Back on the road to democracy

Sharon HowarthIt is with pleasure I write this message to the many long-term members and the great many new supporters on the launch of the first E-Newsletter for the Toronto-Danforth Greens. This Newsletter is a clear example of the incredible skills and expertise of those who make up the Green Party in our riding. An exuberant welcome to you all.

It became my goal to knock on every door in the riding as soon as I became your nominated candidate. What amazing neighbours I’ve met! People are very excited about the increased presence of the Green Party. Even after dark, people have welcomed me into their homes, and even offered me drinks and food. Others have come to the door during their dinner time, while entertaining, even in their bathrobes when they were sick and recovering from illness. Without exception, those I have spoken with were genuinely grateful that someone representing the Green Party had come to their door. This is an inspiring experience and I am thrilled with the reception I’ve received. Anyone is welcome to join me door-knocking on any day or time that suits. Just contact me at or 416-604-5783.

Another example of the strong support I’ve received is the immediate agreement to sign the petition asking that Elizabeth May be allowed to speak on the televised leaders’ debates in the next election. Stephen Harper and Jack Layton’s desire to keep Elizabeth from the debates is clearly seen as an attempt at censorship. People want to see her for themselves and make up their own minds what they think of her. As my leader and with great anticipation I am looking forward to seeing her take he rightful place at the podium. Please, ask everyone you know to go to to sign the petition.

When I realized that government had more influence on my life than any other body, I wanted to get back on the Road to Democracy. I saw democracy going in the wrong direction. I identified 5 tools that every Canadian needs to take ownership of in order for democracy to truly work. When I wasn’t using all these tools, others were, and their values — opposite to mine — were winning. I was allowing others to decide for me, in essence giving away my ‘power’ to them.

The first tool is political support. For example, I support the Green Party as it best represents my values and offers the best solutions to my concerns.

The other tools are

2. my vote,
3. my time,
4. my money, and
5. my lawn or window for a sign.

It is my intention to encourage every voter in Toronto-Danforth to use the 5 tools available to them to ensure that the solutions offered to their concerns best matches their values.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who was eligible to vote actually voted! That would be democracy in action. If everyone who was considering voting for the Green Party did, (a recent Decima Research poll put the total number of Canadians who would consider voting green and those that would definitely vote green at 43%) I would be your Member of Parliament!

With our busy lifestyles it’s hard to find time to volunteer. But if you really want to make a difference, volunteering is the best way you can affect change.

If you can afford to donate money, there is a 75% tax credit on contributions with a $1,100 annual maximum (for example, a $400 donation earns a $300 tax credit – so the actual cost to the donor is $100). Donations must come from individuals – corporations and unions can no longer give. If you have contributed already in 2008 THANK YOU! If not, please consider making a donation now. A $25 donation only costs $6.25. A fully funded election campaign is approximately $90,000. That is 3,600 people donating $25 each. If you want the Green Party to be competitive with other fully financed campaigns in the next election, there is only one way for that to happen. Individual donations, no matter how small, will make a difference.

Lastly, if you haven’t told us already, please drop us an email or call us to let us know that you’ll take a sign for the next election. Wouldn’t it be great to see a sea of Green Party lawn signs blanketing the riding the day after the election is called. Help us make this a reality by letting us know NOW.

Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I hope that you too will talk with others about the 5 tools and how they can use them to make democracy work.

Back on the Road to Democracy,

Sharon Howarth
Nominated Candidate in Toronto-Danforth
Green Party of Canada

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