Why I’m Running for the Green Party of Canada
As a member of the Green Party of Canada, I am honoured to be the party’s candidate in the 2015 election for the federal riding of Carleton, a riding that traces its history back to Confederation.
Despite its recent recreation, the riding of Carleton has a storied past. Once the riding of our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, later held by another prime minister, Sir Robert Borden, and twice contested by the late, great Canadian, Eugene Forsey. All, without exception, were public figures who believed strongly in One Canada and our enormous potential.
For too many years now — under Liberal governments as much as Conservative ones — we the people have been treated as a mere sideshow in the “sport” of national politics, anesthetized by the masters of political messaging and spin. No longer is the national government an instrument of the people, governing for all Canadians.
Nine years of the Harper Conservative government have increased the concentration of executive power so much that the political universe is dangerously controlled by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Nine years of Mr. Harper’s diminished, unambitious Canada, governed out of his PMO, have made us less confident of the future, sitting on the sidelines, disconnected and divided from one another.
The Conservative playbook is all too clear: pander to narrow constituencies, exploit regional differences, shrink the national government, and bypass Parliament.
It means annual budgets set out in messy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink omnibus bills, forced through Parliament with minimal debate, then sold to Canadians as so-called “economic action plans” through endlessly repetitive advertising that promotes the Harper Conservative agenda with our tax dollars.
Mr. Harper has perfected a depressing cycle of unilateral change in Ottawa. From the insulated bubble of the PMO, Harper avoids what he considers to be the inconvenience of having to consult either citizens or governments.
He constantly tinkers with our economic and other fundamentals only to serve shortsighted partisan goals and the next election. He thumbs his nose at our Constitution, makes a mockery of Senate reform, and picks fights with the Supreme Court of Canada.
From science to the environment, from Employment Insurance to immigration reforms, from healthcare to infrastructure, and from anti-terrorism to the Senate, Conservative actions have all too often provoked counter-productive responses at other levels of government, and expensive, wasteful court challenges by Canadian citizens.
All of this simply reinforces extreme citizen disengagement from federal politics, which Mr. Harper and Pierre Poilievre have entrenched by forcing through controversial reforms to the Canada Elections Act.
And now, Stephen Harper, Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives think they can buy our support with pre-election handouts or succeed in scaring us into voting for them through fear-mongering.
They could not be more wrong.