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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Green Giant

One of the best unnoticed developments for the Conservative party over the last decade has been the gradual emergence of the Green Party as a national contender (if a modest one). A new Decima poll has them at 11%. The NDP, meanwhile, is at 15%.

Most Green voters, I think it's fair to assume, would opt for the NDP were the Greens not an option. But splitting the vote among these two keeps the Left divided.

Any Canadian progressive can choose between the Greens, the NDP, and the Libs.  For any Conservative, however, the Tories remain the only choice.   

Posted by Jordan Michael Smith on February 20, 2007 | Permalink


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Let's see if the leadership exists anywhere on the left to pull these camps together.If not,a conservative majority is probably eventually inevitable.

It took some brave,and quite frankly,selfless conservatives to accomplish unity on the right.

I see neither of those qualities in any of the left's current stars.

Enjoy the hinterland.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2007-02-20 4:42:31 PM

According to a story in the Toronto Star last summer (see selection, below), a signficant factor in all this is the finding that the Greens are the second choice of more than a third of all Tory voters.

I believe that this is crucial, because it helps explain why Prime Minister Harper has been so keen on painting himself green; he knew that Tory supporters who wouldn't dream of abandoning the party for the Grits or NDP would, however, leave for the Greens.

The Toronto Star
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Page: A06
Byline: Susan Delacourt
Source: Toronto Star Chief

Rising prospects for an electoral breakthrough are surging through the Green Party of Canada convention today as it chooses its new leader.

Nearly one in three Canadians has considered voting Green and the party is now, surprisingly, the second choice for more than a third of Conservative voters, pollster Nik Nanos told delegates to the Green convention yesterday.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2007-02-20 4:50:58 PM

Another splendid feature of the leftist parties. They do not have much brain power and where there is some gray matter, it's just not very savvy.

on the other side, we have a purposeful, brilliant Steven Harper. I believe he is not a man who asked for power, but by default he was the best man to do the job.

Who was it that said:
"Power should never be given to those who seek it"

Who seeks it more than Liberals and with no purpose or brilliance.

Posted by: Duke | 2007-02-20 5:12:35 PM

I have an issue calling parties of the Left "progressive". Typically, they oppose progress, at least in terms of economic progress fueled by the private sector. There's nothing progressive about supporting an archaic health care system.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2007-02-20 8:06:21 PM

Hear Hear Hooward!!!

Posted by: Paul Hansen | 2007-02-20 8:27:16 PM

Hear Hear Howard!!!

Posted by: Paul Hansen | 2007-02-20 8:28:39 PM

Actually, many Greens, like myself, were former members of the Progressive Conservative Party.

In fact, an internal poll for the GPC showed that the Greens were the second choice of a majority of Albertans.

Most Green Parties (ie. the German Greens) are all about fiscal conservatism and tax shifting.

From what I can tell, they are the only party pushing fiscal conservatism in this country.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-20 8:31:45 PM

I also am a former PC member, now a paid up member of the GPC. For a fiscal conservative with a "green" streak, what other party is there?

Should the GPC somehow dissolve I'd still vote for the Conservatives as a second choice though.

With a resurgent Green Party draining votes from the old school lefty parties, voters such as I cannot lose. The GPC grows it's base while keeping the corrupt "Natural Governing Party" out of office, mitigating their capacity to further damage Canada economically and it's environment.

Win win.

Posted by: Hoser | 2007-02-20 8:48:39 PM

I have the exact opposite take on it, JM. In certain urban ridings, including some in the Vancouver area, the NDP have traditionally been neck-in-neck with the Liberals; if the left splits between the Greens and the NDP, any gains for the Greens will come from the NDP, which would benefit the Liberals in those ridings.

Whereas a united left eats away at Liberal, not Conservative, support.

Posted by: EBD | 2007-02-20 9:55:12 PM

Well how about those Liberals trying to persuade Lizzy May to join them?
Guess she would be a perfect candidate for the
Fiberals, she's a woman,(Dion wants to have at least
33% of those), and she's a spouter of green fumes and KYOTO crapola.
Not to forget Ujhal Dosangh trolling the female NDP members in BC to join his even more pathetic party.

Desperation leads to all manner of desperate actions.

