NDP Brings Greens Most Pinecones

Title in honour of a Beaverton joke.

I’m excited that this is the first time the Green Party has been directly involved in governing a province anywhere in North America. I expect great things from the NDP/Green coalition, majority government there. Clark should resign soon.

Nathan Cullen’s Electoral Reform tour stop in Regina

Trudeau’s Broken Reform Promise

At the Parliamentary Committee I spoke at, I told Nathan Cullen I was disappointed he wasn’t running for the NDP leadership.

Global really holds the Liberals feet to the fire in this report.

“Trudeau says consultations have made it clear that Canadians are not interested in a new electoral system.”

Here’s that video, with me and others commenting. Minister Goodale wasn’t available for comment, apparently.

#ERRE Electoral Reform Committee in Regina

ERRE

First Expert guests I watched presenting to the committee were unable to understand French question fired at them because they were not equipped with translation headphones. Nathan Cullen leaped up and got the headsets for them.

Me and MP Nathan Cullen in Regina after #ERRE committee meeting open mic I spoke at.

CLC points out they are a political org and that is why they are interested in this subject of electoral reform.

Now May is questioning Prof. Jim Harding. Interesting there are few environmentalists who’ve presented to this committee thus far, she notes. Is there a connection between FPTP and lackluster environmental protections.

Justice is at the centre of principles for this committee, he says. Beauty is also central to all societies, including environmental beauty. We have local representatives, but they presently have to bow to some special interests over the collective wishes of their constituents.

Ruby S. with a question to CLC now. Union polls, etc. Not keeping my interest.

Also I’m thinking about what I will say. I don’t want FPTP, and want the PM to keep his promise that last election was the last time.

I’m the youngest person in the gallery of observers, only a woman behind me is the same generation. About 35 here to watch or speak. Maybe some will come tonight to speak? I doubt it. I feel compelled to mention it and ask that whatever system change is made the committee also change voting age down to 15 or 16 to create interest in our politics among young people.

If they don’t grow up voting they are less likely to care. They grow up disenfranchised teenagers able to drive and participate in society in most ways except choosing our lawmakers.

I told story of time I voted at University versus at parent’s riding, thus triggering a tie vote in that other riding.

Dave Orban speaking on behalf of non human organisms. Humans could be voted off the planet. MMP favoured by his constituents.

First woman at open mic. is a PR supporter. Doesn’t like strategic voting. Global warming is most urgent issue of our time. Earth cannot last another Harper style government.

“We’ve become a backwater.” In how we don’t have PR, what stable countries tend to use.

Next woman said other presentations were great and committee is on an adventure meeting Canadians.

Next man wants a referendum and “didn’t vote for this government”. Wants them to take their time.

Voted for 20 years and never been represented by her choice. She is a parent of teenagers “I’m used to not being listened to.” “FPTP is undermining Rule of Law”.
People may feel they shouldn’t follow the law if they don’t have a say in how laws are made. People will stand in front of bulldozers to stop pipelines and not pay taxes and that’s a problem.
-Really good presentation by Patricia Farnese

Jane had a good presentation too.

Next guy wants a referendum. Doesn’t trust Liberals to get it right. Concerned extreme parties could elect MPs.

May thanks crowd after.
Me and Elizabeth May in Regina after #ERRE.

Head In The Tarsand

When an out of control fire roars toward you, it’s totally fine to stick your head (and the rest of you) into the sand, in a fireproof shelter preferably. After the fire passes, you’ve got to come out and ask what the heck happened, and why.

Facebook has been bustling with people talking about the tragic fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The partially razed city is the epicenter or Mecca of Canadian Conservative politics (not Calgary which is simply the more urbanized version of Fort Mac and area). It’s been booming for years and years, but with the glut of OPEC oil, and the resulting price slump, it’s been going bust. The ravages of fire are kicking a city that already is down and maybe on its way out.

The Politically Correct thing in Conservative western Canada is to not mention the fire’s connection to the global disaster For Mac is infamous for contributing to: climate change. For the love of dog, don’t you dare mention holding an opinion that we should use much much less oil. You might as well suggest someone breathe less deeply, when you see the insult on their face for having suggested it. After all, you breathe too, so why would you say such a thing?

Conservatives preach about “personal responsibility”, no? There are victims of crimes and perpetrators of them, and everyone else. In a crime against an oppressed demographic, observe how many people suggest her clothing was a contributing factor; personal responsibility, eh? Claiming the Fort Mac refugees are completely blameless for their economic situation is an affront to Conservative values and saying they don’t deserve compassion and help from government is an affront to socialist values. There’s a middle ground available somewhere between shutting up, and praying your heart out on Facebook.

Saying the fire is unrelated to politics and our economy is what politicized the tragedy.
Suggesting there is no cause also implies we can’t mitigate it to stop future evacuations.

The following is from Facebook, in response to some of these thought listed above.

Elizabeth Todd:The NDP government in Alberta just cut millions in forest fire budget. As SK did before our wildfires last year. When climate scientists have been predicting droughts and increased wildfires.

