The Green Party of Canada, led by Elizabeth May, is experiencing the fastest growing support base of any Green Party worldwide during this Canadian 2019 election. That’s because the rise in concern for ecological damage like climate change and greenhouse gasses is becoming one of the most important voter issues in developed countries. And winning this election does not mean a majority.
Could 2019 be the year the Green Party of Canada becomes a driving force in Canadian politics? Some would argue that is already the case.
Polls are showing the Conservatives and the Liberals tied at around 31 percent each.
But traditional polls historically fail to capture fundamental paradigm shifts in voter trends – as evidenced by Donald Trump’s historic against-all-odds victory. it is these changes that are redefining the geo-political landscape around the world in real time, right now.
It is no coincidence that environmental superstar Greta Thunberg is campaigning in Alberta at precisely the same time that Canada is heading to the polls.
With Trudeau’s Liberal Party seeing wholesale abandonment by its support base after the PMO’s attempt to improperly pressure then-justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to offer SNC Lavalin executives an alternative path to prosecution called a deferred prosecution agreement – whereby companies and executives guilty of criminal behaviour can pay a fine instead of going to jail, there is little doubt the Liberals are finished.
In the case of the Progressive Conservative Party, the behaviour and tactics of candidate Andrew Scheer in smearing his competitors has left a foul taste in the mouths of the traditional right wing voter base. That in conjunction with his inability to articulate any platform of merit will severely damage the PC’s chances of victory at the polls on Monday.
The NDP is still likely way too far to the left socially to be considered seriously by voters toward the middle and to the right of it.
So does this mean the Green Party under Elizabeth May could win a majority?
Stranger things have definitely happened in Canadian politics, and with so many voters from the larger parties fed up with big party politics, we could indeed see an upset.
But the Green Party does not need a majority necessarily to become the most powerful decision maker in a landscape that might result in a coalition government.
Imagine if the Conservatives were to eke out a victory, and the Liberals became the official opposition. In either scenario, the Greens, at over 10 percent of the votes, could be the coalition partner that both partners will seek to woo constantly just to get anything done in parliament.
Then there is the reality that the economic cost of climate change and global warming is threatening to overwhelm the economic damage caused by doing nothing.
Certainly the Green Party is the default presumptive champion of reversing climate change while preserving economic vitality in Canada.
That more than anything could lead many of Canada’s voters to give the Green Party a turn at the helm of Canada.
Like I said; stranger things of happened.
Economics Demand a Green Approach
The favorite criticism of more conservative voters is that taking measures to reduce greenhouse gasses and generally improve the environment will cost too much. Oilsands workers, for example, tend to believe that reducing our dependence on Alberta oil is a direct attack on their quality of life.
But the opposite is actually true. If the oilsands were ultimately deemed an unacceptably destructive fuel source – and that is a question of when, not if – imagine the gargantuan effort that would be required to remediate the vast tracts of toxic landscape and recycle all that steel, aluminum and plastic.
Then, imagine the economic surge that would occur when the replacement for combustion engines and hydrocarbon fuel needs to be built on a scale to replace the world’s car and truck fleet.
People fear change – not environmentalists. But the next generation of global citizens, and every subsequent generation, is going to have an increasingly reduced tolerance for behaviours that cause greenhouse gasses and environmental degradation.
Leadership is going to reflect that, and many Canadians believe the time is now.
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