Why shouldn't I vote Green?
January 13, 2006 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Why would anyone not vote for the Green Party in the upcoming Canadian federal election?

I realize that this can be an entirely subjective question, but after having just gone through the 5 major political party platforms (the Conservatives finally released theirs today) I find that most of what is outlined in the Green's meshes quite well with the typical Canadian ideology (maybe I'm being a little optimistic about this).

They're fiscally conservative, but have a fairly strong bent on a lot of the more progressive social issues (equality, environment, poverty) and are seeking to introduce acts that enforce accountability at the federal level and allow provinces and municipalities to better govern themselves. There is a great deal of discussion regarding farming and fisheries, aboriginal rights, and fairly good ideas regarding health care and how to combat health related issues before they tax an already burdened system.

I recently attended the all candidates meeting for my riding and while the NDP candidate was quite strong, I was also very impressed by the Green candidate and for the first time I'm considering not voting NDP.

This is serious question. I am in no way affiliated with the Green Party (or any political party for that matter) I just feel like I'm missing something.
posted by purephase to Law & Government (40 answers total)
My problem with the Green Party isn't their platform, it is that I don't think they are terribly realistic in what they want to obtain and the time frame they have to do it and the context they want to do it in. Much of what they want to accomplish depends on factors outside of their control (especially in this globalized world). Also (and correct me if I am wrong) I don't see much on how they plan to get the money to implement many of their promises.

Ultimately, to me, the Green Party has many laudable ideals, but I don't think they'll work out well in practice. That's why I won't vote for them, anyway.

There's also the issue of backing a losing horse, but I don't like being told to vote for one of the Big Two in Canada simply because the other parties don't have a chance-- maybe if everyone voted the way they actually wanted, they would. That is just my two cents.
posted by synecdoche at 7:44 PM on January 13, 2006

I dislike eco-capitalism. I don't think that the free market can provide adequate incentive to honestly encourage an industry as expensive as green energy.
posted by Jairus at 7:48 PM on January 13, 2006

Vote splitting on the left, that's why. It lessens the chances of getting any leftist candidate elected. Both directly -- in your riding -- and indirectly -- by not having the NDP (or Liberals) get your $10.
posted by Elpoca at 7:51 PM on January 13, 2006

I did in the last election; I considered my vote an investment in a party that has, IMO, a viable future, and I will vote Green again.
Just not this time.
Call it falling for the scaremongering or drinking the Kool-Aid, but this time I'm voting against the Conservatives by throwing in with the Grits.
The 'voting against/lesser of two evils' shtick is probably the thing I hate the most about our electoral system, but what can you do when you live in a shoe?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:52 PM on January 13, 2006

what is the children's clean air act of canada?
posted by brandz at 8:00 PM on January 13, 2006

what is the children's clean air act of canada?

Proposal to investigate the effects of pollutants on children, and base our environmental law on those, instead of our current system of basing them on the effects of pollutants on middle-aged men.
posted by Jairus at 8:03 PM on January 13, 2006

Because party platforms are advertisements, not contractual obligations, and some people prefer their judgment of what would actually happen under some other party than they do their judgment of what would happen under the Greens.

And because other people's preferences and priorities differ from yours.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:06 PM on January 13, 2006

I'm woefully undereducated about specifics of the Green Party's policies, but there was some debate in both the blue and the grey about them. Some people are dismissive because they think the Greens are the real Conservative party and their progressive attitude is a sham.
posted by painquale at 8:17 PM on January 13, 2006

I don't think there's any argument on that issue, painquale, at least not from anyone who's read their platform. Their focus is environmental issues, but they're unquestionably a right-wing party.
posted by Jairus at 8:19 PM on January 13, 2006

(in the same sense that Clark's Tories were a right-wing party)
posted by Jairus at 8:20 PM on January 13, 2006

Isn't the Green Party the party that Doug Henning was part of? Wasn't one of his platforms to build a dome of love to cover Canada and protect it? Or am I thinking of something else? On second thought, maybe that was the Natural Law Party.

I won't be voting Green because I haven't a clue who's running in my riding or what they've got to say and if they can't take the time to let me know, it's a wasted vote. Each of the other parties contacted me in some form.
posted by Manhasset at 8:26 PM on January 13, 2006

I'm not voting Green because I want to vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the Conservative in my riding. That person is not a Green. In no riding in Canada is that person a Green.

