“BEING GREEN” – by J Parsons
Past President Scott Maxted (left front)) and Chief Financial Officer Doug Cleverley (right) both look back on fond memories. Big thanks to our outgoing executive for their hard work and support for the Green Party.
The BGOS Greens will be nominating members to run as our new executive. In particular, there is a need for a CEO and CFO. Once in place, we will elect a candidate for the upcoming federal election. Of course, this begs the question – why run in the federal election at all?
People have said that we are splitting the left vote. We are being asked to be strategic. Join our voices, they say. But are we really saying the same thing? And are the other parties really speaking on our behalf? Even though “it ain’t easy”, there are many good reasons for staying Green but the number one reason is: Elizabeth May.
Only Green Party leader Elizabeth May has raised fierce objections to the Harper Government’s latest policy, calling C-51 an “act to create a new secret police.” Both New Democratic Party leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau have expressed concerns about Bill C-51, but neither party has said it will oppose the biggest restructuring of national security powers since 2001. (http://ottawacitizen.com/news/politics/liberals-ndp-treading-softly-over-anti-terrorism-bill )
Elizabeth May was the only opposition leader to attend the Climate Change conference in Peru this year. “When I am the only opposition MP, there is less media attention from Canada and as I am the only opposition party MP to attend, that means the Liberals and New Democrats are losing the thread of the complexity of the negotiations.” (http://www.greenparty.ca/en/media-release/2014-11-05/dear-tom)
Only Elizabeth May asks her members to act and think independently. It is Green policy that MPs “are voting for platform, or our values, or the constituents of their riding.” This resolution differentiates the Greens from all of the other parties in that Greens speak for their local constituents and not just for the interests in Ottawa.
The best example of this is: Bruce Hyer. In the spring of 2012, NDP MP Bruce Hyer was disciplined for voting against the NDP position on gun registry. The party whip told him how he had to vote and dismissed his concerns about representing his constituents by telling him: “you won’t quit!” But Bruce Hyer did quit and became an independent. Inspired by Elizabeth May’s work on climate change, he later joined the Green Party becoming the second Green MP in 2013.
In 2014, Elizabeth May was voted by her fellow MP’s as “House of Commons Best Orator”. But the best orator will be shut out during federal debates because she needs 12 elected MPs to have official party status. This year, she is expected to gain MPs on the west coast. Meanwhile, in this part of the country, voting Green may not end up being a winning vote but it is a vote of encouragement for one of the few voices in Ottawa still fighting the good fight.
Steve Morel and Jerry Grant are on the search committee to find nominees for the executive. Please contact Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jerry (email@example.com) if you or someone you know might be interested in being nominated for either position. Scott and Doug have kindly offered to mentor those who will be elected by our members or answer any of your questions. The election will take place at the next meeting which is May 21st, 2015, 7 pm at the Williamsford Bookstore. We look forward to being Green with you then!