National Council of Women of Canada - Blog
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Elizabeth May - Leader of the Green Party but not allowed at the Leader's Debate
She would ring new ideas to a tired game; If the leader of the Green party wins a seat in Parliament, we might get debate that matters
By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun March 29, 2011
Let's hope that Saanich-Gulf Islands voters rock the boat while they have the chance and put Elizabeth May of the Green party into parliament.
She's feisty, she's female, she's fearless, and she's a fresh voice. May and the Greens actually hold some promise of shaking up the dismal status quo in Ottawa that's produced four elections in eight years, four minority governments, and political leaders who seem bereft of, well, leadership qualities.
Stephen Harper drones on robotically with his big-lie talking point for this campaign -the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition conspiracy is plotting a coup unless he's crowned with a majority.
Michael Ignatieff delivers dry-as-a-stick history lessons -Harper was once hot for a Conservative-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition, if only it could have made him king for a day.
Jack Layton flogs the Harmonized Sales Tax in hope of beating a few more British Columbia votes out of that dying horse.
Gilles Duceppe moans about the raw deal Quebec gets from Canada despite billions in equalization transfers. He demands more, of course, then he'll flounce out of Confederation.
Good Lord, 30 more days on the thin gruel of leftovers and same old, same old?
May has been criticized for running against powerful Conservative defence minister Peter MacKay in 2008. But isn't that what good leaders do -take on the tough fights? Under May's leadership, the Green party earned a million votes across Canada.
Now she's challenging Conservative Gary Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Lunn's been a political non-entity during his decade in Ottawa. He had his 15 minutes of fame as minister of natural resources -he sacked the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission in a tiff over certifying a reactor. He was shuffled off to minister of state for sport, whatever that entails besides piling up pension points.
Oh, I know, this invites the inevitable fusillade from partisans that their leaders deserve the throne, it's the others who should be deposed. Sorry. I hear plenty of bankrupt ideologies but few stirring new ideas emanating from the House of Commons. The ideas oozing from this already mean-spirited campaign seem drearier than ever.
Look, can we please have a public debate among our leaders that actually touches upon things that are important to voters and not just the re-election strategies devised by pollobsessed policy wonks?
What's Canada's strategic long-term energy policy, for example? Are we going to tie ourselves to synthetic crude produced from Alberta's oilsands and hope for a naturalgas bonanza from the Arctic, which, by the way, we're already committed to share with wasteful Americans?
Or, as May proposes, are we finally going to get real about implementing sustainable green supplements to the energy supply so that we don't have to burn through Alberta's petroleum reserves like there is no tomorrow, put up with nuclear disasters, or pay through the nose for our own natural gas at prices set by American profligates?
Can we talk about the economic impact of green jobs - a recent U.S. study found that simply upgrading buildings to environmental standards generated $173 billion in GDP, supported more than 2.4 million jobs and paid $123 billion in wages. It forecasts $554 billion in GDP, 7.9 million jobs and $396 billion in wages by 2013.
As that train pulls out, do we want to be standing in the station listening to the same tired old ideologically driven ideas?
This election is probably costing $10 million US a day. We've spent more than a billion on federal elections since 2004. For what? This level of debate? We need new ideas. Give May the platform she wants and that we deserve.