Annual General Meeting of the Kitchener–Conestoga EDA and CA — 6 June 2019

Meeting
Meeting!
Hello Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party members: The Annual General Meeting for the Kitchener-Conestoga federal Electoral District Association and provincial Constituency Assocation is happening!

What: Annual General Meeting of the Kitchener–Conestoga EDA and CA
When: Thursday, 6 June 2019 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Where: Kennedy’s Restaurant
Location: 1750 Erbs Road, St. Agatha, Ontario Map

RSVP

(RSVPs are optional, but will help with reservations)

Current Green Party members in KitCon can vote for, and run for positions on the Executive. Lapsed members (whose membership has expired recently) can renew their membership at the meeting.

These are the executive positions currently held:

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Canada Association

  • Chief Executive Officer (Bob Jonkman)
  • Financial Agent (Bryan Izzard)
  • One or more Members-At-Large (Elisabeth Honek, Laurel Russwurm, Patrick McDonald)

Kitchener–Conestoga Green Party of Ontario Constituency Association

  • President (Elisabeth Honek)
  • Chief Financial Officer (Bryan Izzard)
  • One or more Principal Officers (Laurel Russwurm, David Weber)

Nominations will be made at the AGM; you can nominate yourself.

Thank you, and see you at the AGM!

–Bob.


Bob Jonkman
E-mail: mailto:bob.jonkman@greenparty.ca
Phone: +1-226-476-4529
Web: https://bobjonkman.ca/
Twitter: @BobJonkmanGPC

Vote for the person who will best represent you in your riding!

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Bill 71, Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act, 2019

Mike Schreiner: “It’s time we started taking seriously our sacred responsibility to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.”

On Wednesday February 20th, 2019, Mike Schreiner made history again when he introduced his first Private Member’s Bill in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

You can read Bill 71, Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act, 2019 online
(
An Act to conserve the Paris Galt Moraine by providing for the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Plan)

In the face of climate change, resource extraction and sprawl, Mike’s draft legislation seeks to protect the Paris Galt Moraine, an essential water ecologically sensitive recharge area in the Grand River Watershed which naturally purifies water for the citizens of Guelph and the surrounding area.  Bill 71  would amend the province’s Planning Act and Development Charges Act  to more strictly regulate development that could jeopardize the moraine’s integrity.

This is about conserving what nature can do for free, so I cannot think of a more fiscally responsible solution. Failure to act could put the government on the hook for hundreds of millions in water infrastructure, like an expensive pipeline from the Great Lakes.
—Mike Schreiner.

Mike wrote the draft legislation over a period of months where he consulted with water experts and Ontario stakeholders, including First Nations, municipalities, farmers and MPPs from all parties.

With this important legislation, Mike has demonstrated the Green Party’s core commitment to participatory democracy and consensus based governance by building all-party support, which resulted in the bill’s passage at Second Reading on March 7th, 2019. “I’m glad my colleagues unanimously showed their commitment to Ontario’s water today. Safeguarding water and food-growing farmland should not be partisan issues. Let this be a first step towards all-party collaboration to protect the places we love,” said Schreiner.

First Green Bill gets all-party support! Let this be the first step of all-party collaboration to protect Ontario's water for our children and grandchildren." - Mike Schreiner, MPP, Green party of Ontario

I appealed to good progressive conservative thinking from the past. But it took four different bills over two years before the Oak Ridges Moraine was protected by legislation. With climate change on Ontario’s doorstep, and $1.2 billion in damage last year alone, we must act quicker. I look forward to working on this bill at committee, and this legislation returning to the House for a final vote.
Mike Schreiner, First Green legislation passes key vote with all-party support

 

Comment on Bill 66

During the election, Mr Ford categorically promised not to touch the Greenbelt.

Not only is the Greenbelt home to 5,500 farms, 78 species at risk and 102 million tonnes of carbon storage, the reason it was protected in the first place was to protect a great deal of Ontario’s water.

