates, but a good start would be to take them out of the control of the major broadcasters.

  • “Tell me, how does Dion get to be Prime Minister unless people vote Liberal?”

    I think Lizzie’s gotta pretty good grasp on Canadian politics and our system. Your allusion to her Merkan birthplace is anotherr NDP smear that keeps getting trotted out like Dion’s French citizenship. It’s an ugly smear when the Con’s do it to Dion and it’s an ugly smear by you on May.

    Dion WILL make the better PM compared to Harper. Neither May, Layton nor Duceppes have any chance at being PM. May sees Harper’s regime as a real danger to the environment and is attempting to thwart his attempt art increasing his power.

    What the paleo-partisans seem to be unable to grasp is that the GPC and May are lookin’ at the longterm. Normal politicians don’t do that. They’re not interested in anything besides getting votes and they make absurdly ridiculous promises in their attempt to fool voters with teh hopes thatthey’ll form a government. The GPC doesn’t expect to form a government so votes are a bit less of an issue. The well-being of the planet is foremost for the GPC. The planet will be better off with PM Dion and a smattering of GPC MP’s.

    JB

  • any statement endorsing the other party’s platform.

    Nicely parsed, JB. Indeed, May did say in one breath that there were differences between the parties and in the next said Dion would be the best Prime Minister for Canada. Tell me, how does Dion get to be Prime Minister unless people vote Liberal? I know Ms. May is originally from the States, but I assume she knows we don’t elect PM’s directly?

  • Ted

    I think that would be great Scott. Sort of like Tout le monde en parle in Quebec. Biggest TV program in the country with 1.5 million watching each show.

    Problem is, only Iggy showed the grit to appear on that program despite invitations to all.

    In fact, CBC actually did do that with the leaders last year so we already get that. No problem inviting the Greens along.

    My ideal would be for a type of interview/debate like the US does with the Vice-Presidential candidates: sitting down, much more informal, even friendly at times, with one interviewer (or maybe some from a studio audience). Then have a wider debate with whatever the appropriate threshold is (5% or 10% or whatever).

    Again, the point is: the Liberals and the Conservatives in every election get away with not really being challenged on their answers and one of them will form the government. Canadians want to know MORE from them, not less, and more from someone who has never even run in an election at the expense of less from them.

  • Ted:

    I don’t consider the Green Party anymore of a fringe party then I do the NDP., since depending on which poll you look at they are only a couple to a few percentage points apart… just thought I’d mention that 😉

    And as I told Blogging a Dead Horse.. I respectfully disagree May has told her supporters who to vote for.. she and Dion has chosen a pact in one riding, as JimBobby says… and they are still running in others against each other (though that may change in a few ridings). Being a coalition or cooperative partner of another party has never stopped European parties of like mind from debating one another.. so I consider that argument weak here.

  • Ted

    Sean S.:

    Your comment seems directed at my suggestions but is clearly disconnected from what I wrote.

    I did not say only a PM/OL debate. I said in addition to an all party debate or, to put it differently, it only makes sense to include every single party over 4% if you have a separate debate.

    The point is: one debate where everybody gets to regurgitate the talking points we already know about or babble on on subjects your party doesn’t have any interest in (like the BQ on coastal fisheries) since there won’t be enough time for anything more than just an in-person ad line on each question; and one debate with the two who have any real chance of forming the government and the only two who have in fact ever formed a government.

    It combines the ideal with the real. Gives everyone a chance at a national profile but gives Canadians a chance to actually hear full answers from a challenging questions.

    As it is the debates are useless and, as said above, really nothing more than an ad for each leader’s position since it is impossible to test/challenge anyone’s answer. And it would be even worse with even more participants.

    Plus, Blogging a Dead Horse makes an excellent point. May has already told Canadians who to vote for so having her in the debates is, while favourable to my chosen party, I think unfair to the process, to Canadians and to the other parties. If she has already said that the Liberal Party’s environmental platform is just as good as her’s, what else do we need to get from her in the debate?

    And just because she got 4% or money doesn’t make knowing more about her MORE important than getting real answers from Harper. The threshold is arbitrary for one. For another, it sets an awful precedent. And finally, the Cons are going to do away with the $1.75 as soon as they can so what then?

    If you want to argue the monetary line then it makes consistent sense to distinguish between all of the parties along monetary lines with the amount of time each gets. Now THAT would be interesting and perhaps fairest of all.

    My objection is not to letting fringe parties in or not. My objection is that the more fringe parties in, the less we learn about what the next government will do. And therefore it is more harmful to our democracy because more people will be voting without full information.

  • Ted asked:
    [quote comment=”3559″]But tell me about how the Brits do it.[/quote]

    They’ve never agreed to head-to-head debates. What they decided to do is have each of the leaders appear in turn on a popular politics show and they faced questions from the live studio audience for about 30 mins.

    Link is here, and you can bring up the video of the show to watch how the format worked.

