The Green Party of Canada


Jarret MacDonald
Political Studies 102
G. Germain
March 31, 1997

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
still 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
is 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
in 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