Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Monday, May 29, 2006

Green Party of Canada Leadership Interview Contest!

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I'm quite honoured and pleased to announce that Green Party of Canada leadership candidates Elizabeth May and David Chernushenko have agreed to do interviews for Centrerion Canadian Politics.
May has made a career of environmental activism with various groups, while Chernushenko's background is within the Green Party itself. Both are intelligent, well-spoken individuals, and I'm sure it will be a pleasure to interview them.

Which is why I want you to interview them too.

I'm having a contest asking for suggestions as to the questions you'd like to see asked of the two candidates. Write your question out in the comments. The topics most asked about will be included. You can also just type something like: "I vote for Commenter X's question."
Topics of interest include Green Party policy in important areas, such as the Canadian economy, health, education, industry, trade, federalism and foreign affairs; their vision for Canada; specific issues in the areas named above, or related areas; anything else that fits into 'Canadian politics'.
Winners will have their question included in the interview, and a link included to their site in the transscript and in a separate post on the issue.

Update: The deadline for submissions is Wednesday May 31st at 11:59 PM. If participation is great enough, I'll see if the interviews (currently slated for June 1st~2nd) can be delayed until later, so as to give an extension to voters. - UPDATE: The contest is extended.

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At 11:39 a.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous Anonymous said:

Congratulations, I look forward to reading the interviews. One thing I'd like to find out is how the candidates would address comments by Stephane Dion that he isn't a single-issue candidate based on his environmental concerns but that the Green party is limted in that regard. What I'd like to see illustrated would be how a seemingly non-related issue could have an innovative solution rooted in a green-based approach. Any real life examples would be great.

At 11:48 a.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Devon Rowcliffe said:

Excellent idea, I'll definitely be submitting questions in the days to come.

Any particular deadline? When do you plan to send the questions to the candidates, and post the answers?

At 12:19 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Herbinator said:

The Special Joint Committee of the House of Commons and the Senate on Custody and Access Report recommended that a child have equal access rights to both parents.

Would you [the candidate] endorse as first principle that "a child must have equal access rights to both parents after a divorce unless and excepting there are extenuating circumstances," and amend existing legislation to reflect this right?

At 12:29 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger berlynn said:

What, specifically, do we as a country need to do locally and globally to curb the devastation of our planet and how will you go about implementing it?

At 1:30 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

Indievoter: Thanks for good words. I'm not sure I understand what you want me to ask them in regards to Stephane Dion, though. I appreciate your point about solving unrelated issues with a green approach, though.
604: I'm looking to carry out the interviews this Thursday, though if participation is high enough, I'll obviously look at extending it. For now, the deadline is Wednesday May 31st, 11:59 pm.

At 1:32 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

Herbinator: good question, very professionally phrased. Much appreciated.

Berlynn, I appreciate your point, but could you be more specific about what you're referring to as 'the devastation of our planet'. There are many things that could be 'devastating' it, obviously, so naming a few of the more important ones would be great.

At 3:18 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger calgarygrit said:

I'd be very curious to hear what concrete ideas they have to get a Green MP elected in Canada. Besides the usual "lobby to be included in the debates".

Because this party really won't be taken seriously until they elect an MP, I think the main focus of the next leader should be to try and win a seat for the party somewhere.

At 3:26 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger berlynn said:

I guess I could narrow it to the devastation of our air, our land, our peoples.

At 3:50 p.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous Anonymous said:

To help clarify my question I'd like to reference a quote by Elizabeth May:

"In searching for solutions, reorienting that mindset, we go back to where this conversation started: life versus money. If we got that orientation right. If we reversed it. If we stopped playing Russian roulette with the planet’s atmosphere. If, between life and money, we chose life. If that was how we organized society, if that were the way governments functioned, if the precautionary principle was considered more important than the profit motive, then we might get all these things right."

When I read this my brain suddenly unlocked and I thought, hey, what if...!

To put this revelation in context, I've only ever voted NDP or Liberal in my life. In the past I just accepted what I was told by those parties - that the Green Party is a one issue party. That's the mindset the Green party has an opportunity to address and I think the more specific examples we have, the more people will debate and discuss and hopefully think differently than in the past.

At 5:31 p.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous Keller said:

Will the Green Party continue it's current, and in my opinion very smart, path of fiscal conservatism combined with a socially liberal agenda with the focus on the environment?

Or will it, under your leadership, follow the European Green Party path? Which essentially is an NDP style socialist party, with a focus on the environment.

Personally one of the main reasons I voted for the Green Party in two federal, and one provincial, elections is because of the current ideological focus. Although I heartily disagree with your stance on nuclear power.

At 6:02 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Herbinator said:

The US Green Party passed this resolution in November of last year:
"The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) publicly calls for divestment from and boycott of the State of Israel until such time as the full individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people are realized."
Is solidarity with the American Greens important, and do you support Resolution 190?

At 6:48 p.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous KO said:

How about you ask, as green leader would you support increased nuclear power, or increased hydro power to meet our power needs (and don't let them off saying we can conserve or solar/wind to meet all our energy needs, the sun doesn't shine all the time, and sometimes the wind doesn't blow)

and how about this:
Do you believe a product should have to be proven safe before being introduced, even if it has met all other government regulations on that product?

At 8:25 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger Jason Cherniak said:

I have often heard that ethanol actually requires just as much energy to create as it produces. I would like to know what the candidates think of this theory.

At 12:05 a.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

Great questions all!

C-Grit: Excellent point. I'd like to have you manage my campaign strategy if ever I went into politics, you know that? I keep noticing that you have a sharp eye for federal politics... Anyways, I hope that becomes one of the more popular questions.

Jason/KO: The ethanol theory and the nuclear question are obviously quite relevant. Alternative energy sources, if current trends continue, will be given attention.

KO - What do you mean it has to be proven safe? Aren't the re government regulations requiring that? Why wouldn't something need to be proven safe?

Keller - Your question is what their fiscal policy will be? What they would do as Finance Minister, kind of thing?
And are you referring to my stance on nuclear power or the Green Party's?

Berlynn - Again, that's vague. For instance, when you say 'the air', do you mean there's nuclear radiation, smog, chemicals giving off dangerous fumes, other stuff?

Indie - You're saying that you want to hear their approach to changing public perception of the Greens as being only, well, Green?

Herbinator - I have no intention of promoting ridiculous questions on issues that only exist in the minds of the uninformed. People say divest from Caterpillar to hurt Israel, for example. Well, the irony is that Cats are key to the Arabs' economy too. Do you support divestment now?

I'm open to questions on the Israeli-Arab conflict, but not on whether the Greens will support inanities (and I would be terribly shocked and dissapointed if they did).

At 1:03 a.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous e said:

Ooo! Ooo! I have a question:

The Green Party positions itself as a party of the grass roots. But over the past few years, the grass roots portions of organization (namely policy development and internal governence) have been withering due to neglect.

How do we correct that, and see that it doesn't happen again?

At 11:14 p.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous Keller said:

Fiscal ideology rather. Their current position is basically Red Tory with green overtones. They support a welfare state of some sort, and businesses are free to make money but must do so in an environmentally responsible manner. As opposed to the NDP (and European Green Parties) who espouse a traditional socialist ideology on finance.

And I was referring to the Green Party's stance on nuclear power (I don't actually know what yours is) especially given the number of environmentalists that have come out in favour of it over the last few years, notably including a co-founder of Greenpeace.

At 11:00 p.m., Canadian Politico Blogger lecentre said:

E and keller, good quality stuff.

I've really appreciated how popular this has gotten, and think it can go further, so I'm going to ask the two candidates if we can delay the interviews a little.


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