But now Mr Ford’s majority government has introduced Bill 66, The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, legislation. This will indeed open Ontario’s Greenbelt up to development.

Because it was introduced quietly going into Christmas, and the Ford Government has made no secret of its intention to push Bill 66 through quickly, I don’t know if anyone has yet managed a thorough examination of all the ramifications of Bill 66.

It may only be 35 pages long, but it’s an omnibus bill, which means everything you need to know isn’t contained in this draft legislation.  You’d have to read through every one of the 22 laws it will change:

Some of the changes it makes may be good things, but the bad things thoroughly outweigh any good that may be there.  That’s the thing about Omnibus Bills: many different things are bundled together in a package too big to be adequately considered in a democracy.

There is no reason Bill 66 couldn’t be stopped, and the good parts could be reintroduced as ordinary laws that can be properly understood and debated in the Legislature. 

Our unrepresentative voting system has gifted Mr Ford’s government with 100% power to pass any law it wants, even though it was elected by only 40% of the votes cast.  (A mere twentysomething percent of eligible votes).

So what’s the rush?

There is nothing stopping them from allowing citizens and the MPPs in the legislature to know what it is they are passing, and allow adequate parliamentary debate of all aspects.  That’s how our system is supposed to work.  In a majority government, even though the party with all the power can pass any law it wants, the reason we have an opposition parties is to ensure that our legislators make sure the laws they pass stand up to scrutiny.  If there are bad unintended consequences, or even if the legislation is too broad or unclear, these things can be dealt with before they become law.

The only reason for pushing something like this through fast is to keep us from knowing what they’re doing until it’s too late.  Keeping the people in the dark is not how a Government for the people would operate.

In the Region of Waterloo discussion of Bill 66, Waterloo Mayor Jaworsky said, “No one asked for this.”

Mr Ford keeps saying he needs to do this to show Ontario is “Open For Business.”  But what does that mean?  This law is supposed to “cut red tape” that prevents development.

But the fact is that development isn’t being prevented.  There is plenty of room in Ontario, plenty of land available and open for development without going anywhere near the protected lands of the Green Belt.  There is no need to endanger our water or anything else.  That’s why municipalities across Ontario are passing resolutions saying they don’t want or need this.

Why is this happening?

Because when the laws protecting Ontario’s water and the Greenbelt were put in place, land prices in the Greenbelt stayed low.  When a farmland can’t be turned into a factory or subdivision, it stays viable as farmland.  But because of the low prices, some developers bought land in the Greenbelt, speculating that in time they would elect a government willing to undo Greenbelt protections.

Although all-party approved changes to Ontario’s election financing law prevented political parties from accepting corporate donations directly, the changes didn’t go far enough, because developers like Mattamy Homes were allowed to contribute ridiculous sums of money to Partisan third party advertiser Ontario Proud which specialized in attack ads against Mr Ford’s opponents.  (And Mr Ford is undoing that election financing law because the people he is for have lots of money to spend to ensure the governments they want get elected.   But that’s another story.)

The only reason the Ford Government is trying so hard to carve up the green spaces of our province with factories and subdivisions is because their rich supporters want to make a profit.

Ontario has been doing a pretty good job of long term planning, protecting sensitive environments, our water and our food supplies. Once farmland is paved, its gone.

Once farmland is developed, it’s not farm land anymore.

The best we can hope for from Bill 66 is that decades of careful land management will be messed up.  The worst is another Walkerton.  Or another Elmira.

And if that’s not bad enough, Bill 66 does away with any requirement for public notice or consultation or meetings, and no matter what problems are caused, we won’t even be able to appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.  So called “Open For Business” by-laws passed behind closed doors will trump laws, policies and municipal official plans developed through extensive and open public consultation.  Communities would have no recourse to influence or challenge them.

And even if your Council doesn’t do any of these things, the Council next door might, and endanger the environment we all share.

What Can We Do?

We have until January 20 to formally tell the Ford Government consultation what we think about Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 on the province’s website.

