Linda Slavin, NDP

Back in the late 1980s, I filled in as office manager in the NDP campaign office of Linda Slavin, who was running for the party in Peterborough. It was a non-political temp job, and I was only there for a week — not enough time to really do any damage to me or to the party; the most remarkable event I can recall is that my bicycle was stolen from just outside the campaign office.

Linda is running for the NDP in the current federal election, and is keeping up a campaign weblog. Here’s what she has to say about the local Green Party candidate she’s running against:

While I really respect and welcome the ideas of local candidate, Brent Wood, I’m still concerned about the party itself: it’s right-wing, corporate-friendly stance on issues including voluntary auto emissions, and the top-down structure that Jim Harris has put in place, witness the total lack of a party convention to decide on policy. As a single issue party, the Greens lack coherence. And the formal complaints to Elections Canada of former Board members (six have resigned) that allege violations of both federal law and the Green Party Constitution are worrying.

For the record, the Green party platform plank on transportation says they’ll “enforce a mandatory target of 25 per cent better fuel efficiency for the automobile industry and increase standards over the next 5 years.” while the NDP platform says they’ll “establish mandatory vehicle emission standards, opposed by the Liberals, applicable to all vehicles and modeled on the tough California emissions standards.”

NDP candidates are, of course, genetically pre-disposed to finding holes in the Green Party — Dody Crane almost lost it back in 2004 when she visited the office and was asked about the Greens.

That said, there is a certain pallor the Green Party has taken on that suggests not all is right (of course this taste could simply be the result of the party’s opponents spreading rumours, I really don’t know). The profile earlier in the campaign of the party and its leader Jim Harris on The National certainly did little to dispel this problem.

In any case, I’m certainly giving Green candidate David Daughton serious consideration.

By the way, in the CBC Island Morning debate amongst candidates in the Cardigan riding, Green candidate Haida Arsenault-Antolick kicked ass, and more then held her own against the likes of Laurence MacAulay.


Eric Generic's picture
Eric Generic on January 22, 2006 - 06:18 Permalink

It doesn’t take much to debate against Lawrence, or Shawn, or Wayne or Joe — they could run a horse as a Liberal candidate and islanders would vote for it. We just want to continue to be on the winning side, or the perceived winning side, since we know that one term out-of-step with Ottawa will see our bloated little secret existence in the federation blown wide open through death by a thousand cuts (remember CFB Summerside in 1989? we voted 4 Grits in during 1988 and Mulroney fired back with a mean-spirited cut to a completely useless forces base that had been maintained through political pressure since WW2).

Our proportion of funding is an historic abberation in Confederation which sees idiots like Binns arguing “economies of scale” to justify an ineffective and inefficient civil service, and changes in government just might result in our being forced to generate enough GDP to pay for the services we’ve come to depend on — as a matter of fact all provinces will be forced to, so it’s hardly earth-shattering. The neo-liberals have won since the late 1970s, both in public office and public service and this economic model will only continue to accelerate.

Greens are attractive as they’re A) pro environment, B) fiscally conservative (under Harris at least, the socialists who want to control the party wish otherwise), and C) are socially progressive. You don’t end up with a party like the Grits, beholden to corporate Canada, trying to say anything to stay in power in the mushy middle, run by a neo-liberal (corruption, criminal). You don’t end up with a party like the Grits, beholden to a narrow margin of right-wing/social neo-conservatives, run by a neo-liberal, who will say anything to get elected in the first place (bloat the deficit and screw the debt paydown & the environment). You don’t end up with a party like the NDP, beholden to organized labour and inefficiency for the sake of protecting public jobs/nationalizing companies with our tax $ (blow the debt so high it’ll never be repaid, screw our productivity).

The Greens play it like it is — plus we get to voice our utter displeasure at the current electoral system, promote environmental issues, and give them $1.25 in funding per vote.