Thursday, October 09, 2008


With the election less than a week away here in Canada, I guess it's time for me to comment on it. As usual, there's plenty of fearmongering, especially the governing party trying to make us afraid of the opposition party. The last few elections, the Liberals have warned us about the Conservative Party/Canadian Alliance's hidden agenda. Now the Conservatives are warning us that the Liberals' environmental policy will endanger our economy. They say these tough economic times are no time to try out risky new policies.

To be fair, the other parties want us to be scared of the Conservatives. But what's riskier: going too slow on environmental protection, or damaging the economy? And if Elizabeth May is right, a carbon tax (with an income tax cut) can actually stimulate an economy. She claims it worked well in Sweden. She even said it during the big debate, and I didn't hear anyone claim that's not true or give a reason why Canada is so different it wouldn't work here.

Speaking of Elizabeth May, I'm starting to warm up to her. During the last election campaign, I was impressed with the Green Party's claim that, "We're not left or right; we're forward." While that could easily be a nice soundbite with little substance to it, I liked it that they're trying to reach out to all ends of the political spectrum, recognizing that some conservatives want stronger environmental policies too. Then Elizabeth May became the leader. She became very critical of the Conservatives while forming a special agreement with the Liberals, despite the Liberals' lack of action on climate change when they were in power. And she decided to run against Peter MacKay in this election. She seemed more left than forward.

I was glad they let her into the leaders' debate last week. I may not have been a fan of the leader, but I like what she and the party stand for. But she impressed me in the debate. She seemed smart, passionate, and articulate. She showed that she values both the environment and the economy (for example, she talked about revitalizing our pulp and paper industry). And among leaders that seem to care most about insulting their opponents and scaring voters, she seemed to have an optimistic, long-term vision for this country.

Yes, she's a tad left-wing for my tastes, and she probably has some ideas that aren't so great. I don't think the Green Party has the Parliamentary experience needed to run this country either, but I'd like to see them elect some MPs and maybe even hold the balance of power in a minority government.

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