So the only reason to vote Green is if you don't really care who is elected in your riding and/or who the next Prime Minister will be. Nobody should be voting Green to give them a buck fifty -- if you like the Greens that much, send them a cheque.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:32 PM on January 13, 2006

So the only reason to vote Green is if you don't really care who is elected in your riding

...or if, you know, you think that everyone should vote for the platform that best represents their opinions. It's radical, I know.
posted by Jairus at 8:37 PM on January 13, 2006

...or if, you know, you think that everyone should vote for the platform that best represents their opinions.

Well, yeah. My "only reason" above wasn't actually a 'reason', per se, but rather an explanation of one thought process that your reason would necessitate (for a rational voter).

No Green will place better than 3rd in any riding in Canada this election, and I'd be willing to wager someone else's five bucks versus their right to soak me in kerosene and set me aflame. So any rational individual who votes Green is not doing so with any reasonable hope that that person will be elected.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:44 PM on January 13, 2006

Response by poster: In my riding, the likelihood of the Conservative win is highly unlikely. Right now, the real dispute is between the current Liberal MP (Sam Bulte) and the NDP candidate (Peggy Nash). I like Peggy, and voted for her in 2004. I have been relatively oblivious to the Green Party in that I've always felt like it was a lost vote, but I thought I'd reconsider that opinion in this election by looking into it further.

As I mentioned in my question, this was based partly on the platform and partly on the performance on my Green candidate (Rob Rishchynski) at last night's all candidates meeting.

painquale, thanks for the links. This particular article (linked in the blue) is an interesting read.
posted by purephase at 8:44 PM on January 13, 2006

'Cause they're conservatives in a green dress. And that's cruel.

Also, wasted votes dude, at least in my riding.
posted by bonehead at 8:51 PM on January 13, 2006

Response by poster: I should point out that in the article link (Murray Dubbin, December 2005) he mentions the Green Party pulling their platform from their website after the criticism it received during the last election. Some of the items he mentions ("Enhanced food banks to solve poverty, more volunteerism instead of more money for social programs, reduced taxes on corporate income and investment") are absent from the recently published platform (or reworked) which sort of strengthens ROU_Xenophobe's point regarding platforms as advertisements.
posted by purephase at 8:54 PM on January 13, 2006

Vote splitting. That's why the Conservatives merged with all those other parties. They never had a shot until they grouped together. And that's what will kill the Liberals this time around. Discontented former Liberal voters will vote Conservative or NDP (or occasionally Green). And it all falls down.
posted by acoutu at 9:00 PM on January 13, 2006

Since Quebec's still a part of Canada, I'll add this: I won't vote Green because I live in a riding that's pretty evenly split Bloc/Liberal, and I feel a need to vote against the Bloc. So, like it or not, the Grits get my vote too.
posted by zadcat at 9:08 PM on January 13, 2006

  • Because they have relatively little experience in federal politics. Yes, this is a Catch-22; they're not going to get that experience until lots of people vote for them, and many people won't vote until they see federal experience. But I don't know anyone who actually thinks the Greens would do a competent job if they were to win the next election—hell, there's a lot of people who don't think the NDP will run the country competently if they were to win a Cinderella victory.
  • Because people don't agree with parts of their platform. I have a friend who loves the Green party because of its enviromentalist stance, but he can't stomach a number of their platform planks having to do with things like foreign policy.
  • Because people don't think they have a platform at all. It's hard to convince people you have a comprehensive platform addressing all the issues important to Canadians when you have a reputation for being a one-issue party. I mean, what do you think the Marijuana Party's stance on government accountability is going to be? Or the Natural Law Party's stance on the fiscal split between federal, provincial and city governments?
  • Because first past the post wins and every other vote is a waste. A lot of people who would consider voting Green but live in a riding with a tight race may consider voting Green to be a wasted vote. And they'd be right, too. That's why a lot of Green supporters have been pushing for proportional representation and other alternative forms of vote counting.
  • Because the NDP competes for the same mindshare, and is more well known than the Greens. They've been around longer, they've got more money and more support, and a lot of people see little difference between the two parties (even if that's not actually true in practice). Given the choice between a name they at least recognize and a name they don't really know anything about, most people will pick the former. Only the people who bother to read all the platforms and understand what all the parties are about—or the people who hate the political process, want to make a protest vote, but don't want to or don't know how to spoil their ballot—vote Green.

posted by chrominance at 9:11 PM on January 13, 2006

Zadcat, I actually voted Green in the last election, which at the time was in your riding (I'm 99.9% sure of that anyhow). Now I'm in Ottawa I'm voting NDP, no contest.