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-02-21 5:41:40 AM

When US Born Elizabeth May and her Mother came to Cape Breton Nova Scotia her Mother was a Veteran
crusader against Nuclear Energy - both intimidated
Liberal Premier Gerald Agustus Regan NS,and Natural Resources Minister Vincent (Vicious Vince) MacLean
Despite media hype, the Greens will be hard hit in the next Federal election, despite the fact that they appear to have made a deal with Dion -of course
the nasty Liberals will screw them like they did Layton and his Socialist Horde - I don't think a combined opposition can defeat Harper and his bumpkins - it is obvious Canadians like and admire Harper - MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-02-21 7:26:25 AM

When US Born Elizabeth May and her Mother came to Cape Breton Nova Scotia her Mother was a Veteran
crusader against Nuclear Energy - both intimidated
Liberal Premier Gerald Agustus Regan NS,and Natural Resources Minister Vincent (Vicious Vince) MacLean
Despite media hype, the Greens will be hard hit in the next Federal election, despite the fact that they appear to have made a deal with Dion -of course
the nasty Liberals will screw them like they did Layton and his Socialist Horde - I don't think a combined opposition can defeat Harper and his bumpkins - it is obvious Canadians like and admire Harper - MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-02-21 7:27:46 AM

Nice to see the vote-splitting happening on the left. For too many years, it was happening to us. Looks good on them.

And Howard Roark, I too have difficulty calling the left "progressive". It's just such a.....nice sounding word. It automatically casts them in a positive light, with the corresponding negative connotations for any who oppose them. Who could be against "progress" after all? Progress, by very definition, is good isn't it? Lately I've been using the term "radical progressivists" to describe the self-proclaimed progressives. I think it's a much more suitable and accurate label.

And you're right as well about their lack of progress when it comes to nearly anything on the economic front. For a group that can scarcely conceal its hatred for almost any private sector initiative, while promoting the unrestrained growth of the state, to call themselves "progressive" is downright laughable.

Posted by: Raging Ranter | 2007-02-21 9:15:09 AM

Actually Raging Ranter, if you've even read any Green Party literature, you'd realize that they are further to the right with their market polices than the Conservatives.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-21 9:43:08 AM

I find the hard right Green Party scary.

That's why I support the more moderate Conservatives.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2007-02-21 9:51:59 AM

Any one who supports Kyoto socialism is in my book still not worthy of support . This puts Greens squarely in the camp of the other 3 socialist parties . In fact the other 3 are supporting this farce for political reasons , at least that support can be explained ; the Greens seem to actually believe in the mechanics of Kyotoism. And , Chris Rickett , their ' economics ' revolve around the same laughable hot air credit trading . That does not qualify them as being very prudent in an economical sense ; politically perhaps .

Posted by: daveh | 2007-02-21 10:04:20 AM

The greens under Harris *might* have been fiscally conservative, but to me Lizzie looks and sounds like a dipper.
I suspect she's more a 'watermelon' in MHO

Posted by: Anon | 2007-02-21 10:34:20 AM

Nomdenet - I know levelling the playing field in the economy is a scary thing, but if you prefer free markets it's the way to go.

Anon - yes there are no doubt some people in the party who are green on the outside and pink n the inside, but Lizzie gets the economics and she talks the economics. Why else do you think her and Mulroney got along?

Daveh - actually their economics don't revolve around what you refer to as hot air credits, but rather carbon tax systems that account for the negative externalities of pollution.

The Green Party is about tax shifting - don't tax income, but tax consumption to the level that it pays for its negative externalities. Anything less than that is nothing but corporate welfare.

The Green Party understands that environmental problems are caused by inefficient markets - the key to greening the economy is to get those markets accounting for all of their costs.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-21 10:57:25 AM

OK Chris , fair enough ; before I step out the door , I would appreciate your response to the following encore post ; is there any vaidity to this and if there is , does this not take the whole Kyoto argument out of the realm of it being a controllable phenomenom and more to a self correcting process that will occur whether we spend billions or not . Not to say that we don`t have an influence ; just that in the long run , that influence is not that significant and indeed is overwhelmed by said self correcting mechanism. There is another self correcting mechanism called the " carbon cycle " , of which I am sure you are aware . Very similar in nature . Indeed there are probably hundreds of these ' self correcting mechanisms ' at play every day , every month and every millenium . Again , our influence is not that great and in the long run is reversed .

' Glaciers and polar ice caps represent millions of tons of ocean water
which have been lifted high into the atmosphere and then falls as rain and
snow in cold regions such as high mountains and the polar regions. From
where does that tremendous energy come to lift those tons of water to the
cold regions of earth? It comes from extra heating from the sun in the form
of warmer oceans. Ice ages are caused by extra solar output which warms the
oceans, lifting the warm equatorial water to the cold polar regions and
mountain tops, which then becomes solid ice. Increased glaciation is caused
by global warming.

