THE GREEN PARTY IN CANADA:
WHO ARE THEY?
Amir Masoud Piroozi
B.A., University of Colorado, 1984
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Political Science
Department of Political Science
Amir Masoud Piroozi
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This thesis for the Master of Political Science degree by-
Amir Masoud Piroozi
has been approved for the
Stephen C. Thomas
Piroozi, Amir Masoud (MA., Political Science)
The Green Party in Canada: Who Are They?
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael Cummings
The Green Party in Canada is an analysis of a new Green
organization formed within the last four years. It is an interesting
group in that members do not conform to the Green norm of building
their organization from the ground up, but attempted to establish
their political party from the top down.
This research traces the Greens from the time they were
conceived to the present form1in 1986. The questions to be answered
here are: who are the Greens, how and why have they formed and why
have they chosen the methods they use? What new theories have they
developed and how have these theories been put into action? How are
the Greens structured and what methods do they use to govern
A comparison is drawn between the Canadian and the German
Greens to see what the differences are in the two, and to find out if
the primary reason for the Canadian Greens' lack of success in
launching their political party into mainstream politics has been
because of the absence of proportional representation in Canada.
In conclusion, the Canadian Greens' accomplishments and
shortcomings are examined, not to label them a success or failure,
but to examine how they are doing and where they require more work.
The most interesting question here is how has the unique structuring
system worked for the Greens of Canada; has this top-down technique
created more problems for them than it has solved, or has it been
something that is worth copying for other politically minded Greens.
I. INTRODUCTION ............................................. 1
Purpose Of The Research ................................. 5
Scope Of The Research ................................... 5
Limitations On The Research ............................. 8
II. HOW THE CANADIAN GREENS COMPARE
WITH THE GERMAN GREENS ................................... 11
III. FORMING OF THE GREENS IN CANADA ......................... 23
Electioneering ......................................... 32
Governmental, Economic And Social Policies ............. 47
IV. GREEN CONSTITUTION ...................................... 67
Consensus Decision Making ............................ 70
Human Rights ........................................... 75
Women's Rights ......................................... 83
Gay Rights ............................................. 87
Animal Rights .......................................... 88
V. ECOLOGICAL INVOLVEMENT
Agriculture ............................................ 94
Wilderness Preservation ............................... 102
Energy ................................................ 107
Pollution ............................................. 110
VI. NUCLEAR POLICY AND DISARMAMENT ......................... 119
Major Problems' Of Canadian Greens ..................... 126
Green Accomplishments ................................ 128
Social ................................................. 129
Political .............................................. 134
Ecological ............................................. 136
Economical ............................................ 137
1. Canadian Map ............................................ 25
3. Consensus Decision Making Versus Majority Rule .......... 72
2. Why The Greens Advocate A Guaranteed Annual Income....... 78
When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture
is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure.
The quote above, borrowed from the book Seeing Green, by
Jonathon Porritt,'*' expresses well the character of those who have
joined the ranks of concerned citizens everywhere who are no longer
content to sit idly by and ponder in silence the fate of their own
community and that of the world. Throughout history there have been
those who have formed ethnic communities and civil organizations in
order to overcome injustices. Now in the 80s there have come not
only the small special interest organizations, but also a communal,
national, and international ecological movement united by the common
goal of creating an ecologically sound economy, fundamental respect
for human rights, a nuclear-free world and general disarmament in an
effort to work towards peace. In essence this movement seeks a
society in which citizens are allowed to participate fully in the
decision making of government, willing to accept the responsibility
for its decisions.
The Green movement began in New Zealand and was founded in
the 1960s. The electoral system of New Zealand, like the American,
required a majority vote in the electoral district to win seats in
The manifesto of the New Zealand Green
party (the Values), called Beyond Tomorrow, founded the Green
principles of Greens today with programs for a steady-state
population, soft-path energy systems, decentralization, and human
rights. The Values, although they became a serious party in New
Zealand, fell victim to internal bickering which led to their
decline. The total downfall of the Values came when the decision was
made to become socialist. This decision so badly splintered and
divided the party that it has almost disappeared.
The European Greens, consisting of Germany, Great Britain,
Belgium, France, Holland, New Zealand, Greece, Australia, Sweden,
Italy and the United Kingdom, had their first taste of political
success in 1979 during the campaign for election to the Bundestag,
which gave the Greens their first opportunity to introduce their
political ideas to the public. The European Greens, led by the
German Greens, raised a united voice against over-industrialization
and for an ecological and regionalized Europe. Since 1979 the Green
movement has spread around the world, but because of the strong
decentralized internal policy of Greens on the whole, even though
progress is being made, divisions within and among Green parties have
Being decentralized means that the Greens do not remain in
close contact or collaboration with other Greens. Keeping up with
what is going on in other parts of the world is difficult. Most
Greens concentrate on the problems particular to their areas, rather
than working as a supportive unit to push together for changes.
There is valuable information gained from the experiences of
different Green movements that would help other Greens to avoid
repeating the mistakes others have made before them, but this
information is often wasted because of a form of tunnel vision with
each organization focusing essentially on its own problems.
