The Death of the Green Party of Canada
Either after the upcoming federal election, or the one after, the Green Party of Canada will fade away from existence.
Firstly, its fundamental reason for existence has been taken on by other parties. Preston Manning, arch-conservative of the Conservative Party of Canada and head of the Manning Centre for Democracy, has called for a green conservatism since at least 2006. The Liberals under Stephane Dione had one of the most environmentally focused platforms in Canadian electoral history. The NDP also have similar focuses in their platforms.
Where before environmentalism was not at the forefront of the political debate there now exists fundamental commitments in all parties for combating greenhouse gas emissions, protection of endangered wildlife, and protecting the environment. Right now the Greens provide a vote sink for the environmental cause that hurts other political parties who share their environmental vision.
Secondly, the federal Green party lost half its support since the 2008 election and consistently has lost more and more electoral district associations across Canada due to de-registration (meaning there has been a loss of local green supporters to organize for the party, according to one ex-Green blogger*).
Its office is centralized and the party’s efforts are focused on only one seat. For voters seeks environmental changes from Ottawa or any of the other capitals it would be more worthwhile to focus their efforts on another party that has a environmental platform and a bigger coalition of support.
Thirdly, and this is likely the most important point in this blog post, the $2 per-vote subsidy is ending before the next federal election. The money that allowed the Greens party to funnel funds into Calgary-Centre and other by-elections, along with funneling money into Elizabeth May’s seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands, will be gone. With 2/3rds of their budget they wont be able to have the same funds for a similar strategy.
Never mind the argument that people can ‘lend their votes’ to the Greens so they can get the vote subsidy will be gone, which will finally end a very poisonous argument.
I wrote about this in 2010. Ending the vote subsidy would force the voting public to support their preferred political party and bring political parties back to those who support them. The Greens just do not have that level of support that will carry them.
The Green Party has served its purpose. It’s time for that party to gracefully exit and for Canadians to focus on a greener vision for Canada.
It may in fact be a good thing for the Greens to fade away.
These volunteers, candidates, and passionate Canadians are needed in these other parties. The work done by the Green Party to raise environmental issues to the forefront of the political debate cannot be understated, but that role is done with. Environmentalism is a core piece of the political process in Canada. And these volunteers, candidates, and passionate Canadians are needed to support the environmentalism in these other parties, along with making these parties more relevant in different parts of the country.
So this blogger says let the Green parties across Canada quietly end themselves. They’re without purpose, their support is waning, and people should focus on involving their efforts in other parties to create substantial change in Canada.
*Note: The original blog post had forgotten to mention that GreenCanada.wordpress.com is no longer a supporter of the Green Party of Canada.