I voted Green in the last election because a) I lived in the Bloc Quebecois leader's riding and it was no contest and b) the NDP guy kinda creeped me out.

This time I'm voting NDP but in a riding destined to forever be Liberal.
posted by mikel at 9:47 PM on January 13, 2006

On re-read I guess we weren't in the same riding Zadcat.

I predict 3 Conservative seats in Quebec though.
posted by mikel at 9:48 PM on January 13, 2006

Moved since we last spoke, Mikel. The Liberals won here in Papineau last time by a few hundred votes. The Plateau was a different situation.
posted by zadcat at 10:03 PM on January 13, 2006

Why not? Well, lots of good reasons already stated. Idealogical differences, first-past-the-post nonsence, etc...

I live in Alberta. The chance that anyone but a Conservative getting elected in this province is between 0 and none. It doesn't really matter who I vote for here, as the conclusion is foregone.

Anyhow, my vote gets decided by Intellectual Propery policy. Last election the Greens had explicit policy around fair-use, public domain, and copyright limits. The Liberals, NDP, and Conservatives all advocated stronger copyright and intellectual property enforcement - not just in their platforms, but in their public comments on the matter throughout the last terms in office. I'm strongly against entrenched wellfare for the wealthy based on patent and copyright squatting rather than invention and production of new goods.

I haven't seen mention of this issue during this campaign, so I'm going with what I saw last go round. I'm voting Green again.
posted by C.Batt at 10:05 PM on January 13, 2006

NDP Heritage Critic, Charlie Angus, said:

a.. The Liberal government initiative to protect intellectual property online through amendments to the Copyright Act (bill C-60) is wrongheaded.
b.. The Heritage Committee recommendations [on bill C-60] could put up barriers that would see schools pay extended licensing fees for students' use of online content and even limit rights libraries hold to share Internet resources.
c.. What's being proposed could have some very profound implications. If acted upon, the recommendations could herald the end of the Internet as a digital intellectual commons.

Angus calls efforts to protect creative rights laudable, but has said an attitude of protectionism emanating from the Heritage Ministry could cripple independent artists and musicians, and that:

a.. Downloading and peer-to-peer sharing of music files can be seen as a nightmare for recording artists losing out on potential royalties, but it's also a way for independent musicians to promote their talent.
b.. There is a royalty problem but it has to be put into perspective. Only "supergroups" like U2 who sell millions of albums actually feel the negative effects of downloading. For most recording artists, the peer-to-peer phenomenon is welcome.
c.. For independent musicians there's been an incredible opportunity to get creative content and control it themselves.

posted by Jairus at 10:18 PM on January 13, 2006

Additionally, their platform mandates an income tax exemption for the first $30,000 on copyright/royalty income.
posted by Jairus at 10:18 PM on January 13, 2006

Well, for my riding, the Green Party representatives are incompetent and involved in serious infighting. I say 'representativeS' because there is currently a dispute between the one from the last election who apparently was turfed out against party procedure and the new one who just started his campaign.

They've sent me 3 blank emails, two emails with incorrect information about dates and times for events, and then started fighting back and forth in email with all the GP supporters in the riding CC'd (not BCC'd).

After the last election, where I DID vote for them, I offered to volunteer and they said that someone would contact me. No one did. I contacted them again in 6 months and they apologized and said someone would contact me. No one did. When they started sending me blank emails I offered to lend them my sysadmin knowledge and they were interested and said someone would contact me. As expected, no one did.

Basically, the GP across Canada might be useful, but here in Richmond-North Delta, I wouldn't trust them to run a lemonade stand.

And since I can't handle the corruption of the Liberals or the fiscal irresponsibility and union-loving of the NDP, I'll be voting Conservative in this election...as much as I dislike their social platform, I think they are the only ones who can do a decent job of running the country right now. Here's hoping for a minority Conservative gov't.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:22 PM on January 13, 2006

Response by poster: C.Batt, Matthew Good has an interesting post regarding the proposed copyright reform, the status of support for Canadian content (particularly music), and controversy that has been raised regarding the corporate lobbies supporting the Liberal MP in my riding.
posted by purephase at 10:33 PM on January 13, 2006

If I lived in a province (QC) or region where I thought my vote would break a close tie, or bring down the Bloc a little, I would strategically vote accordingly for, or against, the candidate likely to win.
BUT, in my riding, it doesn't matter so I feel that it's important that I show that valuable votes (percentage of voters) are moving in a new direction, faster than the mainstream parties are - potentially lots of votes. The other parties should be concerned.
posted by iTristan at 10:36 PM on January 13, 2006

purephase, I live in your riding, and also considered the Green Party. However, this time I'm voting NDP because Peggy Nash actually has a shot at winning and I figure it's way better to have her in that seat than Bulte. If it weren't so close, I might take another look at the Greens, but not this time, for me.
posted by transient at 8:45 AM on January 14, 2006

Where do I start? Well, with the platform, I suppose...

