What do you think?

Green Party leader Elizabeth May (centre) campaigns on Vancouver Island during the 2015 federal election. May officially stepped down as Green Party leader on Monday, but will still serve as an MP. -- Green Party of Canada/Facebook

Paula Theisen

Recently I had a wonderful visit with friends, along with a delicious meal with all the trimmings. Of course the evening conversation turned to the recent election, the after thoughts about it all and what’s to come. To be honest, in the last week before the election I had to shut it all out and stay the course. I happen to be one of the many Canadians that care most about the welfare of the planet above any other issue. The Green Party platform and Elizabeth May’s sincere and lifelong passion for the environment got my vote.

 I understand that for most people the economy is their main concern. I understand that everyone needs economic security in their lives. But I have come to believe that the chasing of the economy and more wealth never ends. Every election in my life time has been centered on the economy. Nothing changes. Capitalism has no conscience and there is very little “trickle down”. The vulnerable people at the bottom suffer the most. Unfortunately these days we have so many people, young people that are in such self- imposed debt, that they can’t think straight. They find themselves under huge pressure now that times are “hard” and their only hope is that the government will fix it.  It seems that the profits from some of our resources are getting tapped out and in other cases, they are slowing down to a more logical pace. The bottom line is we are wasting and not saving. The planet weeps and the children worry.

At any rate I do love to get into the political debate, no matter what side of the fence you might stand. Would I ever want to be a politician myself? Never. I can’t imagine there being a harder job on one’s self esteem and family, trying to please the masses and never pleasing anyone.

My dinner table friends talked about the charism factor involved in what we have come to expect in a politician. It seems we want our leaders to look a certain way, talk a certain way and act like they know everything, even when they don’t and couldn’t possibly be an expert at everything. I personally want a leader that is intelligent and I want a leader that is thoughtful and calm. It is a dream that they should be formally educated in history and political science. Most definitely a political leader must be able to work with experts about everything. They need to listen to science based information and to those people that are informed about the facts. They need to speak from a place of reason.

I am very concerned that we once again are fueling these irrational thoughts of western separation. These are the desperate ramblings of desperate people that think running away will fix everything. Canada is strong because of our willingness to work hard together and share what we have. We need less borders and not more. We need to stop wasting and perhaps get back to some more common sense.

Now we are facing a quickly approaching provincial election. As a teacher I personally agree with Ryan Meili’s philosophy that we need to begin with a well society. We need to invest in the people and their health and education. He believes that a healthy society is the basis of a healthy economy. I think healthy people find ways to look after their family. The economy naturally grows from a creative place. The government creates the structures that first and foremost protect the planet and the things that live here. The government creates justice for all. I believe that education is at the ground level of that change.

One of my dinner friends said they believed that there needs to be a better balance of encouraging the economy to care about the society, but that also the individual needs to be more responsible for them self and the society. They argued that there needs to be much more fairness in how everyone contributes monetarily to the society. Absolutely. I agree that it is not right that we have a few people that have acquired such great wealth and there it sits in financial institutions that aren’t investing back into the community. The resources are for everyone to share equitably and not just the privileged. The rich and the poor have to do what they can to give back to the community.

My one friend said that in this past election they were so disappointed in the leadership choices and in the whole election process that they ended up voting for the one and only politician that showed up at their door and spoke to them personally about their platform. That is how undecided and impartial my friend was in this election. It seems many people have become disengaged in the political rhetoric of a life time, and they want to see real change. Many people are so very tired of dealing with broken social systems.

It can’t be healthy to only have two viable parties to vote for. I wonder if we could ever have a three party race and an actual possibility of a new and different party ruling the land. Are the financial odds too great? Are the minds of Canada too entrenched in a political past?

The ongoing movement of the youth around the world protesting for more social justice gives me hope. Their optimism and energy is inspiring. What do you think?