January 20th is the deadline for comments to Bill 66 on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (EBR).
Be sure that you and others that you know speak up and let your concerns be known.  It would be fantastic if your group or organization can make an official response or submission.  There is plenty of information in the Bill 66 Recent Articles
linked below.  There are a myriad of issues and concerns, but you can say as little or as much as you like in your comment.   Don’t be shy about making comments personally – even if it is just a short sentence or two.  I would suggest making it clear right at the top that you don’t want Bill 66.  I am afraid to say that at this point they are not likely to listen to what we say, but they will certainly tally up how many comments support or oppose the bill.

Please take two minutes to send a message to the Ontario Government to stop Bill 66:

COMMENT ON Omnibus Bill 66 HERE

DEADLINE SUNDAY: January 20th, 2019

You can also visit the Green Party of Ontario’s Defend The Greenbelt website.  If you feel you need assistance in using the comment process, the GPO advises you to Click here for step-by-step instructions to participate in the government consultation.

You can still use Hold The Line tool to send email to local politicians.


And of course we can always contact our Member of Provincial Parliament:
Michael Harris Jr, Kitchener-Conestoga, Progressive Conservative Party

Toronto:  tel 416 326-6945, fax 416 326-6942

Rm 434, Main Legislative Bldg, Queen’s Park M7A 1A8

Constituency office:  Unit 3 and 4, 63 Arthur St. S., Elmira, N3B 2M6

Mike.harrisco@pc.ola.org

Tel 519 669-2090, fax 519 669-0476

And you can also call the Premier’s Office directly!
Call 416 325-1941 and leave a short message re your concerns about Bill 66


Bill 66 Recent Articles and Background:

Pat Merlihan, Woolwich Township: Dear Mike Harris, MPP

Woolwich Observer: Groups call on townships to oppose province’s Bill 66

Elmira Advocate: ENVIRONMENT UNDER THREAT FROM BILL 66

Global: Walkerton residents worry about Ford government’s Bill 66

CTV: Local councils urge Ford government to protect farmland

CBC: Region of Waterloo won’t support Bill 66, votes to send message to province

theRecord: Region of Waterloo says no to Bill 66 — Jan. 9

Jenn Pfenning, Wilmot Council: Bill 66

theRecord: Proposed bill could lead to policy patchwork in Ontario endangering environmental protections and public health

theRecord: Local groups asking municipalities to reject Bill 66

theRecord: Waterloo Region politicians need to say no to Bill 66

Today’s Farmer: Waterloo Federation opposes Bill 66

Ontario Nature: Bill 66: What you need to know

New Hamburg Independent: Local groups asking municipalities to reject Bill 66

theRecord: Increasing the risk of another Walkerton

Toronto Star: That ‘red tape’ Ford is cutting? It was meant to protect the environment, workers, lives

Toronto Star: Developing the Greenbelt is a disaster on multiple levels

Canadian Environmental Law Association : Deregulation Redux: Ontario’s Environmental Laws under Attack (Again)

The Ford Government passes the buck on #ClimateAction #ONpoli

Ontario’s new “Climate Policy” is passing the buck to us.  As with the previous government, ordinary people are encouraged to renovate our homes and buy more fuel efficient cars.  But now, the program subsidies that would help us do these things are gone.  Even worse, our tax dollars will go into a fund to reward industries who pollute now.

So.  People get no help to do our part.  Instead, our tax dollars will go to fuel big businesses.

Sounds like money out of our pocket.  Again.

You can read it yourself here:

https://prod-environmental-registry.s3.amazonaws.com/2018-11/EnvironmentPlan.pdf

Mike Schreiner on Ontario’s new “Climate” Plan

“We were promised a climate strategy, but were given a litter reduction plan.

If this is the government’s response to the dire warnings from the IPCC about the impending climate catastrophe, then they clearly were not listening.

Instead of showing leadership, the government is weakening Ontario’s previous targets and adopting an unproven carbon trust model that is unlikely to reduce emissions. The new Trudeau/Harper targets mean that we will fail to meet the goals set under Paris Climate Agreement.

