Elizabeth May and the 2015 Canadian Election – Nine Public Notes

24 September 2015, Vancouver, British Columbia.

I am increasingly disheartened lately by our national politics. Mulcair continues to fail to legitimately hold the right ground; Trudeau effuses nicely and effectively; and the Harper machine grinds on upwards. And if he wins, as he may, Canada is lost to all of us.

26 September 2015.

Elizabeth May, at Parliament (Courtesy: ctv.news)

Elizabeth May, at Parliament (Courtesy: ctv.news)

Went earlier this afternoon to the West End organic farmers’ market, to reacquaint myself with it, at Nelson Park, and there ran into Lisa Barrett, who is running for the Greens in my riding. I had met her once before, in Whistler I think, though at the time we were both on Bowen Island, so I suppose it was due if not overdue. Not unexpectedly we talked Canadian politics, which is much on my mind these days. Elizabeth May will be at Barrett’s campaign office on Monday, 28 September, at 6:30 p.m.

28 September 2015.

The Munk Debates; this afternoon, from Toronto. Leaving the conceptual inertia aside, and the usual fabrications of facts, especially by Mr Harper, Mr Trudeau spent a lot of time, mostly in French, trashing Mr Mulcair, in the hope of improving the Liberals’ Quebec vote, and marginally agreeing with Mr Harper, in the hope of seeming a suitable alternative for the Ontario vote. There was much about the so-called balance between environment and economy, that is, that protection of the former must be offset by job creation and retention in the latter. This is false logic: if there is no environment that can sustain us, then no economy will matter. Instead of wondering why something like Keystone may generate preferential trade and free movement of goods and products, would it not be more sensible to build environmental industries that halt the release of methane from all that permafrost we have up north? No biosphere, no life. I also keep asking: why do goods move more freely across borders than people do? I think the immediate answer is that the former generates corporate profits and the latter are merely considered commodities fit to labour on the pipelines.

Green Party of Canada, Vancouver Centre campaign office, on Denman Street in the heart of the West End. 28 September 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Green Party of Canada, Vancouver Centre campaign office, on Denman Street in the heart of the West End. 28 September 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

29 September 2015.

Elizabeth May was at the Greens’ campaign office in my riding yesterday evening. She is a compelling and articulate speaker. She took unlimited questions until she had to leave to catch the ferry. Unlike those who attended the Munk Debate, I did not have to pay to get in, nor, like those attending Conservative rallies, did the campaign staff insist that I had to have my presence vetted or have my camera checked by sniffer dogs. The Greens are probably running the most intelligent and honest campaign in the country, which is why they will have difficulty getting elected. Not impossible, but difficult.

Green Party of Canada, Vancouver Centre campaign office. L to R: Adriane Carr, city councillor and deputy leader of the federal Green Party; Lisa Barrett, candidate; Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party. 28 September 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

Green Party of Canada, Vancouver Centre campaign office. 2nd L to R: Adriane Carr, city councillor and deputy leader of the federal Green Party; Lisa Barrett, candidate; Elizabeth May, leader of the federal Green Party. 28 September 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

3 October 2015.

In my riding I’ve talked with the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens, and have met all three candidates and have attended, over time, functions of all three of their leaders. I despise C-51, and the support the Liberals gave it, but Harper is repulsive and ethically empty and will further destroy the country I’ve happily spent half a century contributing to for what it has given to me.

4 October 2015.

While walking in the light over False Creek this afternoon along the Pacific shoreline of Vancouver, it occurred to me why would Canadians re-elect a party whose leader hates the country that he has been privileged to represent as its prime minister?

English Bay Beach, West End, Vancouver, Canada. 4 October 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

English Bay Beach, West End, Vancouver, Canada. 4 October 2015. (Photo: Hendrik Slegtenhorst)

10 October 2015.

This morning I read the first third of Elizabeth May’s 2014 “Who We Are.” It is quite something.

11 October 2015.

Elizabeth May: Where We Are

Elizabeth May: Where We Are

Earlier today I read the middle third of Elizabeth May’s 2014 “Who We Are.” I am reading it because I met her recently and was more than impressed, even though I had no real idea beyond “green” of what she has been committed to and what she has accomplished. It is remarkable. I read the Green Party platform shortly after attending her local event. It is the only coherent and intelligent political platform of this campaign. In her book’s chapters on destruction of scientific research I reminded of my time working as an editor in medical research at the University of Montreal, and realizing that the intellectual freedom needed for the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake would now be impossible when funded by government. It also suddenly throws into greater focus why the American funding for the Montreal projects (and my job) of the day vanished when the war in Viet Nam escalated. From her book it is also entirely clear that Harper must go, or Canada is gone.

12 October 2015.

I’ve read the last third of Elizabeth May’s 2014 “Who We Are.” It is a perceptive and caring understanding of what has gone wrong politically in Canada. She makes several pleas to the reader, and they are profound and give pause. If I am less optimistic than she, I may now not be quite so much so. However, I think supporting her for prime minister in the election after this (if there is one) would do a lot of us a great deal of good.

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