I wish I had more time to write on my blog, because I feel there is “stuff” that has to be said. I am fortunate to be bilingual (and I try to improve my Spanish, too). I want to act as a bridge. There are interesting things being said on each side of the “language divide” (which does not have to be “les deux solitudes”). Someone has to act as some kind of transmittal mechanism. Not only me, of course. But I can be part of that effort.
It is very, VERY important for me to give the Green Party of Canada a French voice in Quebec and Canada (and, hopefully, all over the Francophonie).
In the previous version of this article, I inadvertently wrote something that does not reflect my true thinking and I want to correct it. I did not make clear enough the fact that I see a distinct difference between the Green Party of Canada (including its members), who are really taking the only way to get concrete results, i.e., getting elected, and, alas, too many environment-minded and well-meaning people.
How many times do we notice that, when the government or a corporation proposes a plan or a project, the only response they get is simply “Not in my backyard” or “No!”? It’s not enough to say one is opposed to a project and stop short at that. The time of sit-ins is over, in the sense that governments and big corps. are used to it now and they hardly get fazed. The discourse has to go beyond merely saying “No” to ill-thought projects; people have to come up with their own well-structured and “doable” proposals, backed with studies and containing verifiable figures. But not only that: WE have to change the rules, to SET the rules so that everyone will know that nonsustainable projects will not even get past first base – LOL, not even out of the dugout! – once the Green Party has become a force to be reckoned with in Canadian politics (we can obtain that effect as soon as we attain a critical mass).
It was pointed out to me more than once, François Cardinal mentions it his book (*see below), and it is true: too many environment-minded people hold their nose about politics, they want to have nothing to do with it. They oppose, but that’s all. They don’t want to be associated with any party – even the Green Party, the only one to support them without ulterior motives, a hidden agenda or big donors waiting to get favours back (NDP, you do NOT qualify here! And besides, you want power too much, to the point of compromising on your “values” – game over!)
I love philosophy. I have high personal values. But ENOUGH TALK and MORE ACTION! So can we practice and apply what we preach? I’m thinking about my children, who are just starting their lives as young adults and who will want kids of their own someday. We have to do concrete things. Now we have to take power and change things before this planet dies. If we do not participate in the political process in other ways than just protesting, we will get nowhere. This is where the action is. The political process stinks? Yup, I know. So, let’s clean it up! See, the Green Party is not just about hugging trees… if you see what I mean.
Ah, by the way, this is a “beef” of mine: If Quebecers are so environmentally-minded, how come the GPC’s percentage of the vote slipped at the last election? When I look at the highways here, I see as many big SUVs as elsewhere. Hydro-Québec cannot be our excuse to do nothing else on the environment front.
I love Ms. May. She is not the issue here. The issue was the absence until recently of a targeted “French/Quebec strategy” (oh by the way, let’s not forget the francophones outside Quebec, a mistake too many Quebec politicians make) which, thankfully, is now beginning to be addressed. People are being hired, etc. Any party who want to get elected into power in Ottawa has to take Quebec (22% of the Canadian population, after all!) into account.
I know Quebecers are very sensitive to the French voice or message or to the French presentation of things. We have our own way of seeing things, of thinking, etc. We agree with other Canadians on some issues, but not all. And we like to do things out way. Too often we were treated like we did not count, and we resented that. But it cannot be an excuse not to vote Green. Our job as Quebec Greens is to really “occupy our space” within the Party, raise the local issues, etc.
I am definitely not the first Québec Green who says that, and I am not the one who set in motion the changes that are coming about. There is a Quebec Committee being set up inside the GPC; the people who are working in that are months and years ahead of me in their knowledge of the issue. I’m just the « new kids on the block ». But I welcome them and the things they want to do. And I want to participate. I want to help. I want to use the skills I received for good.
Among other things, we (and I) have to come up with simple things, nonradical things people can do everyday, even if it’s only closing the faucet when they brush their teeth! Or reduce their meat consumption (it’s not healthy to eat that much, especially red meat). Or not idling the car needlessly. The image of the Greens has to get closer to the guy next door.
*You know, Quebecers always say they are in favour of the Kyoto Protocol when they answer surveys but when you look at the way the behave in everyday life, they are not that “green”! I read a good book on that but unfortunately it’s in French only, I’ve mentioned it before, it’s François Cardinal’s Le mythe du Québec vert. I hope a book company wakes up and has it translated in English… and Ms. May’s books in French. I’d be more than happy to translate Ms. May’s books in French. Gratis.