More importantly we will not meet our obligations to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren.

Asking citizens to pay polluters and setting up burdensome new regulations will only cost more and delay action. These will do little to put Ontario on a pathway to being carbon neutral by 2050. Instead, they signal that Ontario is throwing in the towel.

And asking Ontarians to reduce litter in the face a climate crisis is like the US President asking Californians to rake leaves to prevent forest fires.

We should expect better. We must demand a real plan.

Pollution pricing is basic economics. But this government continues to ignore the consensus from scientists, experts and even conservative economists who agree on it. The Premier could embrace the $26 trillion clean economy and put money directly in people’s pockets by adopting the Green Party’s carbon fee and dividend solution.

At the end of the day, we will all pay the price for this irresponsible plan. But in the face of evidence and real solutions, this government has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.”

Mike Schreiner, Leader
Green Party of Ontario
https://gpo.ca/2018/11/29/pc-government-releases-litter-reduction-plan-not-climate-plan/

 

 

 

Mike Schreiner on Bill 57 #ONpoli

Quote: Ontario should be leading the electric vehicle revolution, not losing jobs to it." Mike Schreiner addresses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

I don’t think it’s just me.   Or even partisanship.  Every time Mike Schreiner speaks in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, he makes a lot of sense.

Yesterday Mike rose to debate Bill 57, speaking against:

  • the elimination of independent legislative officers,
  • dismantling checks and balances,
  • a resurgence of big money dominance of Ontario politics,
  • further erosion of transparency, and
  • more centralization of power.

Watch the 6 minute video and see who is representing us at Queen’s Park:

Pardon Canadians Convicted for Possessing Marijuana!

Cannabis should never have been made illegal, but since it was, the Green Party supports good public policy to rectify the mistakes of the past.

GPO Leader Mike Schreiner talks about Cannabis in Kitchener

The Green Party is pleased that Canadians will soon be able to access marijuana openly and safely — free from the threat of being criminally charged.

However, many thousands of Canadians who previously smoked or possessed cannabis, but were caught by police, will remain criminals in the eyes of the law. A disproportionate number of racialized Canadians have been charged, and all those convicted face serious obstacles applying for jobs and travelling abroad.

Join us in demanding the Liberal government provide amnesty for all Canadians convicted solely on charges of marijuana possession.

click to send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Wilson-Raybould

Statistics

Since becoming personally involved in elections, I’ve found myself watching televised election coverage on Election Night.  This year, that was at Ethel’s Lounge in Waterloo with three of our 5 Waterloo Region Greens Candidates and WRGreens volunteers and supporters.

