Nine reasons for voting Green

In all the time that I’ve been out meeting my constituents, I don’t think I’ve met a single person who truly dislikes what the Green Party stands for.  I’ve met one person who thinks that we are grossly mistaken about how to care for the environment.  I’ve met a small number who question the science of climate change.  I’ve met a similarly small handful of people who expressed doubts at the Green Party’s readiness for government.  I’ve encountered a small minority dedicated to one particular party or another who I haven’t questioned about the reasons for their loyalty.  And I’ve met a significant number who either oppose the Green Party or suspect they might vote for another party for strategic reasons, even though they are often at pains to insist that they really support the Green Party, want us in Parliament and wish us luck.

A number of my supporters accompanying me have made the same observation I have:  If every person in Toronto-Danforth who said that in his heart he supported the Green Party actually voted Green, I would be sent to Parliament not by a small margin, but by a landslide.

Some of these people ask me to give them my best argument for voting Green, given that it’s very challenging for me to win and even less likely that the Greens will have significant sway in Parliament.  Here’s what I say:

Strong policy message

A Green vote sends a powerful message to other parties that there is a growing block of voters who will not vote for a party that doesn’t have a credible platform addressing the issues that the Green Party pushes for.

Green financing

A Green vote gives the Green Party of Canada $1.95 each year to push for their priorities.

Better government

A vote for the party that best represents the future you want can help change the direction of government by reversing the corrosive effects of strategic voting.  You know that your vote went towards the goals you want.

Pushing the NDP

In this particular riding where the incumbent is the leader of another party, a tight race can force a whole party to shift direction if the leader feels his riding is at stake.

Community response

One of the things I really like about Green Party policy is the emphasis on community building and participatory democracy.  I will be a parliamentarian who is responsible to the people of Toronto-Danforth.  I will reach out constantly to my constituents to understand the impact of policies made in Ottawa on the people of Toronto-Danforth in this time of great challenges, and I will carry their voices back to Parliament.

Building constructive relationships

The Green Party has excelled in other countries in working in coalitions and in building consensus with other groups.  I will work hard to follow in this tradition and work with other parties to get the best legislation we can have.

The power of a tiny party

Universal public health coverage was introduced under a minority government with pressure from the tiny NDP of the time, with only a handful of seats.

The power of a single good MP

Much more recently, Chuck Cadman was able to decide on the fate of the government as an independent in Parliament.  Unburdened of the responsibility of voting along party lines, he made the decision based on the wishes of his constituents.  The Green Party makes a point of pushing for more flexibility in Parliament.  When it comes to a tight race in Parliament, a Green choice is probably the best choice for representing the wishes of the constituents.

Being a good parliamentarian

I will work tirelessly in Parliament and on committees to improve legislation for the people of Toronto-Danforth and to secure brighter prospects for future generations.  I will introduce legislation of my own and I will work hard to secure support for it from other parties.

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