Another problem for most Green parties is a failure to lay a
good foundation on which the Green organizations can build. Most
Green parties are formed because people perceive the need for change
and feel they are not being properly represented. However, when
Green parties were formed in Canada, little was done to devise the
methods by which changes should be brought about. This lack of
planning created tensions with members pulling in different
directions. Eventually unrest amongst the members can splinter the
group and cause them to work against one another and to lose members.
There are both internal and external problems that need to be dealt
with. There is the problem of getting people to contribute their
time and energy to the maintenance of the party, with the most
difficult being to get members to contribute their money.
Externally, one of the biggest problems is to discourage non-Green
organizations from claiming affiliation with Greens in order to
damage the Greens' image or to gain legitimacy for themselves through
On the other hand, many Green groups are so purist in their
views that they will not compromise or admit others to their groups
that do not conform entirely to their beliefs and values. This
ostracizing means that communists, socialists, democrats or other
groups that could provide support and unity often are providing an
added source of competition for votes and obstacles to change. Many
Greens, in an effort not to compromise their beliefs forget that
there is strength in numbers, and growth requires compromise.^
However many problems the Greens have, they are still
building a viable alternative to the present system. The Greens have
managed to call attention to problems on a global scale. Even though
many Green organizations seem to have no chance of winning a
political election, they are becoming a strong political force in
that they are a salient voice of opposition. Sometimes they are the
only voice of opposition. In Italy, Greens have been instrumental in
making abortion legal under some circumstances. The Belgian Green
parties have forced the utility company of Liege to detach itself
from a nuclear power plant and have influenced the acceptance by
workers unions of the shortened work week in order to increase
The Green parties of Canada are formed by such people as the
ones mentioned in Belgium and Italy who are concerned about the
quality of life, the preservation of the ecosystem and the rights of
all life forms. Although these Greens are not a grassroots
organization, they share much of the same ideology as the European
Greens. They share the common bond of being affected by criticizing
the threat of nuclear war and of accidents such as the May, 1986
nuclear melt-down in the Soviet Union that expelled large quantities
of radioactive particles that traveled across Europe and as far as
the United States. They share concerns for preservation of their
ecology, the air, forests, farmlands, and wildlife.
The success of the German Greens, primarily due to electoral
rules favorable to new parties and to the continued deterioration of
Germany's and the world's environment, has inspired other Green
movements including a similar path but with adaptations to local
The first purpose of this research is to examine the
nature of the Greens of Canada. In order to answer this question,
the following investigations must be made:
1. How were they able to organize such a nationwide
organization in such a polarized political atmosphere?
2. What is their general philosophy?
3. What is their governmental policy?
4. What are their accomplishments?
5. What are their long-range goals?
6. How do the Greens of Canada compare with their most
successful counterparts, the Greens of Germany?
7. What are the major problems of the Canadian Greens?
SCOPE OF RESEARCH
Limiting the scope of my research was not left to me to
decide. I quickly found that there had been practically no
documented or published research on the Green Parties in Canada.
This meant that I would first have to find out what sort of data was
available to me. To begin this process of elimination, I first began
to gather information on my subject matter on 1 November 1985. I
requested a computer search at the University of Colorado Library on
a select area (Green parties in Canada). This search yielded
nothing. The next phase was to run another computer search that was
much broader, looking for any information in any form with data
related in any way to the Green Party of Canada. This search
presented me with three leads and reams of paper on just about
everything with the words "green," Canada," and "party" connected
with it. The three leads were followed up by the University of
Colorado library. The Library requested a copy of articles from the
Toronto Globe and Mail, Metro edition, the Montreal Gazette, the
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, and the Ecologist magazine, (B.C.). The result
The next step, since I now knew that there was nothing
available in printed form, (at least not as far as the library was
concerned), was to begin to saturate any possible source of
information or possible leads with form letters in hopes of making
The first of these form letters was mailed to the Canadian
Embassy in Washington, D.C., and to the Consulate General in San
Francisco. Letters were written to Charlene Spretnak and Fritjof
Capra, co-authors of the book Green Politics, in hopes that they
could furnish a name or an address of some contacts in Canada. Petra
Kelly was another possible source of information, since her lectures
were known to have taken her to most major Green conferences at home
Next the political science departments in every
prominent University in Canada were put on the mailing list. On the
off-chance that other Green parties around the world might have had
some contact with the members of any Canadian Greens, Ireland,
Germany, England and the School of Living here in the United States
were also contacted.