Some of the more fun ones:

- I disagree non-stick cookware will poison me to death
- I do not believe Canada is a toxic waste dump
- I do not think a popcorn wrapper is going to harm me

...and that's just page 5.

In a more general sense, I don't believe Canada can become a more viable country by FURTHER restricting trade between itself and other countries. I DO believe that by doing anything like that Canada will quickly lead herself into a quagmire of poor international relations and will have an economy to match.

I think the most offensive thing about the green party is that they wish to amend this country's most sacred document, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the name of "Ecological Heritage".

The Green party also wishes to eliminate international trade in uranium, the cleanest source of energy the world has ever known (yes, even cleaner than solar power, ever seen what it takes to make a solar panel?) *AND* they intend to "phase out" nuclear power in Canada. Again, the cleanest, least offensive power type possible is going to be "phased out". WHY? It seems counterintuitive, and worse yet, sounds like the green party knows little of our CANDU reactor system and the incredible safety record it has compared to any other energy system we know of.

And, this is probably the most scary paragraph I've read in that document. It basically says no to capitalism as we know it (IMHO, you're of course welcome to differ on this).

41. Begin a partial, gradual, revenue neutral tax shift from income, consumption and business taxes to resource use taxes, pollution taxes and land value levies reflecting corporate profits.

Also, there's the censorship aspect of the Green party:

92. Mandate the CRTC to regulate and receive complaints about the advertising industry.

Umm. No. If someone pays for an ad on TV they paid for it, you, as a government, don't get to interfere with their free speech. Period. That's in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for crying out loud.

And then the Green party intends to add "Cultural organizations" to the Charitable tax-free status list. As someone who doesn't believe in religion, never mind anything else, I think NOTHING that is exclusive based on race, origin, religion, etc should be charitable.

A bit more controversial (you might support it, you might not) is their intention to increase government handouts to artists in Canada. I've always been against handouts like that, but some aren't. Also, plans to increase CBC funding from the government don't sit well with me at all. I think good media survives on support from the viewers.

Incredibly offensive is a requirement that private cinemas must play 20% Canadian content. Yes, that means that a truly "international" theatre cannot exist with an equal balance of content. (For the geek in you: Anime theatres would be effectively [although not directly] outlawed, as would any other theatre that caters to the international community.) Why should the government be allowed to tell a private company what they may put on their own screen? Pure out and out censorship and certainly a violation of the Charter.

The Green party further supports compensating people who are NOT medical doctors for medical services, even people who are known quacks (Chiropractors, etc).

Did I mention they wish to increase taxes on liquor, alcohol, and what they consider "Junk Food"?

187. Introduce fixed election dates permitting political stability and fair elections. W...T...F...? We have dates done they way they are for a good reason. We call it... democracy. It helps people decide if a party stealing millions of dollars makes them worthy of governing again, for example.

I could make a list of good reasons to vote for the Green party as well, but I'm afraid it would be quite a bit smaller.
posted by shepd at 10:43 AM on January 14, 2006

I hope thet shepd's post, researched and well-thought that it is, gets a "best answer" checkmark.

I don't vote for the GP because of the problems in my own riding, but it's clear that the party leadership generally has some very bad ideas. I wish (as usual) the media would do its damned job and inform the public about such stuff.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2006

-Because the NDP actually has a consistently better environmental policy, which seems to be the Green's raison d'etre. (That may be subjective, but I recall a rating from someone like the Sierra Club a couple of years ago to that effect.) The NDP does it without relying on an ownership society.

-Because they haven't done a good job of defining themselves, or their message. They're actually quite conservative, but people still think of them as a hippy-dippy leftist party. That's a failure in politics, and an indicator of inexperience or incompetence.

-Following from above, they're not pros. Canada is a pretty centrist political culture. The Liberals figured that out, and the Tories seem to have noticed as well. That's part of what killed Reform and Alliance. Canadians like their politicians to be professionals, not grassroots direct democracy junkies. The Greens need more professional politicians in sharp suits.
posted by generichuman at 2:48 PM on January 14, 2006

I wish we could put to bed this "NDP == fiscally irresponsible" notion.