Each broadcaster concentrates on the ridings their partisan experts consider important,  instead of showing the riding results equally, so it’s hit or miss for all the rest.  We chose to watch TVO’s coverage that night at Ethel’s, as TVO was the only MSM broadcaster to include a Green leaning commentator.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to get the big picture.  So for my own interest, I decided to check out Elections Ontario (unofficial results) to get an idea how our Green Candidates did overall. Although I did this for my own interest, Bob pointed out this might be of interest to others, so here it is.Mike Schreiner Guelph 29,082 45.04% | Bonnie North Barrie—Innisfil 3,182 7.19% | Robert Kiley Kingston and the Islands 3,504 6.48% | Stephen Leahy Ajax 1,224 2.51% | Justin Tilson Algoma—Manitoulin 989 3.60% | Stephanie Nicole Duncan Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill 1,195 2.66% | Keenan Aylwin Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte 5,354 11.72% | Mark Daye Bay of Quinte 1,730 3.43% | Debra Scott Beaches—East York 2,128 4.26% | Laila Zarrabi Yan Brampton Centre 1,053 3.13% | Raquel Fronte Brampton East 500 1.33% | Pauline Thornham Brampton North 1,366 3.45% | Lindsay Falt Brampton South 1,472 3.86% | Julie Guillemet-Ackerman Brampton West 999 2.63% | Ken Burns Brantford—Brant 2,707 4.72% | Don Marshall Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound 2,922 5.95% | Vince Fiorito Burlington 2,828 4.48% | Michele Braniff Cambridge 3,018 6.27% | Gordon Kubanek Carleton 1,985 3.95% | Mark Vercouteren Chatham-Kent—Leamington 1,636 3.53% | Kirsten Snider Davenport 1,624 3.55% | Mark Wong Don Valley East 917 2.53% | Janelle Yanishewski Don Valley North 1,015 2.52% | Morgan Bailey Don Valley West 1,268 2.77% | Eryn Sylvester Mississauga—Malton 674 1.79% | Abhijeet Manay Mississauga—Streetsville 1,349 2.81% | Sarah Hutchinson Mushkegowuk—James Bay 164 1.78% | James O’Grady Nepean 2,679 5.06% | Michelle Bourdeau Newmarket—Aurora 1,788 3.63% | Joe Dias Niagara Centre 1,788 3.63% | Karen Fraser Niagara Falls 2,057 3.46% | Jessica Tillmanns Niagara West 2,578 5.58% | Bill Crumplin Nickel Belt 1,137 3.12% | Kris Rivard Nipissing 997 2.83% | Jeff Wheeldon Northumberland—Peterborough South 2,727 4.52% | Emily DeSousa Oakville 1,976 3.51% | Marianne Workman Oakville North—Burlington 2,045 3.69% | Nicholas Lapierre Orléans 1,603 2.51% | Deborah Ellis Oshawa 1,957 3.61% | Cherie Wong Ottawa Centre 2,266 3.52% | Les Schram Ottawa South 1,618 3.09% | Patrick Freel Ottawa West—Nepean 1,937 3.83% | Sheilagh McLean Ottawa—Vanier 1,951 4.07% | Al De Jong Oxford 2,247 4.30% | Halyna Zalucky Parkdale—High Park 2,544 4.66% | Matt Richter Parry Sound—Muskoka 9,438 20.02% | Lisa Olsen Perth—Wellington 2,746 5.86% | Gianne Broughton Peterborough—Kawartha 2,055 3.36%Laura Campbell Dufferin—Caledon 7,011 12.53% | Michelle Corbett Durham 2,359 3.88% | Reuben DeBoer Eglinton—Lawrence 1,230 2.43% | Bronagh Morgan Elgin—Middlesex—London 2,049 3.88% | Nancy Pancheshan Essex 1,853 3.45% | Shawn Rizvi Etobicoke Centre 1,329 2.32% | Nancy Ghuman Etobicoke North 991 2.73% | Chris Caldwell Etobicoke—Lakeshore 2,101 3.63% | Janet Errygers Flamborough—Glanbrook 2,307 4.47% | Daniel Reid Glengarry—Prescott—Russell 1,429 2.93% | Anne Faulkner Haldimand—Norfolk 2,095 4.14% | Lynn