All these mailings were sent to their respective destinations
at least twice between the dates of 1 January and 31 March 1986. The
most prevalent response from the University mailings was, "Sorry, but
there has been no research into the Green party of Canada. We
suggest you consider focusing your thesis on the German Greens, where
a wealth of information can be found." By February trickles of
response began to come in. The Canadian Embassy and the Canadian
Consulate General had little information to relay themselves; but
they furnished possible addresses and names. Most of these sources
were dead ends, but a few of the addresses were still occupied and
furnished leads to more names, addresses, suggestions, and phone
numbers. German Green headquarters was not able to help, but Petra
Kelly added still another address to my list. Fritjof Capra didn't
have any leads, but Charlene Spretnak added two more sources of
The entire process amounted to writing to a name here and
there, waiting two or three weeks, and repeating the process. As I
am writing this information now, bits and pieces of information are
still filtering in. I did find that when I finally made contact with
someone after having written three or four letters, they told me that
they had only received one out of three of my letters and that their
mail system took two weeks compared to our two days for a letter to
travel from one party to another. Following this information I began
sending all letters out in triplicate to make sure at least one of
This project was almost abandoned several times because of
the lack of accessible information. There was information to be had,
but because of a slow mail system between Canada and the United
States, it was very time consuming. Another problem was the lack of
networking between the different Green chapters that made them hard
to locate. What kept this project alive was the people like Glen
Makepeace, Provincial Party International Liaison, who took the time
to sit down and write me a thirteen-page letter that turned out to be
one of the most valuable pieces of information I received from
anyone. Mr. Seymour Trieger, present Leader of the Federal Green
Party, also furnished me with letters and documents that furthered
this project. Mr. Andrew Scorer, of the Toronto Greens, provided
leads, documentation, and a helpful correspondence. Mr. Rolf
Bramann, leader of the Quebec Greens, took the time to amass a large
file of articles and clippings from newspapers and magazines on the
Greens. And Ms, Bonnie Anderson, at one time secretary to the B.C.
Greens, not only answered my correspondence without delay, but made
herself available by phone and went out of her way to supply me with
any information she could find to help this project along.
LIMITATIONS ON RESEARCH
Several factors played a part in limiting the areas my
research would cover. Because the Canadian Green Parties are only
four years old, forming in 1982, there is limited information
available. All information had to come from correspondence, printed
material gained from Green publications, or special articles carried
only by Canadian ecological publications, especially magazines. The
funds of most of the Green organizations are extremely limited or
nonexistent, making phone contact, or other forms, such as typed
literature, news letters, and newspapers impossible. Another factor
is that the mail between Canada and the U.S. is slow, taking more
than three weeks at times, and sometimes not reaching the addressee
at all. The largest problem encountered was the lack of
communication between the different chapters and parties. This made
accumulating data difficult. Many Greens contacted were unable to
discuss the status of other Green chapters in provinces other than
their own. As a result I found myself relying almost totally on what
Green publishings I could gain access to, and the willingness of my
contacts to take time from their busy schedules and personal time to
answer my questions. A total of 137 letters were mailed to possible
leads, 22 responses were received, and only 18 provided usable
^Seeing Green, The Worldwide Movement, Jonathon Porritt,
Publisher Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 1.
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 172.
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 173.
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 183.
^Green Politics, It Can Happen Here, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 215,
Seeing Green, The Worldwide Movement, Jonathon Porritt,
Publisher Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 176.
^Seeing Green, The Worldwide Movement, Jonathon Porritt,
Publisher Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 177.
HOW DO THE CANADIAN GREENS COMPARE WITH THE GERMAN GREENS
To get a better idea of how the Canadian Greens are progress-
ing, they will be compared with the longer established, more powerful
German Greens. The object of this comparison is to assess the
problems and prospects for the Canadian Greens. The differences
between the Canadian Green parties and Die Grunen (German Greens) are
few; but there are some.
The first Green party was the Values party of New Zealand,
founded in 1960. The electoral system in New Zealand is a majority
vote, winner-take-all system. The Values party never won a seat in
any national elections, but it did manage to establish itself as a
serious political contender. Between 1972 and 1975, the Values
produced a detailed Green party program called Beyond Tomorrow that
was later to become the guide for most of the Greens and activists
around the world. The programs recognized the need for a
steady-state population and economy, new industrial and economic
relations, ecological consciousness, human-centered technology,
soft-path energy systems, decentralization, human-rights, and
peace-making. After the national election of 1975 the Values party
began to deteriorate due to internal tensions over whether the party
should align itself with the left or the right. This decision
created a rift in the party that left it virtually destroyed 1981 *
The Greens ran the campaign of 1979 on a tight budget, but
there was something in their favor. For the European election, each
party needs only one list of candidates, instead of the different
lists for each electoral district in national elections which makes
it easier for a small party to run because election cost and manpower
were greatly reduced. Also the European Greens, with the exception
of Britain and France, have proportional representation and are
government funded receiving $1.40 per vote in a state or federal
election once a 5% minimum support base has been gained giving them
good financial backing. This government funding allowed the Greens
to meet campaign cost without having to go heavily into debt or to
enlist backing from the very same wealthy business sectors they are
in opposition to.
The Greens' focus during the campaign was on overindus-
trialization and for an ecological and regionalized Europe. Similar
campaigns were run by other European parties which had a considerable
impact on public opinion. In West Germany, the Greens won 3.2
percent of the vote (900,000 votes) and received $1.3 million from
The German Greens were not formally constituted as a
political party until January of 1980. This came about through the
broader Green movements such as Amnesty International, which has been
highly effective in the campaign for human rights, Friends of the
Earth in their promotion of ecological awareness, and the Club of
Rome, credited with bringing about a change in established thinking.
