That is often the question people ask themselves when they consider voting Green.
And well they should. The Greens have never held a seat in Parliament or in a provincial Legislature. So why *would* you vote for them?
Well, there are many reasons. And some you may not realised.
- Did you know that the Green Party of Canada has a candidate running in every single riding in Canada? The Bloc can’t say that… and before the Conservative Merge… the Canadian Alliance/Reform party couldn’t say it either.
- They’re not the status-quo: Have you ever thought that voting is useless because all political parties are the same? They’re just out for the money and the power and the greed. Well, I’m not here to say any individual Green Party candidate is better than all the rest… but what better way to register your “protest” of the status quo then to vote for a completely different party. Not Voting is not a protest… it’s a submission. You’ll just be classed as yet another “undecided or something in the polls. You can’t participate in a protest march without actually marching.. so how can you protest your voting selection without actually voting?
- Take a look at their platform It’s not just a platform, it’s a discussion with Canadians.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My point here is not to encourage you to vote for the Greens, but rather, to see that they do have a real platform. Real ideas. And they deserve to be treated as a Real Alternative.
They have said nothing of their platform… aside from the stereotypical “they like the environment”. And, to be fair to the Media, that’s really all the Greens are giving them right now. This election is very different though for the Greens. They were, for the first time, funded by Elections Canada. They reached the critical 2% threshold (in fact, they doubled it) and as a result, was granted around $1,000,000 dollars to fund their next, this, campaign. As a result, they will be able to put on much more advertising, and carry a much higher profile than they ever have before.
Jim Harris plans on announcing the Green Partys’ official 2005 platform next week. When they do, hopefully the media gives it the attention they deserve. But even more important will be whether the major Media outlets allow the Green Party to participate in the Debates.
As a friend of mine mentioned yesterday… you need only look at the Liberal Party of British Columbias history to see how a new, small party can grow and become a viable alternative. Gordon Wilson started the Liberal Party in BC in the 1980s. But it was not until he was granted the right to participate in the provincial debate, that voters noticed him. He was an excellent speaker, and he propelled his party into what is now the governing party of British Columbia (even though he has since left politics in shame).
The same can be said of the meager beginnings of the Reform party… however, its’ regional and grass-roots status gave it an immediate voting base. The Greens don’t have that. And that, I believe, is even more of a reason to give them the attention they deserve. They are a truly national party. They do not bend to regional interests. They will not pander to the views of a few.
So… as this election goes on, remember the Green Party. Look for them in the Media. Demand to see more of them. Because as participants in this Democracy we as voters deserve to be told the whole story from all sides.