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The Green Party of Canada

Canada had nine registered political parties in the 1993 federal election. Each one of these parties was trying to place their candidates into Parliament as members. In this particular election there were the usual dominating parties that ran, the Liberals and Conservatives. Also vying for seats were seven minority parties which included the Green Party, the Christian Heritage Party, the National Party of Canada, the Abolitionist Party, the Commonwealth, The Canada Party, the Liberaltarian Party, the Marxist-Leninist Party, and the Natural Law Party.

Each of these minority parties had then and till do have their own values, goals, and political expectations. Most minority parties try to guide themselves along on the basis of these beliefs, especially around election time when they work hardest to raise issues of policy alternatives trying to make a mark on the political scene in Canada despite their limited support and resources. The Green Party of Canada is one particular minority party that presented themselves to the political scene in Canada about 15 years ago, in the early 1980’s (Darfler).

The small group of individuals belonging to the Green Party is an interesting bunch. They’re all ages and come from a wide variety of views and opinions. Even together as a party they vary in their individual values and beliefs compared to other political parties in Canada. The party faithful is unlike most other parties in many ways, the most noticeable difference is having tried to invert a system which is bottom-up, meaning that all the real power and responsibility are held at the level of the local chapters.

This is unique to the Green Party because most political organizations operate on a top-down basis, with a middle group within the party hierarchy that s in charge of their own membership, income, policies and incentives (Darfler). They together as a united party hold their own political sights for the future. The Green Party members for the most part believe that it is time to take a more sensible approach to running the affairs of the people and to do that we must base our political and economic beliefs on fact.

In Canada, the Green Party values such things as ecological wisdom, social justice, grass roots democracy, non- violence, decentralization, feminism, and future focus/sustainability (htp. //www. green. ca). If you agree that the government should focus its attention toward these values, then you yourself are probably Green. All of these values are joined by a common value system which is determined by a set of underlying theories about the nature of reality and the people placed in it.

The Green Parties political thought will probably never become entirely known as “Greenism,” unless it is to be a real force for change with majority support (http. //www. green. ca). Could the Green Parties position on the Ideological map play a part in why they do not and probably never will have majority support? The planet Earth is a huge planet, a matter of fact its mass is 5. 98 x 10 metric tons (Cayne 95). Many people think that such a planet with this vast size would be able to support just about anything, but how about 15 billion people.

The Green Party values the fact that the earth sustains all life forms and to maintain that belief, the people must become educated about ecological wisdom. They believe sound ecological principles must be the basis of economic activities. Also, in order to ensure a high quality of life and preserve nature n all its diversity, they feel that we must live within the physical limits of our planet and at sometime practice conservation. Unfortunately, we are not living within the physical limits of the planet as the Green Party suggests we should.

They advise us that we should be eliminating waste and learning to rely on those resources that are renewable or can be recycled or a day will come when we will not be able to sustain ourselves (Darfler). The trouble is that to educate people to do this would take a substantial amount of money and the present day government isn’t willing to comply. In this day and age the human population is exploding, with this population boom we are using up large amounts of our finite resources. It has been evident for a long time that there is a problem and it is only going to grow worse over time.

It was best summed up by Sir Edmund Hillary, “Environmental problems are really social problems anyway. They begin with people as the cause, and end with people as victims. ” (Weston 1) The Green Party of Canada wants to put all the worrying of the environment to an end. They feel that we are consuming our capital when we should be living off of the interest. The Green Party supporters want to eliminate waste and learn to rely on those resources that are renewable or can be recycled.

Take the war in Iraq for example, this war was over a natural resource which led to great environmental destruction, and this may only prove to be the first in a long series of resource wars that are destructive. Social Justice/ Responsibility is highly valued by the Green Party of Canada. They believe that nobody should be held back from reaching their full potential, as well every person has the right to lead a self-determined life of purpose and dignity. Each individual must accept responsibility for not only the earth, but also the rights of everything living on it.

The relationship between the people must reflect compassion, equality, mutual respect, justice, cooperation, and non- coercion. These attitudes must not only reflect but also guide our relations with others. The Greens believe this will lead people to a much happier and productive life for everyone. A Grass Roots Democracy is a system that the Green Party of Canada would truly like to witness. This democracy would provide the citizens with a chance o directly participate in the environmental, economic and political decisions of their lives.

The ideal way of doing this would be to hold Referendums and Plebiscites to decide on what is best for the citizens of a particular district, town, province or even the country as a whole. This was exemplified when connecting PEI to the rest of Canada was a hotly debated topic, to decide whether or not to build the fixed link bridge, the government of the province held a provincial plebiscite to decide whether or not to build a bridge. The majority voted yes, meaning that the bridge was to be built.

This is a great idea because a few politicians were not left to make a decision that will affect everyone. The Green Party of Canada views the act of violence as a very unprofessional way of settling disputes. Solving disputes with the use of violence is also very morally unacceptable and ultimately self defeating to the Green Party. The main qualities that will ensure The Green Parties ideal non- violence world are flexibility, cooperation, respect, and fairness. We must fully support all non-violent efforts to resolve conflicts around the world and work to put an everlasting end to war.

The vision of the Green Parties non- violent world would include stiffer gun control than was imposed in 1995, a drastic reduction in the military budget, a withdraw from the global arms race and finally specific targeting of a Canada aid program to the poorest countries. Unlike other political parties the Green Party of Canada believes in a system of limited government that is decentralized. They feel that the government should be turned back over to the provinces. In this governing technique an overall context of ecologically sound and socially just values and ifestyles would be evident.

If a decentralized government was in place, the decisions that effect common people in communities would no longer be made by people in authority far away, rather by the community legislature council. According to the beliefs of the Green Party, the community must provide within the natural limits of the earth rather than people providing for the economy. The Green Party also thinks that local self-reliance to the greatest practical extent is the best way to achieve this goal. In our communities we eed to create values that are directed toward caring, personal enrichment, cultural development and the appreciation of the natural world.

The Greens recognize that the whole community applies not only to people that live in one community, but can also mean those people who share common interests. A topic that has come a long way in the last few years is that of feminism. The word feminism defined means: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes (Websters 418) . The Greens would like to see a society where the moral code of cooperation and understanding ould replace the immoral acts of domination and control.

Everyone would be equal, meaning people would share and help one another instead of being told what to do and how to do it. There would exist no difference between that of male and female. Females and males would be equally represented in every aspect of society (political, business, ect… ). The Green Party of Canada would also like to see a society where it is concerned about the next generations and not just the present. The future focus and sustainability issue would address the issues that unless the earth’s opulation doesn’t do anything now the next generations will not have anything to look forward to.

Everyone has to take a stand and decide that they have to preserve today for tomorrow. This is contrary to the other political parties which think more short term thinking and planning. The preceding eight values are at the forefront of the Green Party. They work and plan their beliefs around them hoping the general population will listen to what they value. Their main goal is not necessarily to win a majority voice in the legislature but instead to have voice so that they can educate the opulation.

They want to establish a system based on a more basic assumption, the need for survival. A social order based on the satisfaction of human needs rather than on wants, would be much different from the world we live in today. They see us as creatures, and can see no basic conflict between the needs of the planet and our real needs. You may now be asking where do the Greens, although not a political power, stand on the Ideological Map. Their exact position on this map may be best illustrated by a Green Party slogan, “We are neither left or right- WE ARE THE FUTURE. “

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