EDITORIAL: And The Telegraph Endorses...

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
May 7th, 2009

Here’s how we see the election. First, the environment is the only issue that really matters. If you disagree, stop reading now as you’ll object to everything that follows. Anyone who reads this paper on a regular basis will know that, in our opinion, we’re on the verge of one of two things: a catastrophic series of events that could destroy our way of life or a breakthrough into a new, sustainable world filled with fresh opportunities. One thing seems clear to us: the world we’ve known, most of us since birth, is now over.

Peak oil is near, along with the global instability that it will engender. Glaciers are melting, oceans are rising. The economy is in trouble and will soon be in deeper trouble once the environmental, resource-scarcity realities sink in. In light of all this, what other issue can there be than the environment?

 In terms of the practicalities of voting, then, let’s look at the options.

 First, the BC Liberals represent the status quo. The Campbell government has proven itself to be a fairly efficient manager of the ‘business’ of government. Let’s give them credit: some of their initiatives (like the carbon tax) are forward thinking, but they are not nearly enough. We are not in a business-as-usual situation. Therefore, no to the BC Liberals.

Once one says ‘no’ to the Liberals, the NDP make strategic sense. In many ways, their policies are ‘better’ than the Liberals’, and many British Columbians will vote for them for that reason. But have the NDP made any environmental commitments that would significantly alter our province’s trajectory? No, they haven’t.

 By voting NDP, some comfort themselves with the thought that they’re ‘against Campbell’, but what are they for? Too bad the NDP haven’t done more to co-opt Green positions, given that they’re the only practical alternative to the BC Liberals in this election.

This time around, we’re lucky enough to have a Communist Party candidate running in our riding: Zachary Crispin’s thoughtful and idealistic presence in the race has added some much-needed plurality to what is too often a dull, by-the-numbers debate. But the Communists aren’t sepcifically green and don’t even expect to be elected—ever. Their future, they believe, lies in the people taking power in other circumstances, by other means. Fair enough.

 Now for the Green Party. The Greens have a platform that promises real change, but, barring a miracle, they won’t be elected this time around. Does that make a Green vote a wasted vote?

 That’s the burning question.

 It’s tough. In the past we’ve thought, ‘yes’, but we’re not so sure this time around. A big part of any change is a raising of consciousness and everything big starts small. In the past, when ‘extremists’ started talking about women’s rights, gay rights, or universal health care, they were written off as marginal, ‘one issue’ people who wereunlikely to succeed. And they were.

 But they did.

 This time around, we’re putting our money where our hearts are. If humanity can’t rise to the environmental challenges it faces, it’s game over—for all the parties, for all of us. The way we see it in 2009, the risk of NOT voting Green is too big.

 So if you’re looking to us for advice (and why wouldn’t you be?), then we say, take the plunge and go Green. Who knows, a larger Green vote this election might mean a higher profile for them the next time around, which might even mean a seat or two in 2013, especially if STV passes.

Let’s dream a little. After all, what’s the alternative?

Categories: Op/Ed

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