And to make up for the costs of these events our government made cuts to education and health care. This is just shitty planning that they can get away with because it is politically incorrect to talk root causes and how we plan to address issues. It is political that we are paying for climate change disasters with frontline workers, cuts to research chairs, and cuts to maintenance workers.

Its political to ignore the causes of these events. It’s also not very political, but very human to want to find out why something awful happened in order to prevent it from happening to more people.

The boreal and other forests around the world are burning like this, McMurray isn’t the exception, this is going to become the new rule if we don’t get serious about a transition to green energy.

And yes, it’s not really the workers in the patch, but they do tend to vote for oil politicians in droves and so do their families and communities because the oilfield companies frame environmental concerns as attacks on workers. Which is very effective.

And even if they don’t vote for oil politicians, the NDP is still promoting pipelines- infrastructure that guarantees decades of tar sands expansion.

Guilt is useless and a conversation around whether we- I myself, you over there- are dependent on fossil fuels doesn’t mean we have to consent to this kind of future or should feel guilty if we use the stuff. We are politically and economically hooked on it and our current state of politics has us debating whether our dependence on oil means we have to be ok with it, rather than planning the transition in our communities and demanding the government support these plans.

Its also just difficult to read about evacuees being hosted in Fort McKay and being surprised to learn that the First Nation there can’t drink their water due to fossil fuel development.

This moment of crisis goes back much further than the city of Fort McMurray burning and the moment we can move from a debate about whether we should have this debate, to a debate about what we are going to do about the issues will be the moment I actually believe that the chorus of people de-politicizing this moment actually give a damn about what happened to the people in McMurray.

Empathy without analysis and strategy is just charity. It wont stop the next blaze.

We could hold our comments about the destruction of another Canadian community in reverence of the families hurt, and for political correctness, or we could simply start talking about another tragedy contributed to by poor planning, budget cuts, and our non-renewable, fossil fuel economy driven global crisis. Lac Megantic, Slave Lake, La Ronge, which disaster shall it be if not the relevant one going on now in Fort Mac?

Look At Who They Leap

“Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries” – NYT

What are we going to do about it? Let’s pillory the people with the only plan capable of decarbonizing the economy in time, says Canadian MainStream[Corporate]Media.

“Naomi Klein and the usual cadre of left-wing reliables want the NDP to ..” – National Post

Looking at the issue with a longer view, you’ll come to realize Engler’s opinion must win over the ad hominem attacks on Leap supporters.

Across Canada for the past three days the right wing media has been attacking the NDP for passing a resolution agreeing to “discuss” over the next two years the Leap Manifesto, a common sense document that calls for taking global warming seriously, actually doing what is necessary to prevent our planet from being cooked and trying to create a better world while we attempt to ensure our collective survival.

“These ideas will never form any part of our policy,” Notley said Monday. “They are naive, they are ill-informed, and they are tone-deaf.” – Notley in CBC

“Her Environment Minister, Shannon Phillips, called the document “ungenerous” and “short-sighted.” – Glib and Male

Short-sighted? Seriously!? What sort of environment minister thinks planning for a quick end to fossil fuel use is “short-sighted”? (One that is tone deaf, and forced to speak in short quips to minimize partisan twisting, I suppose.) Anyone with a long view realizes if we don’t build carbon-free systems right now, this decade, we’ve little chance of maintaining a climate responsible for supporting our civilization and countless species.

Lewis said jobs in the green economy can be created faster and in greater numbers than those in oil and gas.

“I think we as a Canadian family, we’re slipping into these deeply divisive ways of talking about these eternal tensions instead of focusing on what we can build together,” he said.

“And I think we could build new jobs in new industries for 10 years, put hundreds of thousands of people back to work across the country, before we need to have this … divisive debate about pipelines.”

Trusty Sun:

[…] many members of the federal NDP would like to adopt Naomi Klein’s Leap Manifesto at their convention.

This raises the question of whether many of them have read it. The Leap Manifesto, Klein’s eleventh-hour plunge into the climate change debate says, among other things,…

Macleans:

Avi Lewis on the ‘ideological battle’ over the Leap Manifesto
Avi Lewis on the climate crisis, Naomi Klein, and how he didn’t mean to ‘blow up the NDP convention’

The media is clearly making this about the people leading the ideas in Leap, not whether they are sound ideas or likely to be effective at creating the quick changes required to save our civilization. It’s all about Notley, Klein and Lewis, instead of carbon pollution, pipelines, economics, and our climate’s chances.

Wouldn’t you rather the media talk about the issue?

It’s Saskatchewan’s Election Day

I basically stopped writing about the Saskatchewan election on my blog following the hair pulling, anti-democratic decision by CBC and its consortium of TV broadcasters to block most party leaders from debating with Wall and Broten. So we’ll go another 4 years not knowing how those two shouty leaders behave when there are adults in the room with different political views and preferred methods of governing.

The campaign will not be memorable, as the media’s skewing of coverage can be summed up this way:

You could say the conservative media got what they set out to preserve. I hope they enjoy the next 4 years of more scandals and little positive change.