The issue of nuclear power served as a catalyst for the emergence of
Die Grunen as a political party. In the mid-1970s, most
denvironmentalists in Germany were confident that nuclear power could
he stopped by nonviolent direct action including the occupation of
new sites. However, their experiences at places like Whyl and
Brokdorf led them to realize that such actions, without the
accessibility of effective political power, were inadequate. Other
approaches were tried, including application to the courts, and
efforts to win over the Social Democrats to a antinuclear position.
Neither was successful.
At this stage most of the Burgerinitiativen (a coalition of
environmental and citizen action groups) were still opposed to
setting up a separate Green party, but after 1976 Green candidates
began to run in local elections. The continuing failure of all other
strategies led to calls for a Green party so that extra-parliamentary
efforts could be backed by parliamentary involvement. The
environmental movement became increasingly politicized and its
members began to realize that getting rid of nuclear power would be
possible only as part of a much broader political and social
A simple joint platform between the different Green groups of
New Zealand, Belgium, and West Germany was put together for the 1979
European elections, and in the next year the party was formally set
up. Over a period of three years these Green groups consolidated
their ideas and established a broad membership. The German Greens
became far more involved in the peace movement, were able to exploit
the dissension in the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and rapidly
became knownas the Peace Party. Their uncompromising stance on the
Pershing II and the Cruise missiles made theirs the only voice of
authentic opposition in West German politics. As a result, they had
considerable success in the local elections, and won several seats in
various regional parliaments. It was there that they established
their credibility and prepared the ground work for their election to
the Bundestag in 1983.
The political success of the German Greens came in March of
1983 when they won twenty-seven seats in the Bundestag with 5.6% of
the vote. This outcome firmly established Green politics in Germany
as a serious alternative.^
When the Greens became a party, they had to make the choice
whether to include Marxist groups. The German Greens made the
decision to include them. Other European Greens such as the Greens
in Austria and Switzerland were unwilling to accept Marxist groups
and as a result sacrificed the 1983 election. There are other
countries in Europe that have not yet developed Green parties.
These countries do have movements that support Green positions,
define their positions as being on the left, but differ from the
Marxists in that they are clearly nonviolent. Two of these parties
exist in the Netherlands, the Political Party of Radicals, an ecology
oriented group, and the Pacifist Socialist Party, a Marxist oriented
party calling for democratic process and feminist values. Both these
parties have seats in the Dutch national parliament.
Another of these radical European parties is the Italian
Partito Radicale, formed in the mid-70s. In 1983 they won 2.2
percent of the vote and twenty seats in the Italian parliament.
Their interests are mainly social issues such as abortion, which they
have helped to make legal under some circumstances in Italy.
Currently this group has taken up the cause of world hunger as its
primary interest. The Partito Radicale is a leftist group, but is
not fanatically Marxist. The group is antimilitarist, antinuclear,
nonviolent and very autonomous. Other ecological organizations
include the Italian Communist party that joined the movement through
the Recreational and Cultural Association, a large labor organization
taking up environmental concerns, and the Green Archipelago. Neither
of the last two is involved in electoral politics.
In Belgium there are two Green parties represented in
national parliament, the Agalev (representing the Dutch-speaking
population), and the Elco (representing the French-speaking
population). The Agalev and the Elco were citizens' groups that
began environmental lobbying in 1978, and formed into parties to
enter the European Parliament election in 1979 after politicians were
criticized for failing to live up to their promises. The Agalev won
2 percent of the vote while the more developed Elco won 5 percent.
Both these Green parties received seats in the parliament. Though
there is an inherent tension between these two groups, they do work
together at times though independently of each other.^
The Elco Greens agreed to a coalition with the Social
Democrats in Liege, Belgium, with the condition for Green
participation in the city government being that the utility company
of Liege remove itself from a nuclear power generator. As a result
of this collaboration, Elco now has access to government participa-
tion, including an Elco deputy mayor.'*''*'
The Green parties in Europe are now establishing, or have
established, parties in Austria, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France,
Greece, Ireland, Luxenbourg, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, with
the methods used to form Green organizations being very similar
throughout Europe. The parties usually start with networks and small
groups of citizens focusing on environmental or social issues.
This is a very different story from that of the Canadian
Greens. As stated previously, the Canadian Greens were launched at
the NDP (New Democratic Party) convention of 1982, when the
environmentalists who were counting on the Social Credit Party to
introduce a special resolution for the preservation of wilderness
areas it lobbied for failed to make it to the floor. Unlike the
German Greens, the Canadians did not start from the bottom up by
building a strong grass roots foundation. The Canadian Greens
started from the top and worked their way down to a grass roots
A handful of environmentalists formed the Canadian Green
Party in order to try to gain access to the parliament after being
disappointed by the lack of sensitivity given the environmentalist
concerns by parliament. The Party was registered in February, 1983
by Paul George without meeting to gain the support or consent from
anyone, in order to avoid dealing with the possible resistance from
those who would question whether or not there should be a party.
