Saturday, June 26, 2004

Toward Choice

Well, the 38th General Election is almost upon us. I've decided how I will vote, and I've decided to reveal my decision here: I'll be voting for my Green Party candidate on Monday.

So, first, why Green? I heard about - and, just recently, read about - the political campaign financing reforms that set an annual public subsidy of $1.75 per vote for parties that win over two per cent of the popular vote. I've read that the Green Party has the support of about six percent of the voting public, so I'm reasonably confident that my vote will throw another $1.75 in the Green pot for next year.

So what, you say? Well, Green Party leader Jim Harris still has a day job. With a big enough pot, he could spend more of his time thinking about, and soliciting opinions on, the country's problems. (I don't think he'll drop the day job, since he's an author as well as a management consultant.)

Too often, Canadian politics is simplified to the resources available (read money). Oh, you have a problem? How much money do you need? Well, that'll force cutbacks elsewhere. I think the voters assume that solutions (but not money) grow on trees, and that with enough resources, we could solve all of Canada's problems. The fact is that we've thrown a lot of money at some problems for years, and they're still staring us in the face.

I've heard - CBC Radio One in the morning and evening is where I get most of my information, BTW - that the Green Party approach is frugal - fiscally conservative seems to be the vernacular - and thoughtful. That is, questioning the solutions that people take for granted, and trying to generate new ideas and discussions around them. This is obviously elusive, and it remains to be seen how it would work in practice, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt today.

So, finally, why reveal all this to the world? Well, to be honest, I still have a lot to learn about our political system and the problems that our "open society" is up against. (Dare I say I'm green?) :-) If you see flaws in my logic, have relevant information I'm not considering, or just want to share your point of view, add your comments at the end of this entry. (That goes for any entry, BTW, although I only just set up commenting this month. E-mail me about older entries; I'll probably create an new one based on your comment.)

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