I didn't notice a similar study for this election, but the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives put out a document that analyzed the spending and taxation proposals of the major parties (link to see if they matched up. Both the Liberals' and NDP's plans would have still left a surplus, the Conservatives' plan would have caused a (small) deficit.

I don't know what the Greens' score would be on such a test, since most of their policies are much more radical and would probably give the economy a case of toxic shock syndrome.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:02 PM on January 14, 2006

While I completely agree that some Green opinions (ie. the ridiculous 20% Canadian content law in theatres) are dumb or extreme, they should still be represented. A party as small and in dire need of votes would NEVER have something like this pass, but if they can officially throw in their 2 cents then maybe they might slightly sway popular opinion. Say, for example, they might sway things so that I can see a good Canadian movie at the cineplex instead of 3 nightly showings of Rumor Has It...

Sometimes it is beneficial for unpopular opinions to be voiced.
posted by travosaurus at 6:40 PM on January 14, 2006


What's the difference between a religious group and any other group, say a bridge club? They're both groups of like-minded individuals that choose their own members. It doesn't necessarily have any parallel with race. If you believe in their tenets, there are churches where you're pretty much in.

As far as cinemas, how is that a violation of the Charter? It is definitely not an absolutist document, and there are already similar laws for other media. You might not like it, but I don't think censorship is the word you're looking for. Similarly with ads, the government can restrict speech, as in the case of hate speech. Just because a law infringes on your speech doesn't mean it can't be justified under the Charter. This isn't the US. Also, every place I've ever seen Anime on the big screen has been a private club, and not the theatre itself. Are there actual theatres, open to the public, that only show Anime, similar to your standard Cineplex Odeon or Famous Players?

The government already has special taxes on liquor and tobacco. You seem to be upset that they exist in the first place, and I don't think any party would agree with you there. The fact that Green party wants to raise them probably has to do with saving money on health care, and it really isn't that big a leap toward considering junk food as similar to cigarettes. I realize that it's hard to draw a line, but in what world are pork rinds not junk food?

I'm not pro-Chiropractor, but there has certainly been a move toward medical treatment by non-physicians for some time: witness the increased attention paid to nurse-practicioners. That doesn't mean I want federal dollars going to homeopaths, but nurses can certainly do all sorts of things and don't have M.D.s

I think you misunderstand what fixed election dates are. They specify the maximum time for a government to stay in office. The government can still fall before hand, obviously, if no one will vote for any of its legislation. There is already a maximum, but the PM currently can specify the length of the campaign. I am a little confused as to the specific restrictions against a government trying to get an early date, say by purposefully losing a vote of confidence, but in that case I doubt voters would be pleased.

My father works for the Greens on occasion, and while I probably have more in common with your average Liberal I usually vote for them just to give them my $1.50 and express my interest in electoral reform. I don't get all these "Greens are just Conservatives" comments. Do people think that companies are just going to stop polluting out of the kindness of their hearts? The way you do it is to make it cheaper for them to not pollute, with taxes and credits. This is how Kyoto, which your average NDPer would support, actually works.
posted by maledictory at 8:11 PM on January 14, 2006

I voted Green last year (Western Arctic), but not this year. The local green candidate said something that really put me off - he wants to tax pollution, and give the money to aboriginal communities and groups, which means, to me, giving a financial stake to aboriginal people in pollution levels being high. There are a number of wing-nut elements in the Green Party that make it unpalatable to me.

Last year I voted Green, as the Liberal candidate really needs to go, the Conservative candidate was parachuted at the last minute and the party didn't do any work until the last week of the campaign, and the NDP candidate may have actually won (very close to the Liberal).

Overall, I'm disappointed with the choices in Canadian politics right now. The Liberals are about where the Mulroney PCs were 20 years ago when I was in university, and would be the way I vote but they've been in too long and their infrastructure is terribly corrupt (maybe not Paul Martin, but many others in the invisible senior apparatus), the NDP are unrealistic nutbars who would bankrupt the country (regardless of what the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says (more nutbars)), the Conservative party seems to have managed to keep the bad parts of both the PC party (boys' club) and reform party (nutbars) and missed the really great parts of both parties (experience and integrity).

The Green's platform is too fluid to trust. I might vote for them just to get their numbers up, so they can get money to run their next campaign, if the local candidate wasn't so out to lunch.
posted by ykjay at 8:49 PM on January 14, 2006

I wish we could put to bed this "NDP == fiscally irresponsible" notion.