Therien Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock 2,584 4.50% | Jason Lopez Hamilton Centre 2,102 5.75% | Brian Munroe Hamilton East—Stoney Creek 1,873 4.26% | David Urquhart Hamilton Mountain 2,300 5.14% | Peter Ormond Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas 2,302 4.16% | Sari Watson Hastings—Lennox and Addington 1,910 4.24% | Kirsten Bennett Humber River—Black Creek 485 1.57% | Nicholas Wendler Huron—Bruce 1,804 3.42% | Andrew West Kanata—Carleton 2,827 5.33% | Adam Narraway Pickering—Uxbridge 2,105 3.96% | Anna Dolan Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke 1,436 2.98% | Walter Bauer Richmond Hill 1,248 2.88% | Kevin Shaw Sarnia—Lambton 1,856 3.65% | Kara Flannigan Sault Ste. Marie 1,044 3.25% | Sanjin Zeco Scarborough Centre 902 2.31% | Nicole Peltier Scarborough North 543 1.62% | David Del Grande Scarborough Southwest 1,144 2.64% | Lydia West Scarborough—Agincourt 635 1.72% | Linda Rice Scarborough—Guildwood 877 2.44% | Priyan De Silva Scarborough—Rouge Park 1,014 2.41% | Valerie Powell Simcoe North 3,615 6.65% | Jesseca Perry Simcoe—Grey 4,192 6.88% | Rita Bilerman Spadina—Fort York 1,817 3.66% | Colin Ryrie St. Catharines 1,923 3.72% | Elaine Kennedy Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry 1,596 3.67% | David Robinson Sudbury 1,504 4.16% | Rachel Dokhoian Thornhill 1,043 2.21% | John Northey Thunder Bay—Atikokan 880 2.71% | Amanda Moddejonge Thunder Bay—Superior North 838 2.79%Ember McKillop Kenora—Rainy River 721 3.60% | Christine Penner Polle Kiiwetinoong 406 6.28% | Greg Locke King—Vaughan 1,754 3.41% | Stacey Danckert Kitchener Centre 3,23 David Weber Kitchener South—Hespeler 3,198 7.53% | Bob Jonkman Kitchener—Conestoga 2,793 6.51% | Anthony Li Lambton—Kent—Middlesex 1,655 3.29% | Anita Payne Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston 2,410 4.79% | Derek Morley Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes 2,347 4.80% | Carol Dyck London North Centre 2,493 4.61% | Pamela Reid London West 2,211 3.75% | Lisa Carriere London—Fanshawe 2,050 4.52% | Jose Etcheverry Markham—Stouffville 2,153 4.00% | Caryn Bergmann Markham—Thornhill 859 2.29% | Deborah Moolman Markham—Unionville 993 2.12% | Eleanor Hayward Milton 2,208 5.04% | Noah Gould Mississauga Centre 1,149 2.63% | Basia Krzyzanowski Mississauga East—Cooksville 1,498 3.45% | Libby Yuill Mississauga—Erin Mills 1,312 2.74% | Lloyd Jones Mississauga—Lakeshore 1,572 2.95% | Casey Lalonde Timiskaming—Cochrane 723 2.63% | Lucas Schinbeckler Timmins 273 1.75% | Adam Sommerfeld Toronto Centre 1,377 3.12% | Andrew Trotter Toronto—Danforth 2,248 4.38% | Teresa Pun Toronto—St. Paul's 1,690 3.23% | Tim Grant University—Rosedale 2,652 5.37% | Michael DiPasquale Vaughan—Woodbridge 972 2.26% | Zdravko Gunjevic Waterloo 2,613 4.83% | Dave Rodgers Wellington—Halton Hills 5,066 8.64% | Stacey Leadbetter Whitby 1,958 3.42% | Randi Ramdeen Willowdale 932 2.30% | Krysta Glovasky-Ridsdale Windsor West 1,393 3.58% | Henry Oulevey Windsor—Tecumseh 1,907 4.42% | Roma Lyon York Centre 843 2.29% | Grad Murray York South—Weston 942 2.53% | Alexandra Zalucky York—Simcoe 2,195 4.82%(note: the above all candidates image is actually in three pieces, part 1 is the first 6 rows, part 2 the next 5 rows, and part 3 the last 5 rows. Click on the section you want to see the segment at full size.)