Decreased glaciation is caused by global cooling. When the oceans become
cooler, there is less water evaporated into the atmosphere to become
glaciers and ice caps. This is a global "drought" of snow and rain which is
caused by a cooling cycle on the sun. This happens in a regular solar cycle.
The thinning of ice caps and disappearing glaciers on mountain tops are
caused by the ocean cooling and resulting less snow, and NOT by warmer air
temperatures melting the ice. A few degrees rise in the global air
temperature will have no effect on the melting rate of thick glaciers and
polar ice caps.'

Posted by: daveh | 2007-02-21 11:16:03 AM

Daveh - there's no doubt there are many negative feedback loops in nature, while there are also lots of positive feedback loops as well (those are the scary ones).

Sure nature is always searching for a balance, I guess the question really is whether human beings, and the many other species that we share this planet with, are a part of that long-run balance.

There's also no doubt that there have been global warmings and coolings in the past. I guess the issue really is how human beings are speeding this process up and how fast we can or cannot adapt.

As to the piece you've attached, you're essentially arguing that we are not undergoing global warming, but global cooling (climate change either way); however, we're seeing both melting glaciers and increased percipitation and intensity of storms in other areas. Reality - climate is really complicated.

Likewise, in the North Atlantic you're seeing a warming of the seas and less pumping pressure because of this in the Atlantic circulation system. According to the analysis you've provided, this should mean the glaciers should be expanding, but this just isn't happening.

The reality again - climate is extremely complicated.

But we do know some simple facts - human activities cause greenhouse gas emissions, we know greenhouse gas emission concentrations are rising and we know they cause warming.

We also know we can alter our micro-climates everyday - just step out from under a shade tree into the sun. If we can change our micro-climate, it's bound to have an effect on global climate.

What's the solution? There's many routes - the government could intervene and spend billions of dollars; or we could use the market, cut the billions in taxpayer dollars that are being used to directly or indirectly subsidize polluting industries, and allow a level-playing field to emerge.

Is Kyoto pointless? In one regard yes - we need to go further.

Is it unachievable? Not necessarily, pending on the policies you employ.

Will it kill the economy? Not if you use market tools to do it (as the Greens suggest).

After all, the point in the end is simple - to save money and our human habitat at the same time.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-21 1:09:48 PM

The Greens exist because they have rejected the socialistic protocol of the NDP.

They are a single issue party.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-02-21 3:26:45 PM

The Greens are hardly a single issue party.

Sustainable development is a pillar of their platform, but quite frankly they are the only party left that advocates fiscal conservatism and free markets.

They have policies on everything from the fiscal imbalance and inter-governmental relations, to healthcare and justice.


Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-21 3:59:29 PM

Quite frankly, I find your explanations unconvincing. Having said that, you offer it in a respectful, non confrontational tone and I commend you.

"But we do know some simple facts - human activities cause greenhouse gas emissions, we know greenhouse gas emission concentrations are rising and we know they cause warming."

A) human activities cause greehouse gas emissions


B) we know they cause warming


C) greenhouse gas emissions are rising


A leads to B but logarithmically and human emissions are within the variance of natural emissions.

B does not necessarily lead to C in a non-linear, complexly coupled, highly chaotic system.

There is no balance in the environment. There are, however, tolerances to change and hysterisis in the feedbacks constantly adjusting to external dynamic inputs.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-02-21 6:54:29 PM

EBD nailed it.

Posted by: pete e | 2007-02-22 1:10:34 AM

As I've said, our climate is a complex system, but there's no doubt our actions have impacts on it.

Regardless though of you stand on climate change, the reality of Kyoto and limiting greenhouse gas emissions is an economic one - if you reduce, you're economy evolves, products are made more efficiently through cleaner methods and you save money.

The essence of the Green Party is simple - tax bad things, not good things.

