Archive for 2009 July

Defend per-vote funding

Apparently, Stephen Harper is once again contemplating removing the per-vote party funding which nearly brought down his government last year.  And this time, he might just succeed, since the Liberal Party at this stage relies less on the mechanism.  This would be a tremendous step backwards for democracy and needs to be fought tooth and nail.

I’m wary of fighting for policies that benefit the Green Party, because they open us up to charges of promoting only what’s best for us.  But in this case, it’s so obviously a toxic policy that I find it easy to fight.

PM Harper will undoubtedly suggest that this is needed as a cost-cutting measure.  But there are at least five ways that our government finances political parties.  Stephen Harper wants to get rid of only one – the one that is the most representative of democracy, and also the one that proportionally benefits him least.  If he really wants to save money, why doesn’t he instead get rid of one of the other, less democratic, methods?     Read more »

May democracy return to Honduras

In late March 1964, my parents went to visit the newly unveiled Brazilian capital of Brasilia.  My mom, pregnant with me, returned to Uberlândia, where my father’s family lived, to their great relief.  Brazil had just suffered the military overthrow of their elected government, and my mom and dad, seeing the sights in the capital city, hadn’t even noticed.

Like the recent military coup in Honduras, Brazil’s coup was bloodless.  But it ushered in twenty years of political repression, journalistic censorship, disappearances, a pattern of torture, and even amid a time of burgeoning economic growth known as the “Brazilian miracle”, a rise in infant mortality, the collapse of the education system and the polarization of society into a small group of ultra-rich and a huge class of desperately poor.  The Brazil that I came to know as a teenager was a Brazil teeming with urban poor clustered in shantytowns of unimaginable squalor.     Read more »

Nuclear power is too expensive

In my canvassing, I’ve so far encountered three people who told me that they supported every policy of the Green Party except our opposition to nuclear, which they feel will be a necessary part of the solution to climate change.     Read more »

Happy birthday, Canada — 2009

I just spent Canada Day at Harbourfront and didn’t canvass at all today.  My son buried his dad in the beach sand at HTO Park along with a few little friends who had to join in the fun.  We got some yummy fruits and Tibetan and Indian food, and listened to music on the freshly laid astroturf at Harbourfront Centre.  What a great day.

Pride Parade pics 2009

Adriana and ElizabethIn many ways, the morning rain and overcast sky made this the best Pride Parade I’ve ever been in.  The cool weather gave us all extra energy.  Here we are waiting for the parade to start.  Thanks Soo Luen for the photo.     Read more »