I don’t like politics. I am embarrassed to watch the Parliamentary channel and see the people representing us heckling, harassing, yelling and being disgustingly rude when someone is trying to do their job and speak.
I tried to watch the leader debates, but they behaved just as rudely! Mr. Scheer spoke uninterrupted but when Mr. Singh spoke, Mr. Scheer never stopped talking over top of him. I can’t abide that. I turned it off.
My readers know I am passionate about the fate of our world, because of that I have looked at the Green Party. They have been fighting to make changes to stop the cascading climate problems, but I knew nothing about the rest of their platform. So, I went online and started reading and was impressed, because the bottom line doesn’t seem to be all about money, it is about common sense. To understand climate change, do as teen activist Greta Thunberg would say, ‘follow the science.’
But what else that will change in the present – the Greens would: Enact Pharmacare for all by 2020; Expand access to safe abortion services; Implement improved health care systems for Indigenous Peoples; Declare a national health emergency to address the opioid crisis; Establish a national mental health strategy; Remove discriminatory barriers to blood donation not based on science; Free secondary tuition, repay student loans; Free child care and everyone having a guaranteed income. All fiscally responsible.
I did not understand how everyone having a guaranteed income would solve so many problems. I just thought it would be like having another welfare or unemployment insurance, etc. which I don’t think works and frankly didn’t see why my taxes should pay for free child care, free tuition, etc. I don’t mind helping those who need help but everyone getting a guaranteed income? Well, this is not a new idea: “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? 1967).
Then why don’t we have it already?
So, I called Lisa Birtch-Carriere, our Oxford Green candidate and asked if she would come and talk to me. She did! This column gives people a chance to know a bit more about her and the Green Party.
Lisa is new to politics and chose her party with great care. Two pledges she took were: Their constituents come first; then the planet; then the party. The second is (in my words as I couldn’t type fast enough) the party insists on the proper decorum which does not allow heckling, yelling in parliament and being rude. Yes! Exactly the things that drive me crazy. Hopefully some day they will enact this and politicians will become ‘Canadians’ again, treating each other with respect and honesty and humility.
We discussed the issues I had with some of the proposals and must confess Lisa made it easy to understand and it made a lot of sense to have this guaranteed income and most of the other proposals. Amazing what you learn when you just ask questions!
Not even the Greens expect to win the election, but with a minority government they could hold the tipping power and have stated that they wish to work together with all parties to plan what is best for the country. You can find out more online. It is a simple website to learn from (https://www.greenparty.ca/en/platform) or contact Lisa at email@example.com.
About Lisa… this is scary but she thinks like I do with common sense, honesty and humour. She was easy to talk to and listened carefully. She understands our diverse country for she was raised in the arctic, lived on Baffin Island, but had lots of time with visits to other family in Woodstock. Today she is a herbalist and complementary health care practitioner, volunteers in several groups and raises monarch butterflies.
As I researched more I understood why Lisa chose this party. I knew little about their leader Elizabeth May, but was rather surprised to learn of her background and accolades, including Newsweek Magazine as “one of the world’s most influential women,” a United Nation’s award, and many others including her fellow Parliamentarians, who twice voted her the Hardest Working MP.
I am more than ready to take a chance on a growing party that thinks with even fiscal common sense. Of course this is all my opinion which will be ripped apart by many but I hope helpful to many others.