Opinion: The Green Party is dead (for now). What did it die for?

With no candidate of their own, Green Party voters could tip the scales on Election Day.

Back in 2019, the Green Party finally broke through.

With a platform packed with talk of rising temperatures and a hospitable biosphere, the ecologically-minded party slogged from fringe to mainstream like punk rock. The Green Party more than doubled their support in Port-Moody Coquitlam and saw an 87 percent boost in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam compared to 2015.

Climate change was finally a major election issue. Party leader Elizabeth May sounded confident about holding the Liberal Party’s feet to the fire on environmental issues.

“There will be crispy toes,” she promised.

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But less than two years later, we’re more worried about cold feet.

Growing, growing . . . gone?

Now, as the literal smoke clears, we raise our heads and find there are no Green Party candidates running in the Tri-Cities.

If that seems unimportant, consider the fact that In Port Moody-Coquitlam, the 2019 election was decided by 153 votes and 3,873 people voted Green. In Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam the race was decided by 390 votes – 4,025 people backed the Green Party.

In short, we have about 7,898 Tri-Cities residents waiting to be wooed.

So, political parties left and right, we say to you: woo.

But for those who are about to be courted, we caution you.

Not easy being green

We applaud Conservative Nelly Shin for discussing climate change in general and Stoney Creek in particular but her colleagues . . . something has to be done about her colleagues. Downplaying or outright denying climate change is unworthy of a middle school science student in 2021 – let alone someone who wants to shape the country. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, following missed targets and one purchased pipeline, recently suggested concrete action: $2 billion to help put oil workers into clean jobs. This follows a pledge to regulate emissions from oil and gas producers. Probably good policy, even if it follows a Liberal pattern of promising to solve yesterday’s problems tomorrow.

The NDP have made a Robin Hood-like vow to take from the oil and gas subsidies and give to the renewable energy sector. Perhaps we’re addled by last month’s heat wave/wildfiresmoke but, how has no one else done this yet?

We sometimes encourage progressive policies on climate because we’re interested in maintaining the Earth as a habitable place for humans. Obviously, that hasn’t worked yet.

So, how about this modest proposal for all of our federal parties: devise brilliant, groundbreaking platforms to deal with climate change. If you won’t do it for the planet or its people, then do it because it’s smart. In the smallest, most cold-blooded assessment, it’s a path to Ottawa. It’s a way to win, for all of us.

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