Wednesday, September 24, 2008

ABC’s of Strategic Voting and Garbage Retirement

Despite gaffs from some of its candidates and disturbing policy announcements, the Conservative Party of Canada has a very healthy lead in the polls. It’s so healthy it’s ghastly. I’m not one to tell others who to vote for. It’s personal. None of my business. But given that Harper’s plan on climate change is the most ineffective of all other western governments – second only to Bush and McCain – and that my blog is a call to action to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is my prerogative to ask of you Please, Don’t Vote Conservative, or ABC – Anything But Conservative.

For a review of party policies on climate change action, please visit my September 17 blog installment - Winners & Losers - Climate Change Election Platforms

For a wonderful visual essay that encapsulates Harper’s failure to act on climate change, please check out Dear Prime Minister by Franke James.

Strategic Voting
Aggk. How is it that a party leading in the polls at 38 percent is close to forming a house majority? Anything under 50 percent is not a majority. I learned that in high school math. If the majority of Canadians do not vote Conservative, why should the Conservatives have carte blanche control in Parliament?

My vote is for proportional representation. However, that vote is not on the docket. Unfortunately. And even if it were on the docket, people wouldn’t understand it. The media and most politicians would desecrate it, and it would be voted down.

Without proportional representation I am faced with the option of strategic voting. The Conservatives are huddled in one party and the centrists and lefties are split among several others, thereby splitting the vote.

Vote for Climate, a grassroots campaign, has identified 80 key ridings that will see close races or where Conservatives will target. Now my riding - Beaches/East York - is a Liberal and NDP stronghold, representing 40% and 35% of the 2006 vote respectfully. The Cons can try as they might but the likelihood of them getting elected is doubtful. They garnered 18% of the vote two years ago. I think I will vote with my heart this time. Please review the site to see if your riding is a key one. To find out how your riding did in past elections, click here.

I know the election is depressing but please vote, even if you don’t know who to vote for. Don’t like the candidates? Vote for your kids and all future kids instead. All parties except for the Conservatives observe the IPCC targets. Vote strategic or close your eyes and pick. Try again if you pick Conservative. Many who don’t like the Conservatives will likely not vote. That isn’t helpful. Please please vote.

On a happier note – Obama is leading in the polls (knock on wood). Considering that the USA is the second largest polluter on the planet, second only to China, representing more than 20 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, an Obama victory will be a huge victory for our descendents, if he makes good on his promise to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050.

Canada contributes more than two percent of world emissions due to our tiny population so we will hardly make a dent. But it saddens me that Canada will not seize this great opportunity to be a leader in the green shift movement. The international community will pressure Canada until finally it follows suit. Until that time, it is up to us who understand the danger to take action to reduce our own carbon footprints.

Garbage! – Bin Retirement

This past Tuesday was garbage day. Next week is recycling which means that as of yesterday, Jane and I retired the garbage bin until the New Year. No more products with plastic non-recycling packaging for us. We have to be conscious. Aside from giving the good people in the Detroit suburb a break from our garbage for three months, this little exercise will serve as an eye opener on what comes with the products we buy. Organic loses its shine when its packaging can’t break down.




This week I’ve focused my shopping on the bulk section of the health food store, including bulk organic and fair trade coffee with paper bag – but thin plastic lining. This is the best I can do. The plastic lining, along with the lining to the cat food bag, will make up our one bag of garbage allotted to us for the three month time period. Now I just have to find a cheese shop that serves it up sans plastic.

In the News

Report Says Charities Would Be Lacking in a Big Disaster
It’s a bit of a vicious circle, I’m afraid. Clearly we are not at all prepared for the effects of climate change now that the economic house of cards is falling apart. The sooner we move to a sustainable model the better.

Solar Panels Are Vanishing, Only to Reappear on the Internet
Now it’s really not easy to be green.

3 comments:

Wayne Smith said...

38% will get you a majority of seats because most votes don't count. Most of us vote for people who don't get elected under our current winner-take-all system, and most MPs "represent" mostly people who voted against them.

Fair Vote Canada explains it all for you:

http://OrphanVoters.ca

and with cash prizes!

Joshua Landon said...

Hi, I'd like to speak with you about this blog. I have a blog topic I think may be of interest to you. Either way, email me at your earliest convenience. Thanks! -Josh, jlandon [@] maacenter.org

Franke James said...

Cheryl,

Very pleased to have discovered your blog -- and honored that you featured my Dear Prime Minister visual letter. We are certainly on the same page in our concern for the environment and our desire to have people vote "ABC". I was pleased today to see that Green leader Elizabeth May supports strategic voting. She is saying that because she is more concerned about the damage Harper would do with a majority, than she is in getting Greens into Parliament.

We have created a strategic voting game which may appear 'just fun' but (I believe) actually helps people understand the issues and identify who they should vote for in order to defeat the leader they don't want in power. The site is www.whackthepm.ca

Please drop me a line anytime!

~ Franke