I formed this opinion completely out of the blue when listening to Jack Layton spout some real insanity. That being that Canada should run deficits to pay for social programs. I'm all for social programs, but only within the money available in revenue. It was clear that he believed deficits were not a big deal.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:12 PM on January 14, 2006

Sorry for taking so long to reply!

What's the difference between a religious group and any other group, say a bridge club?

Generally religion is exclusive (but not always). ie: If you think God doesn't exist, you are considered someone who can never be a member of a Christian religion. Generally bridge (or other passtime games) are inclusive. ie: If you think bridge sucks, you can still be a member of the bridge club, you'll just be bored to tears.

In a monetary sense: Tax-Free religion makes me effectively "fund" groups of people who hate/dislike me, or at a minimum, usually think I'm going to burn in some sort of hell. Tax-Free bridge clubs makes me effectively "fund" groups of people who would like to pay bridge with me, and generally would like me unless I have given them a specific reason not to. I don't like funding causes that don't like me.

By "fund" I mean they get to operate outside the tax laws.

As far as cinemas, how is that a violation of the Charter?

Fundamental Freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
...b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
...d) freedom of association.

Freedom isn't 80% your way and 20% the government's way. It's all or nothing. Suggesting freedom works like that is like suggesting you're a free citizen if you couldn't leave Canada for more than 80% of a year. Yes, there's examples in law where freedom is restricted, such as libel, or child pornography laws, but it is clear to anyone why libel must not be legal, and I would legitimately doubt the sanity of anyone that would compare enjoying non-Canadian movies to being a paedophile.

Also, every place I've ever seen Anime on the big screen has been a private club, and not the theatre itself.

Yes, exactly. Is it a good idea to put any major obstacles at all in front of the one person who might actually try to do something like this? Nothing could be a worse idea for progress! And, of all types of progress, trying to entertain (and, thereby, educate) others is the best, I think you'd agree!

...and it really isn't that big a leap toward considering junk food as similar to cigarettes. I realize that it's hard to draw a line, but in what world are pork rinds not junk food?

Sure, pork rinds are junk food. Is a pizza junk food? Is a hamburger junk food? What about a veggie burger? How about a sub? A meatball sub would be ok then? Meatballs that are flat might be ok then too... flat like a hamburger?

At least with "tobacco" and "alcohol" we have a serious demarc point where something is considered taxable and is not considered taxable. With tobacco, it means it contains tobacco plant. With alcohol, it's 0.5% alcohol or more. "Junk Food" is just way too general. Perhaps they would put a fat content requirement on it, let's say "20 grams". And what is the result? Chips are sold in "bulk" bags with 10 tiny little 30 gram servings inside more tiny little bags, and we end up with more waste (something the Green Party is supposed to stop!). Yes, I can imagine that happening. If I were frito-lay (and others) I'd have already worked out a plan just in case...

Since tobacco is out and out taxed, and alcohol at 0.5% is just too expensive to extract to something more useful *and* you can't drink enough at 0.5% to get drunk, at least those systems are workable.

If the government is going to pay someone to do doctor-type work, then I think that person should be a doctor! There are MD homeopaths out there, so that *can* be government funded, as is. But if you can't get an MD in your "medical science" field of practice, there is a reason the government doesn't offer it: They think you can't help people with that practice. If the Green Party wants to expand coverage to chiropractors, etc, they should instead legislate that they can become MDs. [The argument, of course, ends up that such legislation would lead to people going to MDs that are actually not safe doctors or are just quacks... and that's the point... the government should not be paying unsafe doctors or quacks!]

As far as election dates go, if it is as you are describing, then I'd redact my remark about election dates, if I could. :-)
posted by shepd at 4:14 PM on January 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers. This has to be one of the best examples of a potentially explosive question remaining well within rational debate and very helpful advice. This is the first election that I've considered not voting Liberal or NDP or even ventured outside of the primary three parties to consider other alternatives. I've never read or looked into the Green party platform before and my first real introduction was the all candidate's debate in my riding last week (as I mentioned in the question, I was very impressed by the Green candidate. I sounds like he may not be representative of the top brass of the party, or even a lot of it's candidates).

In any event, I've already voted NDP. In my particular riding, there's a strong potential for an NDP win in a Liberal stronghold (notwithstanding the controversy around the Liberal candidate fundraiser and her support for C-60) so I feel quite good about my choice.

Marking any answers as "best" is difficult. All of them have been helpful and, shepd, thanks for your well-informed answers. If I would single any out, then your answers would get best answers for breadth and research.
posted by purephase at 7:44 PM on January 15, 2006

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