Is it time for the Greens to shine?

Re­cent elec­tions in­di­cate we are ready for a new kind of pol­i­tics

Richmond Hill Post - - NEWS - by Ron John­son RON JOHN­SON

When I was in univer­sity, I was a cam­paign agent for a friend run­ning in a fed­eral elec­tion for the Green Party of Canada. Back then, it was a pretty rag­tag group with a pretty rag­tag struc­ture and it was not al­ways easy to find vi­able can­di­dates. Things have changed. It only took a cli­mate cri­sis and the pos­si­ble end of hu­man­ity, but the Green Party has ar­rived.

The Greens now have a newly elected fed­eral MP, join­ing leader El­iz­a­beth May in Ot­tawa, and Green MPP Mike Schreiner at Queen’s Park. They are hold­ing the bal­ance of power in Bri­tish Columbia, and the Greens are the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion on Prince Ed­ward Is­land fol­low­ing its re­cent pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

The party seems to be the only one that is trend­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Last month, it was an­nounced that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is re­draw­ing flood map­ping. Soon, lo­cal res­i­dents could be faced with in­creased in­sur­ance rates and the po­ten­tial for a damp­en­ing of home prices. And that’s just the be­gin­ning.

Once the cli­mate cri­sis starts hit­ting peo­ple where it hurts, where they live, the ball will fi­nally start rolling down­hill. The old tip­ping point that Toronto na­tive Mal­colm Glad­well has men­tioned.

The thing that might be ap­pealling to peo­ple about Greens is the way they seem to do pol­i­tics. It’s dif­fer­ent from the sta­tus quo. It’s about be­ing pos­i­tive, be­ing proac­tive and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively.

And once peo­ple get ex­posed to the Greens, it could go very well in­deed as peo­ple could see it as a breath of fresh air in an oth­er­wise in­suf­fer­able po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

Peo­ple are tired of the di­vi­sive na­ture of pol­i­tics in this coun­try (and else­where) that has taken hold over the last few years. It’s fu­elled by neg­a­tiv­ity and hate. There is no mid­dle ground. And it has to stop.

With the cli­mate cri­sis in full view and a Green New Deal fram­ing the de­bate south of the bor­der, and now in Canada as well, ev­ery ma­jor party gear­ing up for this year’s fed­eral elec­tion is scram­bling to get their en­vi­ron­men­tal ducks in a row.

Not the Greens. They’ve al­ways been there.

And now could be their time to shine.

In On­tario, we know a thing or two about the pol­i­tics of di­vi­sion, es­pe­cially given our own gov­ern­ment is us­ing our tax dol­lars to take the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to court over a pol­icy de­signed to deal with the cli­mate cri­sis.

It’s early days, but no mat­ter what your po­lit­i­cal stripe, the fo­cus on the cli­mate cri­sis should con­tinue so for once we can have all fed­eral par­ties en­gag­ing in a healthy and pro­duc­tive de­bate on this cru­cial is­sue.

Green Party leader El­iz­a­beth May

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