Its getting tiresome having to rebutt the NDP's amateurish efforts at anti-Green propaganda. But here's a response to the latest hatchet job, from former Green president Joan Russo who signed a membership card with the NDP. She's quoted in italics with a response below. A further note: I'm not a Green Party member or activist, only a Canadian who's going to vote Green in the next election.
I left the Green Party because [various foreign Green parties], when in government, sacrificed principle for power...[T]hey supported the invasion not only of Kosovo, but also of Afghanistan. [They] abandoned their opposition to NAFTA.
The NDP voted for the NATO invasion of Kosovo. Jack Layton has said he would not abrogate NAFTA, but would instead renegotiate the contentious parts (i.e. Chapter 11). This is exactly the same position Jean Chretien took in 1993. As for "sacrificing principles for power", Jack Layton is making it clear that he would do just that if he's part of a minority government. Today he told a business audience that the inheritance tax is one of the things he'd sacrifice to be in government.
the party proposes regional interpretation of values...there will be a referendum on day care and Pharmacare, and it could completely undermine medicare through its proposal of "respecting the right of provinces to opt out of federal and provincial initiatives without financial penalty."
(1) The Green Party's referendum on a national childcare system is party of its larger childcare strategy. Available here, its more comprehensive than the NDP's by many magnitudes. The referendum would be specifically on extending Quebec's $5/day (now $7.00/day) childcare system to the rest of the country. I believe the reasoning behind a referendum is to get around provinicial premiers who might block the program. A referendum would give the federal government a mandate to act.
(2) Provincial opt-out. The Green's fiscal policy states: "Our view of federalism in Canada includes the federal government as a driving and unifying force motivating change, while building a coherent national agenda for Canada's economy and society." Canadians already expect this of their federal government. For example, the beloved Canada Health Act sets federal standards for medicare. At the same time, for example in the area of immigration and training, the provinces (especially Quebec) can opt-out of a federal program and deliver it on their own, again while meeting federal standards.
This is a strange criticism coming from the NDP. Jack Layton is providing the provinces with the ultimate "opt-out". Quebec can vote to leave with the most ambiguous question possible. Goodbye Clarity Act if the NDP get power.
the Green Party is Encourage [ing] ISO 14000 Certification
Yes, this is true. It is also true the ISO 14000 is an industry-based certification. It is, however, only part of the comprehensive Green platform on the environment that includes government regulation, citizen participation and the required funding. Why would we close off any avenue that might help create a sustainable future? Surely we would want to talk to industry instead of putting them in an NDP lockdown. Ideas for transforming Canada to a green society in all ways are woven through the entire Green platform, but for more detailed info, please check out Natural Resources, Sustainability, Industry.
The Green Party 2004 platform is calling for only labelling...of foods that are known to contain, or that might contain, genetically modified material.
This is just untrue. The Green platform states:
"The creation of engineered organisms presents risks to our ecosystems that are barely understood. Implementing the precautionary principle means we must avoid conducting uncontrolled experiments on the biosphere."
While the Greens would not ban use of GMOs, they would be subject to severe restrictions. These include banning the transfer of human genetic material to animals. It should also be pointed out, that once products containing GMOs are labelled, demand for GMOs in consumer products will wither.
The use of "green taxes" is a market-based approach rather than a principle-based approach.
Russo is right out to lunch here. I'm not sure what a "principle-based approach" is (isn't the whole Green platform a "principle-based approach"?), but her attack on market-based green taxes shows just what ill-thought piece of propaganda her article is. The Kyoto Protocol, which Canadians take to be the bedrock of their environmental committment, is founded on the premise of market-based green taxes. One of its centrepieces are carbon credits (the so-called "Kyoto credits") that can be traded among industry to reduce greenhouse gas emmisions. Russo's confusion on the fundamentals of Kyoto undermines her credibility on environmental issues, and shows why she is no longer a member of the Green Party.
Today's Green Party proposes to maintain a "rapid response and deployment force capable of supporting humanitarian, environmental and peace-keeping missions."
Again, Russo shows herself to be out of touch with fundamental Canadian values. To call peace-keeping illegitimate is really beyond the pale. Is this the offical postion of the NDP? The Green Party supports bedrock Canadian values like these that make our country a force for good in the world.
Unfortunately, in many key ridings the NDP may lose because of the Green vote.
Now it all comes clear...
Goodbye Clarity Act