Question of the week: Why Albertans need Greens in the Legislature
October 16, 2017
The Green Party of Alberta will be voting for a new leader in Red Deer on November 4th. To give party members and the general public a better idea of what the five leadership candidates stand for, the GPA’s Leadership Campaign Committee is posing a different question to them each week in the lead-up to the vote.
Here is this week’s question – the fourth in the series:
How would you explain to voters sceptical of the Green message why it is important to elect some Green voices to the Legislature?
The candidates were given a 150-word limit.
Here are responses from the five candidates for leadership of the GPA:
If we desire a true democracy, we need voices from across the political spectrum.
This is a question that I am more than familiar with. I run across sceptics of our message every day. I explain that we are not an anti-oil party. But rather we believe that there is a better way of doing things. That Green MLA’S would fight for small business, for hard working Alberta tax payers. That Green Party MLA’S would work with all levels of Government to implement a value-added economic system. Green MLA’S would fight to bring-to-an end the boom and bust systems of the past that made hard working Albertans hewers of wood and drawers of water for the large multinational corporations. Green Party MLAs would bring balance to our government. We could count on Green Party MLAs to restore conscience to our legislative assembly. With a few Green MLAs we could look forward to a legislature based on cooperation rather than the current combativeness
The Green Party perspective is unlike any other. It doesn’t fit typical party descriptions, such as being left-wing, or right. It’s inclusive, grassroots, collaborative, and based on principles (like sustainability and a long-term view) & ethics (like non-violence and social justice).
While we may share certain positions with those of other parties, a Green voice brings new, valuable perspectives to the discussion – perspectives that we need in order to build a realistic hope for our future, and to build a sustainable path for our communities, our economy and our societies.
We may be a small party, but we can have a great impact by bringing our vision for Alberta’s future into public attention. By doing this, we can affect the policies of other parties and the decisions of government. As we have seen in BC, a small number of elected MLAs can make a big difference.
The traditional parties are rooted in ideologies and the pursuit of power so they can make their ideology the dominant one. This has led to a focus on conflict, on “oppositional politics,” that has taken our society on a destructive path.
Green politics eschew ideology, the notion that there is just one “right way” that must be applied to all problems. We come to the table for collaborative dialogue, to ask questions together in the hope of getting to a real understanding of the problems we face as communities, and what we can do together to make things better.
Greens in the Legislature would create space for better dialogue, for a wider range of perspectives to be considered, so we can all be a part of getting to the best solutions for our communities and the world.
A green voice is needed in the legislature because sophisticated and responsible policy development should involve “Systems thinking”. Systems thinking is identifying the complex interactions that occur between factors in a system. In other words, its thinking about how one factor, if modified, will affect every other factor in the system, rather than just thinking about the factors it directly interacts with.
For example, if one were to buy a chocolate bar, the cost will most likely be taken into consideration. However, it might be beneficial to know how it will affect health, if it was manufactured ethically, or if the chocolate contains nuts, etc. This thought process might be too elaborate for the everyday chocolate purchaser. However, I would find it completely appropriate to think this way when making policy.
Systems thinking requires varied perspective. The GPA offers a unique approach to issues and should be heard.
Contact information for the candidates:
Romy Tittel; Romy@procad.com; (403) 608-1380
James Friesen; firstname.lastname@example.org; (780) 978-1874
Brian Deheer; email@example.com; (780) 623-4754
Marco Reid; firstname.lastname@example.org; (403) 860-1173
Grant Neufeld; email@example.com; (403) 630-7615
For further information on the candidates go to greenpartyofalberta.ca/candidates/
For information on the GPA generally, go to www.greenpartyofalberta.ca or contact the GPA president or current leader:
Janet Keeping firstname.lastname@example.org 403-283-8085, 403-383-1356
Carl Svoboda email@example.com 403-282-3863, 403-804-6869