It’s not Easy being Green: What’s Up with the Green Party these Days

Kirsten Ehlers - 1B Biomedical
Posted on: March 13, 2019

Jagmeet Singh recently won the Burnaby-South byelection. The Conservatives and NDP are condemning the Liberal SNC Lavalin scandal. In other political news: the Green Party, is the most ethical.

Last week, A Nanos Research survey concluded that Canadians feel that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was the most ethical federal party leader. The CTV news commissioned survey showed that 23.2% of Canadians felt May was most ethical. In the second place, it was Conservative leader Andrew Scheer with 21.4%. Scheer was followed by Liberal leader Trudeau with 16.9%, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh with 6.1% and Maxime Bernier with 3.0%.

The results were similar with parties. Green Party was declared the most ethical party by 23.1%. This was followed by 21.4% for the conservatives, 13.9% for the Liberals, 3% for Bloc Quebecois and 2.4% for People’s Party of Canada.

Now, many Canadians may look at these results and think: “it doesn’t matter, the Green Party won’t win the election anyway”. The Green Party has existed since 1983 but Elizabeth May has been the only Green Party MP ever elected to parliament.

However, the poll does beg the question: what’s the green party up to nowadays anyways?

Last January, May and her party were clouded with controversy when three former Green party staffers accused the leader of workplace bullying. The workplace had been described as “toxic” due to May yelling and putting down her employees. The treatment had also been called emotional and verbal abuse. The Green Party backed May’s statements that she was and continues to be a kind leader of the political party.

In December, May and the Green Party celebrated a huge victory in the Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes riding. They didn’t get the seat, the conservative MP Michael Barrett had an easy win. However, the Green Party finished fourth, 24 votes behind the NDP.

The celebrations of this narrow third place tie make Elizabeth May hopeful for two seats for the Green Party in the upcoming federal elections this fall.

Now, the environment has been a hot topic issue. There’s been the carbon tax debate on how to reduce carbon emissions in Canada. Conservatives have very vocally opposed the Liberal initiative. The Green party has a more complicated opinion about the tax. The Green Party is pro carbon tax but believes more need to be done about the issue. The party believes that more needs to be done if the country is going to reach the goal or a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In addition to the carbon tax, the Green Party wants to promote renewable sources of energy and individual actions like planting trees.

The Green Party is the only federal political party opposing the trans-mountain pipeline. The pipeline project has been under fire by First Nations communities and environmental organizations.

However, other than the Green Party’s usual environmental stance. It’s hard to see what the Party is all about. There’s not a whole lot of scandal surrounding the Green Party, especially if you compare them to the Liberal Party right now. That may mean that the Green Party is so ethical that they don’t have scandals. Or maybe they’re just not in the spotlight.

Additionally, the values of voters are changing. The environment is becoming a significant concern for young people. Ontario Green Party Mike Schreiner got a seat in the last Ontario provincial election. The trend could continually federally.

This poll, come the fall elections will probably be a blip on the political radar. However, it would be interesting to see if the Nanos poll will help the Green Party stay on the minds of the Canadians. It would be interesting to see the Green Party finally get official party status.

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