After the party was registered, a meeting was called to try to
decide what the party should be like.
On May 5, 1983, while the Canadian Greens were still trying
to define their goals, structure, and policies, the party decided to
run in the Federal elections following the success of the German
Greens in their bid for seats in the Bundestag. Although the
Canadian Greens were not able to gain access to the parliament, they
did gain recognition across Canada, and did attract new membership.
Some of the reasons the German Greens credit for their being
so successful are a well established grass roots foundation; a
politicized environmental movement; a passionately fought campaign
against nuclear power; total commitment to a peace movement not
dominated by the left; a federal parliamentary system; and above all,
an electoral system with representation allocated proportionately
once a 5% threshold has been crossed that has allowed a Green party
to claim its rightful place alongside the established parties.
The Canadians started out with none of these things except a
passionately fought campaign and a parliamentary system. When the
German Greens began their struggle for election to parliament, they
had already taken the time to build a solid grass roots organization
whose goals and policies were well defined. The Canadian Greens were
not a grassroots organization and had no concrete goals and policies
except a desire to have an alternative to the present political
structure. They entered the election and spent most of their time
drumming up membership in order to have enough people to run a
campaign and raise funds to meet the campaign's financial needs.
The German Greens had much less funding trouble because West
German law awards political parties and political associations in
local or European Parliament election 3.5 DM ($1.40) for every vote
received.^ According to Canadian law candidates are reimbursed
only if they obtain at least 5 percent of the votes cast to a maximum
of 50 percent of allowable election expenses, which meant that the
Canadian Greens had to struggle to raise funds and funding often came
out of the candidates' pockets.
There are four major differences between the German Greens
and the Canadian Greens First, Germany's system of proportional
representation. In West Germany, proportional representation in
parliament (which is the practice of allotting seats according to a
percentage of the popular vote) allows small parties to be given a
voice in government. The Canadian Greens have a majority-rule,
winner-take-all system which makes it practically impossible for a
small party to win enough votes to gain a seat in parliament.
Second, the German Greens receive funding by the government
at the rate of $1.40 per vote, allowing them to receive more than
four times the amount of money they actually spend using an
all-volunteer staff. Canadian Greens, on the other hand, face a
winner-take-all system. To maintain party status the Greens must
have had a minimum of twelve members representing the party in the
House of Commons in the last session prior to dissolution, or they
must have officially endorsed candidates in at least fifty federal
ridings. The nomination of candidates in a federal election requires
the signatures of at least twenty five eligible voters per riding and
a deposit of two hundred dollars per candidate. This is a major
stumbling block for a small party where the filing fee for fifty
candidates will be ten thousand dollars. In the Canadian election
system, candidates are only for campaign costs if they obtain at
least 15% of the votes cast to a maximum of fifty percent. This
makes it almost impossible for a small party to compete seriously in
any election against the parties with big money.
Third, the German Greens started a history of grass roots
organizing that gradually led to political participation at a grass
roots level. This gave the Germans time to formulate policies, plans
and a cohesiveness and support for their causes. The Canadian Greens
began through one man's initiative registering a party of the
Canadian Greens, then calling for people to come together to
formulate some idea of what the party was to stand for and how it was
Fourth, the German people have very visible problems that
have been going on for some time. The ecological problems have
destroyed massive areas of forest, pollution has poisoned rivers, and
nuclear military installations are conspicuously dotted over their
landscape. The threat of possible annihilation is ever present to
them because of their geo-political position. All these things give
the Greens popular support because the people can see these dangers
all around them and the situation is one that affects everyone, not
just a few ecologically minded persons. The Canadian Greens, on the
other hand, face a less visible threat of nuclear attack because
their bases are not located in the midst of populated areas. The
ecological destruction in Canada is just beginning to take a toll.
Over 4,000 rivers and lakes are dead because of acid rain, and
pollution is beginning to damage wildlife to an extent that the
Germans have been living with for years. The impact on Canadian
society is starting to draw attention, but it has not yet affected
enough people to pull the public support for the Canadian Greens that
the Germans have received.
These are the major differences between the German Greens and
the Canadian Greens. The two parties' principles, which include the
four pillars of ecology, social responsibility, grass roots democracy
and nonviolence, are essentially the same. It is the manner in which
the two groups were conceived and the different forms of their
countries' government that separate them.
^Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 172.
Green Politics, Bring Grassroots Ideas Into Electoral
Politics, Fritjof Capra and Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New
York, N.Y., @1984 page 130.
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 175,
Seeing Green, The Early Years, Jonathon Porrit, Publisher
Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 11.
^Seeing Green, The Early Years, Jonathon Porritt, Publisher
Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 11
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 176.
Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 178.
^Green Politics, The Worldwide Movement, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 181.
Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, B.C.,
Canada, Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado.
Seeing Green, The Early Years, Jonathon Porritt, Publisher
Basil & Blackwell Inc., New York, N.Y. @1984 page 11.
