Why I’m (Probably) Voting Green

Cross-posted, perhaps unwisely, to the BlogsCanada elections blog.

Many of you, my dear readers, have forgotten more about politics than I know. In posting this, I expose not only my own ignorance, but myself to your adroit riposte. I invite criticism and commentary in this, because it will serve to either strengthen or soften my conviction.

To begin, here is why I’m not voting for the other parties:

  • Conservatives: With the exception of portions of their fiscal platform, this party’s views differ too radically from mine. In this election, I believe that we’re seeing the left end of this party’s political views. I have not forgotten that half this party used to be Reform, and how distasteful their platform was to me. Finally, Harper and others have been pretty circumspect about their personal beliefs, an important consideration for me in electing a leader.
  • Liberals: I voted Liberal in the last two elections. I thought Chrétien et al were doing a decent enough job. Not perfect, of course, but I generally liked Jean and his party’s politics. However, the Liberals have been in power for 11 years. I don’t think it’s healthy for the nation to have the same party in power for long periods of time. Furthermore, Paul Martin seems like the party leader who is least ready to be Prime Minister. He lacks charisma, isn’t particularly articulate, and gives me the sense that he ought to be VP, Operations of some mid-size Canadian corporation.
  • NDP: While I like Layton, the NDP has yet to convince me of the soundness of their fiscal platform. Their checkered history in BC provincial politics hasn’t helped, either. More importantly, I’m anti-union, and have difficulty stomaching the NDP’s close ties with the country’s major unions. I’m closer to voting NDP in this election than ever before, but they haven’t got me yet.

If I were to vote for one of the parties, it would be selecting the least of three evils. I don’t believe in strategic voting–I think democracy works best when you vote with your head and your heart, not your playbook.

Ultimately, I think our political process could use some new blood and fresh ideas. The Green Party offers these. Additionally, the Greens have been gathering momentum for the past few years, and deserve real credit for running a candidate in every riding. Slowly but surely, they seem to be shedding the label of being a one-issue party (maybe they ought to re-brand in the next election?). That said, I’ve supported environmental causes my whole life (it’s my favourite social issue), so it’s easy to back a ‘green’ political party.

I was talking to a Green Party member, and he described them as ‘socially progressive but fiscally conservative’. I like the sound of that combination. I’ve read through their platform, and it seems to back up that statement.

I have no illusions about the Green Party getting into power. Heck, I doubt they’ll elect a single MP. However, in voting for the Green Party (and, hopefully, in writing about my decision here), I help their credibility as a national party with growing influence. I see it as much a vote for future elections as anything. Additionally, they get my $1.75 for funding the next election.

9 comments

  1. I’m inclined to agree with your decision and your reasons why. While the NDP attracts me with many of their platform policies, I consider them the least likely to actually live up to them. I’m also not pro-union (I’m not strongly anti-union, but from my experience I generally distrust unions) and yeah, that leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    Considering the background of the Conservatives I’m astonished that they’re getting so much attention, I think the Canadian populace is getting duped there.

    In my lifetime, I’ve seen two Prime Ministers that I truly liked and that made some significant decisions that flat out made me happy: Chrétien and Trudeau. You would think I’d be a stong Liberal supporter as a result, but I disliked Paul Martin’s business bent long before he became leader of the party and well, the BC Liberals are enough to spoil anyone’s appetite and I personally don’t consider as much separation between provincial and federal gov’ts as many people seem to (I’ve never heard a decent explanation of why I should either).

    So Green, while low profile, untested and having inconsitencies in their policies, attracts me nevertheless.

  2. Pingback: The ArcterJournal
  3. My views on the three parties are quite similar to yours. I haven’t had a chance to look at the Green party platform yet. I don’t think I’ve voted for the same party twice in my voting life, counting both provincial and federal governments, but I think that’s more a reflection of the fact that I like to vote for the MP, not the party.

  4. Yes – this is basically why I voted Green last time: I knew that they wouldn’t get “anything,” but it was also my small way of saying to the other parties that I was exercising my right to vote – and letting them know (in a small, pacifist kind of way ;-p ) that I was not 100% happy with any of the “big three.”

  5. I have never read much about the Green party but perhaps I should start. This election certainly seems like people are anxious to choose a party that will do the least amount of damage. That’s not a glowing endorsement of Canadian politics, is it? I was a huge fan of PET mainly because he said it like it was and too bad if you didn’t like it. He got a lot of respect even from his detractors because of that.

    I’m still undecided on which party to vote for. I can’t vote PC because I don’t agree with pretty much everything that Harper and his party says. I think Paul Martin would be ok but would be hamstrung by the opposition at every turn and would not be able to be effective. I like the NDP except for (like other writers here) the pro-union slant. I think Jack Layton would be an excellent spoiler/swing vote in a minority government. So vote Green? Why not? Do they favor legalizing weed? If so then I can’t vote for them either. I really can’t stand the smell.

  6. Terry: I can’t stand the smell either, but I can’t stand the wasted police effort and useless incarceration more.

  7. I think its time we tried a new party, a better party. One to get our country out of the slumps of debt and lead us on the right direction. The Green Party is the only one which can do so, so why not give them a try?

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