Wyatt Tessari: The 21st century is calling

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      Perhaps the most striking aspect of this election so far has been the disconnect between what we’re seeing on the ground and the political discussion in Canada.

      We’ve heard about Duffy, we’ve heard about housing, we’ve heard lots about the economy, and we’ve even heard mention of pipelines.

      One would think the world was essentially the same as before, that somehow 97% of climate scientists were wrong, that the forests weren’t burning, the oceans weren’t acidifying, that droughts across BC, Alberta, Washington and California were an act of God and not decades of poor climate policy. Or that the hundreds of thousands of African and Western Asian refugees risking their lives to get to Europe were but a summer passing and not the beginning of a multidecade global trend which will eventually involve us too .

      Which isn’t to say that the economy isn’t a very big deal, that healthcare, education and infrastructure aren’t essential to the proper functioning of our society. But as priorities they simply don’t stack up against the threats currently facing global civilisation. One can mess up the economy, as the NDP did in BC in the 90’s, and eventually recover. If the oceans die and the salmon go extinct (bringing down whole ecosystems and billion dollar industries with them), not even Gordon Campbell could clean up the mess.

      As a former conservative, the Green Party wasn’t an intuitive choice for me. That is, until I started looking for a Party that took the 21st century seriously.

      Whether we wait for climate disaster to happen or act early to prevent it, we’re going to have to phase out the fossil fuel industry and make significant changes to our lifestyles. The responsible thing to do is to act now.

      That means a moratorium on new oil, gas or coal developments. That means major investment in renewable energy, public transit, and efficient buildings. Most of all, it means preparing our infrastructure, public services and armed forces for the great challenges ahead: food and water insecurity, rising sea levels, failing ecosystems, extreme weather events, and global instability.

      We can turn this crisis into Canada’s finest hour and play a leading role on the world stage. But that means thinking and voting like it’s the 21st century.

      Comments

      8 Comments

      Bruce

      Sep 2, 2015 at 12:28pm

      Burnaby South is a new riding, but with the results from the 2011 election redistributed poll-by-poll:

      NDP 44%
      Con 40%
      Lib 12%
      Grn 4%

      So if removing Harper is your priority, the Liberals and Greens are spoilers in this riding. If either the Libs or Greens see much increase in their vote, there is a high risk of Harper winning another soldier here.

      This is not a safe riding to vote green.

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      Karin

      Sep 2, 2015 at 5:55pm

      Bruce, the Greens have shown that previous election results don't necessarily relate to future results AND that vote splitting is not a problem created by Greens. Greens bring new voters to the polls. Vote abandoning is the problem due, in large part, to voter fatigue and disengagement. Voting for any of the Big 3 will do little if anything to bring substantive change. Electing more Green MPs to our Parliament is the only available solution.

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      Banner

      Sep 2, 2015 at 7:40pm

      In response to Bruce, if getting rid of Harper is your top priority, this means you completely missed the point of the article above. The priority is not knowing who is at the top/who is the head of the country, but what can we do to improve our situation in regards to environment problems we're facing.

      By giving more votes to the green party instead of trying to "vote strategically" the green party would get more financing, thus would grow stronger and stronger. This strength will allow them to actually do something meaningful in the long run.

      Plus, voting for the green party (because the voter would care about the environment) will also show which part of the population is more interested about our future and their children's future rather than their own personal interest. Showing more interest on environment as a population will make politicians see the importance it has for the population and will probably make them care more about environment (even if it's just to get more votes for some of them) and maybe, in the long run, actually do something for it.

      The goal is to voice your opinion so that it can be heard. By voting strategically you are simply silencing yourself and you are also pulling other people with you by making them think that it's smart to do so.

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      Sandra Ang

      Sep 2, 2015 at 8:06pm

      Great piece Wyatt, I feel like you have read my mind. The Green Party is the only choice to put Climate Change front and center! This is 2015 and a very different Canada than 2011.

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      Pascal

      Sep 2, 2015 at 9:37pm

      Right on, Wyatt. We have a better future waiting for us if we act now. It's common sense to take action on the climate today not only for our environment but for our economy. Canada is falling behind as the rest of the world is investing in clean energy and technologies that will strengthen their country's economical resilience now and in the future.

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      Stan Lee

      Sep 3, 2015 at 10:02am

      As someone who deeply cares about the environment I ask myself what is the quickest and most likely way to change our current policies on this important issue. The answer is simple - get rid of Harper and the Conservatives! As such, I am committed to strategic voting. Strategic Voting (in this election) means voting for the candidate in your riding that has the greatest probability of defeating the CPC candidate. Elizabeth May will almost certainly be elected but I rather doubt that any other Green Party candidate will have the greatest probability of not just defeating a CPC candidate but winning their riding. Please don't roll the dice on another Conservative government, don't split the vote!

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      Jordan B

      Sep 3, 2015 at 2:41pm

      This is a great article Wyatt! Ignore all those who fail to hear your vital message and continue parroting the nonsense about "strategic voting" and vote splitting. You and everyone who votes for you are on the right side of history.

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      BigJ

      Sep 11, 2015 at 11:01am

      anyone who thinks that strategic voting in this election is nonsense is either impervious to basic facts - also known as "math" - or a conservative operative actively trying to encourage vote splitting.
      nothing much will be done about climate change until we reform the first past the post election system - which now hands absolute power to a small band of politicians who are supported by less than a quarter of the electorate.
      and people will not vote - particularly the young - until they see that their vote actually counts for something.
      we need a better democracy - if you are serious about tackling major issues facing Canada, and the world - that is the most important issue in this election.