Posts Tagged ‘Green Party’

Curating the consensus of the crowd.

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

It is most unlikely that Maude Barlow and the membership of the Council of Canadians see Canada’s future as being a pastoral society. It just appears by the collective’s recent policy consensus that this is what they want. What it might be telling us is that Maude’s days as curator for the Council could be numbered. It needs more of the strength and determination she brought to the movement back in the 1980s and 90s.

It is hardly that I disagree with any of the priorities selected by the membership. The problem is that they have selected principles over actions. Of the five top priorities of the membership there was only one pro-active item. National Pharmacare is long overdue and we should have pushed it through in the 1960s when our national politicians were still listening to us.

But the rest are platitudes. The care of our lakes and rivers is automatic and motherhood. You can get that from the Green Party, and nothing much else. Deals such as the Nestlé water grab are a matter of some serious talk with the politicians. Pipelines for bitumen from the tar sands are anathema to anyone who gives a damn about the environment.

But then you have to clear the collective’s head on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To fix NAFTA, you have to know what clauses and how you are going to fix them. You cannot just say you are going to protect people’s jobs. Why would you do that? Free trade is designed to get around that old, out-dated attitude. The way to handle that problem is to save the other guy’s workers. You do not tell him to get rid of child workers, you make him send them to school. You make sure nobody is being exploited. You have to be assured that all workers’ rights are safe-guarded. Then you have a level ground for your trade agreement.

Think about it: who is President Trump really protecting when he talks about an unfair NAFTA? Is he speaking of protecting the hourly-wage worker or the profits of his corporate cronies?

In a business career working with computer companies, I never saw computer automation replace a human worker that did not open up two better, more challenging jobs. The attitude should always be: if your job can be done better by a machine, it should be.

But you hardly need to worry about automation and trade deals in a pastoral society. Our Council of Canadians need to get out and tend their sheep.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

Elizabeth May, please step forward.

Friday, August 19th, 2016

It has always been our opinion that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is far smarter than anyone else in the Green Party. And she has certainly carried all those folks on her back for far too long. It is time now for Elizabeth to take on a real challenge. Surely it is obvious to her that Justin Trudeau needs help. Elizabeth needs to choke it up and join the Liberal Party of Canada.

It would probably surprise her to learn that there are many environmentally concerned liberals in the Liberal Party. Her environmental concerns would not be set aside.

But if Justin Trudeau wants to have a gender balanced cabinet, he needs more intelligent women. Ms. May would be great in the cabinet. She could do a far better job in justice, foreign affairs or democratic institutions. Instead, she has been wasting this very fine summer asking the only intelligent questions on the special house committee on electoral reform.

We are well aware that there is a quiet campaign on to bring Ms. May into the New Democratic Party to fill that leadership vacuum. We are dismayed at the prospect. Talk about a fish out of water. While she would certainly bring new depth and intelligence to the NDP, what are they going to do for her? Nothing. The only elected NDP government is in Alberta where the Premier is promoting pipelines for bitumen in the face of all environmentalist objections. The NDP has been floundering both federally and provincially for quite some time now. It is a party in need of rebranding and has no idea what that brand should be.

If the party decides to dump the old-fashioned socialists and strike out on a new social democratic future, it has potential. The only problem is the party will spend years in the wilderness establishing its new credentials. A worthy ambition maybe but Ms. May deserves more in the here and now. She is no spring chicken you know.

And frankly, Ms. May is barking up the wrong tree in hopes of getting the Greens more MPs through introducing some form of proportional representation. It is not going to happen in Canada.

Ms. May is a liberal. There is no point in denying it any longer. At this point in her life, her government needs her service to make them better at the job they are trying to do. And she must admit that most of the Liberal Party program is very much in sync with Elizabeth May’s.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

It’s just not that funny.

