Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Federal Election 2015: The Politics of Improvisation (Part 3), minor players / lessons learned?

Elizabeth May: age 61, American born, environmentalist, activist, lawyer - federal Green Party

            May is ethically appealing: she has a very long history of activism for social justice and environmental issues. She has authored eight books on these subjects and served as founding executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada from 1989 to 2006. Her contributions have been recognized by several awards and honors conferred. She is committed. She is also, alas, an underdog. Aside from May herself, the Greens have only one other elected serving federal member.

          One of the things that has always puzzled me about this strange world: why, if everyone (or nearly everyone) is "for" the environment, are the Greens not in power? As a civilization - and as Canadian citizens - we seem to speak the serpents' language: each word has two meanings..  

           Perhaps it is time to consider the building of coalitions, perhaps even the merging of parties, to produce a viable opposition to the pro-business coalition that is the federal Conservative Party..

Gilles Duceppe: age 68, professional politician, separatist (proponent of secession of Québec from the Canadian confederation) - Bloc Québécois

            The Bloc Québécois is the federal arm of the (nominally) separatist Parti Québécois. The goal of the Bloc is to represent Québec in Ottawa, to get us the best deal possible, during the time it takes for Québec to separate from Canada and become an independant Republic.

             The Bloc is losing support among Québec voters. The reasons are multiple and various but the effect of this disenfranchisement is to free a lot of voters who may tip the volatile three way federal race in one direction or another, either toward Trudeau (Liberals) or Mulcair (NDP). Harper is very unpopular in Québec and Bloc voters definitely would not vote for him. Disenfranchised Bloc voters could tip the Trudeau / Mulcair balance in this key province and thus determine the outcome of the election. Remember - as of this writing (September 2 and 15, 2015), it is still a (very) tight three way race..

             When all is said and done, we Canadians don't have much on our platters! Our "leaders" lack vision. (In this we are neither worse - or better - than the rest of the world. I am merely making an observation.)

            With the exception of Elizabeth May of the Greens, not one leader has understood, has made any effort to teach the populace that the natural "ecology" is the very foundation stone upon which the human "economy" is founded. Nor have they addressed the reciprocal feedback links between ecological crises, demographics, social justice, terrorism, war and youth radicalization in our "globalized" world. Apparently globalization has only one allowed set of meanings: those referring to the profits and control of multinational corporations, the legal and fiscal regimes they operate under and other such matters.. People don't count.

            Thus the persistent failure to divert first world economies from heavily "extractive" energy sources - coal, oil, gas, uranium; thus the failure to promote decentralized, environmentally friendly, (inherently) democratic , renewable energies both at home and in the third world. These failures are at the root of many social and geopolitical problems today: witness the waves of immigrants / refugees flooding Europe, witness international terrorism (including youth radicalizaion in the West), witness religous fanaticism, witness social decay, witness dangerous and unsustainable levels of Climate Change and Global Warming.. The central issue of sustainable development has not been accorded the priority it deserves. Why? That is the central question.

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