^Green Politics, Who Are The Greens, Fritjof Capra and
Charlene Spretnak, E.P. Dutton Inc., New York, N.Y., @1984 page 17.
Guide For Election Trivia Buffs, Toronto Star (Canada)
August 1984, Page 6
Globe Mail, (Toronto, Canada) Stephen Burnt, August 1984.
Newspaper clipping supplied by Quebec Green Party leader Rolf
FORMING OF THE CANADIAN GREENS
The first attempt to found a Green party in Canada was in
1980. It was Jim Bohlen, a co-founder of both the Sierra Club of
Western Canada and of Green Peace, who brought together a collection
of people from the Alternative Movement, an environmentalist
organization. They met in Saskatchewan and spent the better part of
a weekend arguing over whether or not the media should attend their
meeting. In the end they gave up the idea, realizing that if they
could not agree on such a simple matter as this, they certainly could
not work together as. a political party.
The second attempt at forming a Green party came in 1982 in
British Columbia. This endeavor was the result of, and influenced
by, several political and environmental irritants. It is necessary
to know something about the background of British Columbia in order
to see what led to this second attempt. British Columbia is almost
four times the size of West Germany, covered primarily with
mountains, forests and rivers. It is inhabited by only 2^ million
people. This means that much of British Columbia is still wilderness
or semi-wilderness area. Over the last 15 to 20 years, an active
environmental movement has emerged to try to protect some of these
areas and also to deal with other issues.
Major struggles have occurred over the building of huge
hydroelectric dams that would have flooded wilderness and fertile
farmland such as High Arrow Dam, Ross Dam, Site C on the Peace River,
Revelstokes Dam and others; the construction of a coal-fired
electrical generating plant that would have created acid rain at Hat
Creek; the logging of various sacred Indian wilderness areas, Meares
Island, South Moresby Island, and the Stein River Valley (see Fig.l);
the building of a toxic waste dump near Ashcroft; the dumping of mine
wastes into fishing grounds on Alice Arm, the B.C. government program
to kill wolves, the use of farmland for housing developments, the
wasteful logging practices including the grossly inadequate
reforestation programs and the local opposition to pesticide spraying
Another factor that needs to be understood is that the
political situation in British Columbia is polarized. There are only
two parties represented in the provincial legislature: the ruling
Social Credit, a conservative party that strongly favors exploitation
of natural resources and has ruled the province for 30 of the last 33
years, and the NDP, the New Democratic Party, a social democratic
party. The polarization between social democrats and conservatives
is very similar to the political situation in most of Western Europe,
but it is unusual for North America. The NDP has supported a number
of environmental struggles, although it has tended in general to have
weak environmental platforms, whereas the Social Credit has never
supported environmental struggles. So environmentalists tended to
gravitate toward the NDP until 1982.
At the NDP convention in the fall of 1982, the
environmentalists in the party lobbied for a special resolution on
Cnnadian Map: Adapted from
The Worldmork Encylopedia Of The Nations
Worldmark Press Ltd. 1985
the preservation of Valhalla area in the Kootenays as a Wilderness
park. The motion never reached the floor and the environmentalists
were very disappointed. Some of these environmentalists discussed
the need for another party, one that would actively support
environmental issues. One of these people, Paul George, husband of
the first president of the B.C. Green party, Mrs. Adriane Carr, took
this discussion seriously and after the convention traveled to
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, and applied for
registration of a new party: The Green Party Of British Columbia.
The registration came through in February of 1983.^
The Green Party of British Columbia was formed in Vancouver
at a meeting of 200 people with Paul George and Adriane Carr as the
first partys president. In attendance were socialists, environment-
alists, New Age hippies and small businessmen who gathered in an
effort to build a solid pro-earth organization. For hours, speakers
lectured on topics of a conserver society ecological consciousness
and an end to the arms race. The Green Party of B.C. was built
around a completely electoral concept for the purpose of forming a
The West German party undoubtedly influenced the Canadian
Green movement. The West German Greens were formed as a coalition of
environmentalists, peace groups, human rights activists, and those
concerned about developments in the Third World. Because the German
political system has proportional representation, each party that
wins at least 5% of the popular vote gets a number of the
parliamentary seats proportional to its share of vote and receives
$1.40 per vote; therefore it was relatively easy for the West German
Greens to have their growing support move them towards election. In
early 1983, having previously gained seats in a number of municipal
and state legislatures, they won 27 seats in the Bundestag.
In British Columbia, people concerned about the same sort of
issues in the Canadian context read about the success of the German
Greens and decided to help to form the Green party of B.C. They were
the first Canadian Green Party to enter into electoral politics.
Shortly after the founding of the party there was a provincial
election in which the Greens ran a few candidates. During the
election, many critics suggested that the party should not exist,
that its only effect would be to harm the electoral chances of the
NDP. During the first year of the party's existence, the criticism
continued to be voiced, occasionally by some of the party's own
The Party's founders had foreseen this criticism and by
registering the party before they held the public meetings, they
sidestepped the issue of whether or not there should be a party and
moved directly to the question of what the party should be like. The
Green party was intentionally set up with very little formal
structure, the reason for this being to establish the party, then
call for the people to form it.
