The old adage to stay away from politics and religion when it comes to polite dinner-table conversation seems to be a pretty sensible admonishment. Few things get people so fired-up as those two subjects. Passions and opinions run very high – facts, not so much.
And maybe that’s why passions run amok – because these are subjects that are all about beliefs and opinions. I can’t imagine that a scientific discussion, based on facts and research, would go quite as awry as a political debate.
However, since I am not sitting at the dinner table, let me just leap in and throw out some more of my personal opinions.
Here is the first thing I saw when I clicked on the link to the Green Party’s Platform: a quote by Elizabeth May – “At heart, I am an optimist.”
That’s almost reason enough to vote for the party right there. We need a positive attitude more than anything else. We need a vision of joy, gratitude and hope. We need to look into the future and see what we can do, not what we can’t. We especially don’t need to look backwards. What’s done is done (although there is a good argument to be made for learning from past mistakes). Let’s move forward, embrace change, and create a beautiful, green Canada.
It seems that today, politicians have a very short-term view of the future – it stretches about four years forward to the next election. Politicians have one overweening goal: get re-elected. (or retire early at the taxpayers’ great expense). I hold with the Iroquois law that everything we do must be considered unto the seventh generation. Imagine what a world we could create if we thought that far ahead? We must create that world.
Back to the Green party platform. It includes building strong communities and a sustainable economy. Most important, I believe, is bold action on climate change. But then, everything ties together. You cannot separate any of these issues. We must have clean air to breath and clean water to drink – safe food to eat – these basic things – before we can begin to look beyond and create a fully functioning society.
We can’t build a great Canada based on fear and distrust. Our building blocks should be optimism, gratitude, caring for others, and willingness to embrace change. I am quite sure that when we transitioned from horse-drawn carriages to the Model T at the turn of the last century, there were a great many reactionaries who predicted doom and gloom. What would happen to the economy? It can’t be done!
We are currently undergoing an even bigger and more important transition – from fossil fuels to sustainable and renewable energy. What an exciting time! Imagine all the new jobs this sector will produce. I am excited about Canada taking a leadership role. And when we do that – when we transition in an intelligent way (as the Green party proposes) we will indeed be thinking seven generations into the future. We will leave an admirable legacy for our children’s children’s children and beyond.
As human beings, we have the capacity to do enormous good. We can be benevolent stewards of this earth. We can do this if we have the political will. That will is not embodied in “Politics as usual.”
So there you are – a few more thoughts on why I am voting Green – quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.