All five of our Waterloo Region Greens candidates did very well overall.

Kitchener South—Hespeler candidate David Weber‘s 7.53 riding vote percentage was the 6th highest in Ontario (up from 7th in 2014).  Kitchener Centre‘s candidate Stacey Danckert ranked 9th with 6.84%, Kitchener—Conestoga candidate Bob Jonkman ranked 11th with 6.51%, Cambridge candidate Michele Braniff ranked 14th with 6.27%, and first time candidate Zdravko Gunjevic ranked 24th with 4.83% in Waterloo.

And while I know from personal experience how lucky Waterloo Region has been to have such an excellent roster of WRGreens candidates, I have met enough other Green Party Candidates to know this isn’t really unusual.  Frankly, I am continually stunned by the calibre of Green Party Candidates in general.  Although the Green Party has far and away the best policy of any of the top four parties, putting your hat in the ring requires a great deal of time, money and effort for any candidate.  It’s a big personal investment no matter which party a candidate is running for, and Greens are faced with additional handicaps:

  • an electoral system that discriminates egregiously against the Greens,
  • unrelenting propaganda that insists majority government is a good thing,
  • the exclusion of the Green Party Leader in televised Leaders Debates
  • the MSM agenda to keep us perpetually cycling between red and blue parties,
  • the never ending push for strategic voting,
  • the catch 22 perception that no seats in the legislature means Greens are unelectable, and
  • the low probability of winning, even when you are the best candidate in your riding.

Green Candidates are well aware of how little chance they have of being elected, but in spite of everything, excellent Green Party Candidates keep stepping up.

Working together is the WRGreens superpower.

Stacey Danckert brought us all together under the unofficial WRGreens umbrella during the 2015 federal election, and our regional cooperation is paying off.  Cooperating, sharing our experience and resources has been incredibly helpful for us here in Waterloo Region.  And not just during elections.  We’ve been actively working to raise the Green profile between elections, by hosting information tables at local summer festivals where we can, hosting our own events and participating in others as appropriate, and building our online presence on the WRGreens blog.   We’re always learning, and we’ll do it even better next time.  Especially now that Mike Schreiner has won that so important first seat.

Strategic Voting is a only a good strategy for the candidate who gets the vote we would rather cast elsewhere.

I know how hard it can be to stay positive, and to keep focus on the campaign.  But after media suppression, I think our worst threat is falling prey to propaganda.

The strategic voting narrative continues to be powerful, and it is always the worst when it strikes from within.

In many ways I think this is especially difficult for Greens, because Greens are the unparty party, the party that applauds other parties when they appropriate our ideas, even when implemented badly, because it’s a start.

The stakes are so high that sometimes a candidate falls victim to strategic voting propaganda, and suggests their supporters vote instead for a competitor who might win against a greater evil. This really isn’t surprising in a party that understands the importance of working together for the common good.  Green Candidates aren’t professional politicians, they’re people from all walks of life who get involved because they understand our future is at stake and change is no longer optional. They’re in this because serious issues that need to be addressed, not for the greater glory of the party.

One of the reasons strategic voting is wrong is that it is always built on the faulty premise that old statistics— whether gleaned from past elections or recent opinion polls— can accurately predict who might win.  If this were true, there would be no need for the trouble and expense of elections.

In this campaign, I was particularly unhappy to see a terrible strategic voting meme initiated by Meanwhile In Canada.  The post in question actually told voters to vote NDP except in 5 cases, where it said voters should vote Green because Green candidates could win in those 5 ridings. Some Green folk helped spread this meme thinking it might help change the perception that Green candidates couldn’t win.

I don’t know what exactly that prediction was based on, but two of the candidates who went on to rank in the top 5 percentages in their ridings were excluded from the 5 supposedly winnable ridings.  We will never know how many more votes those candidates (or all the Green candidates MiC strategically dismissed) might have won if that social media maven hadn’t been telling voters to vote against Greens in the last week of the campaign.

Although there are no scientific studies of which I am aware, I think Strategic Voting is the most powerful vote suppression tool going.  When people are convinced their vote won’t have any effect, or worse, that it will help elect the boogeyman provided by our FPTP system, many feel the only responsible choice is not voting.

We only get one vote.  That’s not a vote for a party.  It’s not a vote for a party leader.  It’s a vote for our local representative. I have to wonder how much better Greens would do in elections if they didn’t have to spend half the election explaining what’s wrong with Strategic Voting.

Since I’m sharing rankings, here are the GPO Top 5:

These 5 candidates are leading the way forward. Onward!