  • Typical NDP disinformation, BADH. The GPC is running against the Liberals in over 300 ridings. Neither leader has ever made any statement endorsing the other party’s platform. There are significant differences between the two parties policies, ideologies and platforms. May is telling Canadians in Dion’s riding – and only voters in Dion’s riding – to voter Liberal. Dion is telling voters in May’s riding – and only voters in May’s riding – to vote Green. By your standards, Dion should be out of the debates, too. How about a debate between Jack and nobuddy? Maybe that would suit yer undemocratic principles of exclusion.
    JB

  • Typical NDP disinformation, BADH. The GPC is running against the Liberals in over 300 ridings. Neither leader ahs ever made any statement endorsing the other party’s platform. There are significant differences between the two parties policies, ideologies and platforms. May is telling Canadians in Dion’s riding – and only voters in Dion’s riding – to voter Liberal. Dion is telling voters in May’s riding – and only voters in May’s riding – to vote Green. By your standards, Dion should be out of the debates, too. How about a debate between Jack and nobuddy? Maybe that would suit yer undemocratic principles of exclusion.
    JB

  • :em46:
    Apparently you didn’t bother to read the Hebert article, Dead Horse.. you’re just parroting Jack and Alexa’s tired old phrases.

  • Of course Dion wants May in the debates. He needs her there to say things like “Stephane is right” and “I agree with Stephane” and “The NDP is propping up Harper” ad nausiem. That’s what the “Axis of Ego” deal was all about.

    May is already telling Canadians to vote for another party. That would seem to negate the reason to have her in a LEADER’S debate.

    One Dion per debate, please.

  • Ted

    Also, Scott, your point about the Greens getting federal money so it is important that they should be subject to more criticism is well taken. I’m just saying that it is not AS important as fully testing the existing government and those who might form the next government.

    As it is, we give them an easy ride with 4-5 debaters. Add one or two more and it is strongly favouring the incumbent government because it is easier to avoid answering tough questions.

  • Ted

    The current debates are not “awkward”. They are useless because so little time is given to each debater that all they manage to get out (what they get away with) is just the spin from their campaign literature. Worse, we give equal time to all candidates on all questions: what Duceppe thinks about coastal fisheries and what May might think of Quebec as a nation are given equal time. There is no “debate” of the issues.

    But tell me about how the Brits do it.

  • Sean S. – I agree with yer comment a hunnert percent’s worth.

  • $5!! I meant to type 4%. D’oh!

  • I agree that the Green Party needs to be fully scrutinized, both by the MSM and the Canadian Electorate, and should be included in the debates. I think it is wrong for the NDP to be resisting such a movement.

    I would take issue with Ted’s little side comment (musing about only have the main contenders for PM take part in the debates). Once you start limiting the choice of the voters, and this is exactly what you would be doing by having only the main contenders (by which I guess you mean Harper and Dion) in a debate. The last time I checked neither party and/or leader had the confidence of 1/2 of the population, and barely a 1/3. If you removed all others (BQ, NDP, Green) then you are telling the other 1/3 of the country that they don’t matter and you begin to create a perception that a vote for those parties is a wasted vote. This would be inherently bad for democracy, but obviously not bad for the Libs or Cons who would benefit by not actually having to govern to the 2/3 of Canadians that don’t support their policies.

    The moment we start moving towards a two party system, or even the perception of a two party system (Libs and Cons), we will begin a slide down that slippery slope towards a US style government. That being a system were there is really no choice for the average voter, as both parties will play to the same mushy middle and ignore the voices for change from either end of the political spectrum. Again, good for the power-hungry Libs and Cons, bad for the country.

  • The GPC currently has about the same level of support that Reform had when Manning was allowed into the debates. $5 sounds small but the GPC is the only “fringe” arty to come close to that. Marxist-Leninists, Marijuana Party, Christian Heritage, etc. all garner fewer than 1% ofthe popular vote.

    We do not elect a president. We elect MP’s. We need to know what the parties stand for in order to cast an intelligent vote. The GPC is running candiadtes in over 300 ridings and is polling well above its 4% 2006 electoral result. Lizzie May should be able to get the same free air time that Duceppes gets, sez I.

    The debates should be taken over by Elections Canada. The whole dust-up about who’s in an’ who’s out goes back to the fact that we’ve entrusted this vital democratic event to the Broadcast Consortium, a group of TV network executives. This is about democracy, not ratings.

    I see some merit in Ted’s suggestions. Maybe we should have two-tiers. Harper can debate Dion in one debate and the leaders with less support can debate each other in a second debate. Major league-minor league. If Elections Canada took over, suggestions like Ted’s might not fall on the deaf ears of the TV bosses.

    JB

  • Ted: The Greens have enough popular vote as of last election to qualify for publicly financed election money. As far as I’m concerned, that gives them more then enough legitimacy to be in a leader’s debate, which Chantal didn’t even bring up.