During the first year, the party attracted members with a
variety of concerns from environmentalists, peace activists,
feminists, organic farmers, and rural small holders, and the party's
basic principles began to take shape. These principles were:
1. To work towards achieving the goal of nuclear and general
disarmament and world peace.
2. To work towards achieving the goal of a conserver society.
3. To work towards an economic system based on sound environ-
mental ecological principles.
4. To work towards developing a society that accepts respon-
sibility for and upholds the inalienable rights of all
life forms and natural processes that share the earth.
5. To develop a community based democracy with local decision
During the second year, the party developed a clearly defined
decentralized structure and in 1985 moved to a consensus method of
decision making. The Green perspective also continued developing.
For instance, decentralism was examined through the use of the theory
of bioregionalism. This theory suggests that the planet is covered
with natural regions and that people within any given region should
have control over the resources as much as possible. Greens also
concentrated on feminism and the post-patriarchal perspective by
holding mini-conventions focused on this topic.
In late February 1985, a policy convention was held in
Vancouver. The policy proposals were considered as individual
proposals, not en masse. Once the proposals were consented to at the
meeting, they went to the local chapters and, when ratified there,
became official policies.
The inception of the Green Party in British Columbia was a
catalyst that motivated people in other parts of Canada to start
organizing. The provinces in Canada where Greens have been most
active, other than B.C., have been Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
But Green groups of some sort exist in all provinces.
In 1983 Green Groups developed in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Alberta. The Saskatchewan group seems to be the most stable. The
major environmental issue there is mining and uranium. There is also
a strong peace movement, though not as large as that of B.C.. The
annual peace march in Vancouver every April is the largest of its
kind in North America.
The growth of the Greens in these provinces has followed the
peace activists, feminists, sustainable agriculturalists and people
from the cooperative movement, who have come together to develop a
common perspective. The issues are different in each province, but
the perspectives are very similar."*
The Quebec Greens led and formed by Rolf Bramann held its
first meeting in November of 1984. Quebec is a French-speaking
province and has almost one third of the population of Canada. The
relationship between the French and the English-speaking cultures of
Canada has dominated Quebec politics for many years and it is an
important issue for Quebec Greens. They also have an ongoing
discussion on whether or not the movement should form a party.^ The
party received its official status on November 1, 1985. When the
party was approved, the Green party was already in the middle of a
provincial election, with voting day to be February 2, 1985. In
spite of only 4 weeks of campaign work the Greens managed to get
outstanding results considering the little time allowed for
preparation. Some third and fourth places among 12 parties were
garnered. In October of 1985, there were 24 parties in Quebec, but
by January of 1985 only 12 parties survived because the other parties
could not fulfill the various requirements of the law.
The Quebec Greens placed fifth out of 12 running in the
elections, and were the third provincial Green party in Canada after
British Columbia and Ontario. The Quebec Greens share the same
ideology as other Green parties in Canada, but they concentrate
mainly on their own local problems such as overcoming the friction
between the French, English-speaking groups in Quebec, calling
attention to their polluted rivers and lakes.
The Ontario Greens started organizing in May of 1983 and were
officially registered in July 1983. They have a number of active
chapters. Some of their chapters use consensus decision making, but
the provincial party uses a complex form of majority rule. Ontario
has a larger population than any other province, (over 10 million)
and it has the largest share of the industry. Its environmental
problems are different from those of the other provinces. There is
widespread concern about acid rain that is killing Ontario's lakes
and forests. There is concern about illegal toxic waste dumps and
spills, such as the bad dioxin leak that recently appeared in the St.
Clair River, and there is a well organized opposition to nuclear
plants. All these issues have affected Ontario's public
Following news that the Green party of West Germany had
elected members to the National Parliament, a conference formation
for a National party was organized by a group of Ontario Greens in
November/of 1983.^ About 200 people attended from across Canada.
The conference proved to be very difficult. To begin with, the
participants were unable to decide whether or not to run the meeting
by consensus. Other issues included differences between the
socialists and the anarchists, Easterners and Westerners, and the
French and English. There were also problems with a group from
Quebec who challenged the notion of having a party at all. There was
a group from British Columbia who hoped the short three-day
convention would produce a constitution for the new party.^
The May 5th Provincial election propelled the Greens into
frantic electioneering at the very moment when the new party was
trying to sort out its goals, philosophy and policies. After the
Greens of Victoria received their official status as a party, Green
members were quickly informed by the party leadership that the
election took priority. Increasingly the main focus was turned to
canvassing or signing up new members. The logical question asked by
many Greens was, "How can we run candidates with no policies?" This
was answered by president Adriane Carr very simply: "It didn't
matter, a party only needs solid policy if it gets elected."
To become an official party the law required that a party had
to run at least 50 candidates. The federal party was successful
because it had 58. It did well considering it had little money and
most people didn't even know of it, and it didn't even have a
program. The B.C. Greens pulled at least 1.8% of the votes wherever
they had a candidate running.
