Green Leader Andrew Weaver & David Suzuki
The Liberal Party in British Columbia is hoping that the baggage of any longstanding party in power is not so weighty that they can't be re-elected today. Everyone assumes that it will be a close election with the reigning Liberals and the NDP duking it out. Surprisingly, the Green Party is making a good showing in the polls, although who can know how that will translate to the polling booth.
BC is "supernaturally" beautiful (remember the tourism slogan from years back?) and resource rich This means that more and more British Columbians are concerned about resource extraction, which provides jobs and prosperity, and the ecological integrity of the wild places of the province.
Green parties around the world have become much more sophisticated in their platforms, realizing that balancing economic strength and environmental issues is essential to moving beyond being an earnest Birkenstock curiosity at the fringe of politics. First Nations, ranchers, trappers, and ecotourism operators, are voters as well, and they have deep concerns about rampant development which doesn't respect the land.
The Vancouver Sun newspaper offers this assessment of Green Party possibilities:
In just four years, the B.C. Greens have emerged from relative obscurity and nagging criticism as a one-issue party to become a legitimate political force with a comprehensive election platform. They have the party’s smart, likable and hard-working leader Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head to thank for that, as evidenced by his credible performance in Wednesday’s televised leaders’ debate. He scored second in an instant poll, behind the NDP’s John Horgan and just ahead of Liberal Christy Clark.
The Greens are brashly putting themselves forward as a party to govern, adopting the slogan “Change you can count on” — a virtual knockoff of Barack Obama’s “Change we can believe in”, which was used successfully during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Political observers suggest the Green party should set its sights on a modest increase in legislative seats.
We can all pay attention to what is happening on the Left Coast today as a matter of provincial politics and of God's call to responsible stewardship of the planet.. And no, I'm not considering entering the political arena in retirement.