    As for it being too “awkward” for the TV broadcasters or for the format.. there’s an easy solution to that which you sort of touched on – change the format to MAKE it work. I’d suggest the British model of TV debates myself if you want a starter suggestion.

  • Ted

    If there is only one English and one French debate, then I would not want yet another leader involved.

    The more people you throw into a debate the more useless the debate really is. And it is already pretty bad. Do we really need to know what Elizabeth May would do about Artic security or the Wheat Board if she were to become Prime Minister?

    Giving the Green Party proper scrutiny is important.

    However, if the purpose to a debate is to get an understanding of policy so Canadians can make informed choices, then it is far more important that Canadians get information about policies that have a chance to be implemented, i.e. by the Prime Minister and his/her government.

    Should the BQ or the NDP be there? That’s a separate debate with lots of good arguments for them not being there (especially the Bloc in the English debate) since neither one will form the government and be able to implement their policies. But the fact that they have been there in the past and so every party leader who gains 4% plus in the national vote should get up on stage is a stretch and weakens our ability to get real information about what the next Prime Minister will do.

    Harper has resisted any kind of scrutiny. Doesn’t answer questions. Picks which media gets to ask questions. Ignores questions he doesn’t like or for which his answer will lose him votes. The debate is one of the only places where he can’t hide or his attempts to hide are obvious and immediately responded to be the opposition. This is far more important to our democracy and scrutiny of candidates than to find out more about someone who has never run in an election before and whose party has only once ever had more than 4% of the vote and never more than 5%.

    As I said, that is with a single English and French debate. If we had a longer campaign and more debates then… maybe.

    In my view, there should be either a separate bilingual debate between the then current Prime Minister and the then current Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition with an all party English and an all party French debate

    OR

    a debate in English and then in French with just the parties who have seats and shown a historical sustainability of those seats (with a historical threshold of 10% nationally over a few elections) followed by a single bilingual debate with all parties running which got over 5% in the prior election.

    Neither of those are going to happen, but the point is: choosing the government is more important than choosing where to park your protest vote or your narrow interest vote.

  • Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. It’s just so dang confusing to paleo-partisans.

    How can anyone say that a party is “centre-right” when that party strongly endorses SSM, calls for legalizing (not decriminalizing) marijuana, wants us out of Afghanistan, supports electoral reform, wants government sponsored child care, is pro-choice.

    I hope Scott doesn’t mind me posting some of the GPC’s 2006 Platform.

    —————————————–
    • We will protect our children and their grandchildren from being sold out for short-term gains.
    • Increase EI Parental Benefits, and make it more affordable for parents to stay at home with their children.
    • Create a health care system that not only treats illness, but prevents it.
    • We will create a just society by staying focused on the basic rights:
    • Enact a national nutrition program to ensure everyone can afford to eat healthy food.
    • Restart a national housing program and focus on cooperative housing.
    • Work to make our political system “citizens only” by banning corporate, union and special interest funding.
    • We will be a voice for sustainable industries and lifestyles.
    • Implement reforms to favor organic, pesticide free, cruelty free agriculture.
    • Take steady, well planned steps to reduce industrial pollution and toxic emissions.
    • We will avoid government expansion and top-down solutions.
    • Create funding networks to fund local organizations, rather than expand government bureaucracy.
    • Build our voluntary sector – empower communities and strengthen citizenship.
    • Implement a fair tax shift and a balanced budget.
    • Increase taxes on pesticides and fossil fuels, so we can cut income taxes, and create “green collar” jobs.
    • Stay focused on the long term sustainability of our health and social programs rather than stealing votes with throw-away promises.
    • We will stand up for Canada’s sovereignty and our uniquely diverse culture.
    Stay out of “Star Wars” or any other kind of missile defense.
    • NAFTA must either be re-written to better protect Canadian industries, resources, and culture, or it must be scrapped.
    • We will form the most open and democratic government that Canada has ever seen; enact voting reform to replace the “first past the post” system and require all federal departments to open their books four times a year.

    —————————————————–
    Does that sound like social conservatism?

    The GPC sees business as a necessary and powerful ally in meaningful environmental action. The NDP is stuck with it’s organized labour mentality and sees business as an adversary. That’s the biggest difference between the two parties, IMO.

    JimBobby

  • It does and I agree. I don’t take issue with the Greens competing for votes – that’s what political parties are meant to do. (In fact, as you might recall, I took issue when a certain two parties decided not to compete. 😉 )

    But I like for votes to be won honestly, from a clearly communicated platform. The Greens’ platform is centre right and they should be able to communicate that. Thanks in large part to the European Greens (who are on the whole much more left wing, and may even have attracted my vote were I a citizen of certain European countries), the Canadian Greens profit from a warm, fuzzy, “progressive” brand that doesn’t match their centre-right ideology. Which is why I think that the Greens are more likely to gain votes from old-school red Tories if they are included in the debates, but will lose left-leaning votes at the same time. (The relative cost-benefit for them I won’t go into, but I think it would be a net benefit.)

    The more openness the better, I say.

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