Friday, May 15th, 2015

The Ottawa Press Gallery felt that Elizabeth May let them down at their annual dinner. They usually just throw stale dinner rolls at the poor performers. They tend to get too many who try but do not measure up. They think the politicians are going to entertain them by being funny.

Elizabeth was sick with a flu. She was exhausted and so would you be if you tried to match her schedule. She is trying so hard to hold things together as the only sitting member for her party in Ottawa. And she could not think of a Goddamn thing funny about her situation or the dreadful Harper government.

Many of us have stood at a microphone before in the wrong place at the wrong time and wished the floor would open up and help us to disappear. It took a compassionate cabinet minister to drag Elizabeth from the podium. All Elizabeth could do was to apologize.

But the time for apologies is now over. Stephen Harper never even goes to that sophomoric media event. He despises the news media anyway. He never has had a sense of humour. Go throw buns at him, you bums. Leave Elizabeth alone.

The other day at the end of another subject, we suggested that Elizabeth May bring her environmental program to the Liberal Party. There is little doubt that the Liberals should unanimously adopt the Green Party’s environmental agenda. It could not be done overnight but Elizabeth would not expect that even if she was Prime Minister.

But she should be the Minister of the Crown who sees to that environmental plan for a Liberal government. She and her party are not going to get proportional representation in Canada to get her party into any position of influence. Yet all she has to do is bring herself and her party into the Liberal fold and the Greens can have plenty of influence.

What the Green Party has to realize is that there are more Liberals ready and willing to support their environmental objectives than there are Green Party members. There is no competition there. There is no objection to many Green Party objectives because they are already Liberal Party objectives.

We all know that Justin Trudeau is conflicted on the Alberta tar sands exploitation. We need Elizabeth May to join the Liberals and explain things to young Trudeau. He has to understand that if Alberta cannot convert that bitumen to synthetic oil without destroying the environment of Alberta and neighbouring provinces, it should not be shipped anywhere. With a Liberal government in Ottawa and an NDP government in Alberta, we can take some major steps to saving this poor old planet.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

Who, What and Why a Liberal?

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

If there needs to be one more reason to keep Justin Trudeau from interfering in local party nominations, his choices tell the story. MP Eve Adams? When that woman crossed the floor of the House of Commons, her 15 minutes of fame were already over. Police Chief Bill Blair? The Toronto Police Services Board no longer wanted him. Why should the Liberal Party? And that is just in Toronto. The Liberal Party leadership has to stop welcoming these rejects!

Liberals have the opportunity in this election year to build a stronger party: a party of change. And we saw in the Alberta election that Canadians are going to where change is offered. With the Alberta Liberal Party vacating its responsibility, we saw a tectonic shift to the New Democrats by Alberta voters. In the fall, we are going to see another major shift as the country seeks the change that is needed. And the party offering that needed change has to be the Liberal Party.

And what makes the Liberal Party a party of change?

Liberalism is a philosophy based on the freedom of the individual. It is in contrast to the collectivism of socialism and the subjugation of minorities under conservatism. Under liberalism, we are all free when we ensure that the individual is free.

Canadian liberalism is different from liberalism in other jurisdictions because it had its roots among Canadian reformers such as George Brown. If there is one lesson Canadian liberals have learned over the years is that when they think they are in power to rule, they fail. When they know they are in power to reform, they get things done.

How people such as MP Eve Adams or former Toronto police chief Bill Blair can be considered liberals is a very good question. Adams has never in her career demonstrated anything but self-serving conservative thinking. And Chief Blair in Toronto was the antithesis of liberalism. His police acted like storm troops and trampled the rights and freedoms of people caught up in their brutality. And he did nothing to stop it.

One person who is a very obvious and accomplished liberal is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. If that lady would like to cross the floor and become a much more effective environmentalist, the Liberal Party should welcome her with open arms. She is not going to go anywhere with her Green Party in the coming election.

But Elizabeth May could bring her environmentalist platform to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party needs that platform. We all need to be better environmentalists. And we all need to be better liberals.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me