And, most importantly, stop subsidizing polluters.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-22 4:13:10 AM

I believe there are some huge assumptions in your reasoning that have yet to be shown as possible or even close to realizable. I just hope you are right.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-02-22 5:58:45 AM

Chris ; don`t worry , the next pandemic will wipe out billions and if the viruses [ virus has no plural ] don`t get us , the man made concoctions such as the aids virus will do . or eventually some tin pot terrorist will succeed in producing a contagious , easily dispersed and deliverable toxin such as anthrax , or if you want to get conspiratorial , the Rockefellers and Rothchilds of the world will have perfected an efficient chemtrail or a more efficient killer variant of chlorine , fluorine or depleted uranium . They have certainly done a fair job in dumbing down the populace through their ' education ' in our ' schools of higher learning '. So cheer up , right now a bit of pollution is a small price to pay ; enjoy the balmy teperatures in Calgary because when the dirty bombs hit , New York , Los Angeles , London and Tokyo you`ll be glad you did . That is the real danger and all this foo farah about global warming is distraction from the real danger . It`s going to take a global police force led by someone as thick skinned and stubborn as Bush , to at least try to mitigate the real threats in this world . All the David Suzukis and Al Gores pitching their quasi - scientific mumbo jumbo to the Dions` [and his Belmonts on the front bench in the HOC ] or the Prince Charles`or Nancy Pelosi`s ,or Bono with his wooden dummy, Paul Martin , will not change that.

Posted by: daveh | 2007-02-22 6:56:13 AM

The only party with the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities to lead us through the next 100 years, successfully, that can address all aspects of the issues facing Canada, and ensure our grand children have an economy and clean air/clean water, is the Conservative Party of Canada under the leadership of PMSH.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-02-22 11:56:14 AM

Lady - then how come Stephen Harper's only plan for the environment has been to revamp Liberal programs he said failed?

Don't get me wrong, I think the solutions to dealing with the environment are done through markets, but I don't see Harper moving in that direction.

The only party offering that route is the Green Party.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-22 1:19:29 PM


I have no issues with going through markets, to make changes.

The change in the policy that you see, is one where that which was OK, was revamped, and given a conservative spin, where it is required that grants go to where it is actually shown to make differences in the reduction of energy consumption. The Liberal one had all the verbal fluff but there was no accountability.

In relation to greenies, with all due respect, just because you use the word "free market" does not mean you have an understanding of all the issues that are being experienced, and should be dealt with by Canada.

I see The Green Party as just another single issue group (sure you spin a few words that people want to hear in there) who have no idea what it is that a Nation such as Canada, must think about, and do leadership for.

To help you understand what it is I see in the Green Part, think about the Party called, The Natural Law Party. They too espoused a belief that everything could be solved by their way of thinking and looking at things. Now, I have no issues with people who want to do yogic flying. Absolutelly none whatsoever! If people want to bounce on their buttocks, then they should be as free as you and me to do whatever they want with their own time. And, if it makes them feel better, then they should be happy about it. Why anyone would want to stop them from bouncing on their bums on a mattress is beyond me. BUT, as a policy for all Canadians, it is simply as silly as it can get.

You want a government to govern people properly or not?

Tell me what the Green Party has on crime? What is the framework? Shall they be permitted to grow their own blue-green algae, so they can save us money from feeding them swine for breakfast?

Now, you might feel I am just silly about the issues that concern the green party, but I am very seriouse. There is simply no other party in Canada, that is better suited right now, to deal with the issues of the environment and ensure that our economy does not collapse in the process, than the Conservative Party of Canada.

The Liberals had their chance, and blew it. They signed onto Kyoto and then did nothing.

The NDP are more concerned about Unions, and what Unions think, and socialism, freebies for everyone.

Sure, sounds great too, if you like to live for free and contrinute nothing in return. But we have learned that NDP in power, means a destroyed economy. The experiment that was done in BC proves that point over and over again. It has taken years for BC to get their economy back on track.

So, in spite of all you have to say, there is simply no way I am going to give my vote over to a group of people, however honest and meaningful they might be, when I know in my heart that they simply do not have the right stuff to run this country of ours.

I do believe that many of the people who are involved in the green party, would be better serving our nation, in green corporate organizations that sell green technology.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-02-22 1:49:25 PM

Green, green! It's green they say, on the far side of the hill! Green, green! I'm going away to where the grass is greener still!

Posted by: the new christy minstrels | 2007-02-22 3:48:26 PM

Lady - read the platform, it all there from crime to trade:


Ironically, the Greens are the one party that seems to be going up in the polls these days.

Like many people in the Greens, I was a former PCP member. But when fiscal conservatism went out the window with the CPC, it was time for a party that truly understands the cause and effect of the market.

Posted by: Chris Rickett | 2007-02-25 5:35:38 PM

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