Good Sunday Morning!
The very happy news is that Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are home in Canada. Damn the whole geo-political, Donald Trump manipulation and the kidnapping of innocent Canadians by the Peoples’ Republic of China. Lots more to unpack about this scandalous treatment of two of our fellow citizens caught in a web by the heartless and manipulative power brokers of the world. For now, thank God they are safe.
This is not the happy morning I was hoping for. I never thought Paul Manly could lose. His lead was strong and even with the attack ads and dirty tricks from the NDP, his reputation, his long list of accomplishments and his long list of endorsers (David Suzuki, Seth Klein, Leadnow, etc), made us both feel that we would go back to Ottawa together.
It is not only the sadness that we lost a Green MP. My dear friend, who is like a brother to me, lost due to the failures and betrayals of others. I am friends with a number of MPs in other parties who lost their seats. Sad to see Lenore Zann lose in Nova Scotia. We were working together on her environmental racism bill. She is a gem. Scottie Sims in Newfoundland has been such a strong supporter for me when I was all alone in parliament. Deb Schulte, former minister for seniors and now defeated, in Ontario, who has been a friend since the 1980s, has been going through chemotherapy this whole campaign. Some old friends who lost in 2019 were re-elected, like John Aldag. While I love democracy, politics is an awful business. I hate the way our brilliant public servants where there are wonderful people across party lines, get reduced to little blocks of colour to receive a check mark on the TV screen, or be wiped out to cheers from the other team.
Of course, we celebrate our first-ever Green seat from Ontario with Mike Morrice’s win in Kitchener Centre. I will not go to parliament alone. Still, it was the worst electoral result for Greens in decades.
Stepping back, what can we take from this election. Some quick thoughts on which I think nearly every Canadian would agree:
- This election was completely unnecessary;
- It should never have been called in the fourth wave of the pandemic;
- The Liberals orchestrated it with the shortest possible campaign to snap up a false majority;
- The brief campaign combined with pandemic resulted in the lowest voter turn-out in recent history at 60.9%;
- The incentives for a snap election (capitalized successfully by NB’s Blane Higgs, and BC’s John Horgan) are a direct result of the perverse voting system – First Past the Post.
- The Liberals once again get to form minority government while for the second time in a row, the Conservatives had more votes;
- All the party leaders with seats in the House (with the possible exception of Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet) are now weaker than before the writ dropped. Some are likely to be replaced soon.
- The campaign failed to focus on the most critical issue – the climate emergency.
I am sure of one thing – Greens are here to stay. We will take the time to analyze what went wrong. We will rebuild and be prepared for the next election – likely only 18 months to two years from now.
Knowing we have another election within the window when there is still time to shift course and hold to 1.5 degrees, we will make the changes that are required.
We will because we must.
I know this is a briefer message than on most Sundays. I cannot close without a huge thank you to the amazing volunteer team of Saanich Gulf Islands!! So many amazing people… THANK YOU! Dan Kells, Harald Hommel, Marilyn Redivo, Nancy Searing, Robyn Ross, Shelagh Levey, Linda Brown, Christa Grace-Warwick, Sharon Forrester, Helena Murray-Hill, the whole sign team!! and the island teams – Tommy Mitchell, Brian Smallshaw, Jan Slakov, Judy Garland, Andrew Loveridge, Priscilla Ewbank, Jeannie Crerar, and Deb Foote — and oh my!! ALL of you!! (Forgive me for obvious omissions!)
We did it! And I go back to parliament to do the work you want me to do!!
Lots of love,