A National Party was created. Trevor Hancock of Toronto
became the Green interim president, to be replaced in 1985 by Seymour
Trieger of Nanaimo, B.C. In the national elections of September of
1984, the Greens ran candidates in 57 of the 282 ridings (ridings are
Canadian elections held in the different electoral districts). Only
a few of these candidates got more than 1% of the vote. Apart from
running 58 candidates in the 1984 national elections, the National
Green party is close to nonexistent. It stands for decentralization
and is therefore working in Canada as local Green chapters and
Provincial organizations rather than a country-wide centralized
Growing out of the nation's wide responses to the news of the
formation of the British Columbia Green Party, February 4, 1983, the
Green party of Canada was officially registered with the chief
electoral officer of Canada on 8 August 1983. The Greens did not
have a full-fledged party with a name on the ballot and tax-deduct-
ible standing until the day after the party had officially nominated
candidates in at least 50 electoral districts. The Green political
movement has grown at an astonishing rate, with parties budding in
most regions of the nation. The Federal party is currently
developing under a steering committee composed of those interested in
organizing the various provinces and' territories. The steering
committee from the start recognized the urgent need to meet and work
out party structure and policy personally rather than solely by
letter or phone. Thus a national convention was held on November 6th
and 7th of 1983 at Carleton University in Ottawa. All Greens were
Believing that the Green movement must have political
expression at every level, the Green provinces sent as many members
to the conference as the generosity of donors and the number of
persons expressing interest in going made possible.
The government of British Columbia introduced an extraor-
dinary legislative package in the summer of 1983 sparking the network
of community groups in unprecedented numbers to fight cuts in
services to the province's disadvantaged residents. Coupled with a
poll from a leading Canadian newspaper, The Sun, showing almost a
third of the respondents favoring neither of the two established
provincial parties, these events demonstrated the importance of Green
participation in the struggle.
Two points in the proposed legislation should receive careful
attention. First, the government attacked regional planning and
local school boards. This was perceived to be an attempt to
centralize power with the Cabinet in Victoria. This seriously eroded
democratic and consensus decision making. The second and equally
important point of struggle concerns the abolition of the Human
Rights Commission and the method used to fire its workers. These
actions were seen as not keeping in step with the Green philosophy to
encourage respect for basic human rights.^
The Toronto chapter of the Green Party of Canada has produced
a brochure for candidates to use in its federal campaign. It's
entitled "I'm Gay so I'm voting Green". It calls for the inclusion
of sexual orientation in federal human rights legislation and for
repeal of the Bawdyhause Laws, so gay people don't have to worry
about more hath raids, and so prostitutes can work in their homes
instead of endangering their lives on the street.
Derik Haldorsson, who has handled the strategy and general
organization of the Metro Toronto campaign, says half the calls to
the Green campaign headquarters are from gay people. Many of the gay
people taking an interest in the Greens are disenchanted with
Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats, because the parties don't
reflect gay concerns. Then there are the activists who see the Green
Party as a way to fit their political concerns (sexual rights, for
example) with their environmental and peace concerns. That's why
Elgin Blair ran in Toronto Davenport as an openly Gay candidate.
The Green party did have a platform during the 1984 federal
elections, though not a well defined one. They were for advocating
change, for incorporating the individual into the system and for
protecting the environment. Most of the provinces running in the
election advocated that action be taken on the following:
1. Stop acid rain through stringent government controls.
2. Strict regulation on the transportation of toxic waste.
3. Reverse deforestation and stop developing irreplaceable
4. Use soft technologies to solve energy and industrial
5. Reform and strengthen the United Nations world court.
6. Work towards a weapons freeze and phased weapons
7. Cancel the Cruise missile testing agreement with the
8. Rechannel military spending towards social programs.
1. Create jobs in areas formerly served by volunteers.
2. Create youth employment by using labor-intensive soft
technologies rather than capital intensive high
3. Build a conserver economy including recycling system.
4. Recognize that valuable social services may not be
5. Develop more worker involvement in decision making.
6. Give power back to Parliament, away from party brokers.
7. Establish representational government to avoid winner
8. Increase the public's decision making power.
9. Pro-choice on abortion.
10. Legalize prostitution.
11. Prosecute rape assault.
12. Distinguish between pornography and erotica.
The primary objective of the campaign was to force the issue
of Nuclear Power onto the other candidates. Dr. Cordon Edwards,
spokesman for the Canadian coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and
running in Pierre Trudeau's Mont Royal riding, said in a Press
release, "Our objective in this campaign is to publicize the issue of
Nuclear Power, educate the public about the renewable and
conservation alternatives and to encourage the other candidates to
take a stand on these issues."
The Greens call attention to the fact that the issue of
nuclear power has never been debated in a public forum in Canada.
Elected representatives have never voted to permit nuclear
development and during the last Federal Election campaign, conducted
only weeks after the accident at Three Mile Island, the nuclear issue
was barely raised. A fundamental principle of democracy is that those
in government are accountable to the people. The Greens feel they
have been denied an open public discussion on nuclear energy at all
levels of government. Greens question if Canadian citizens are not
allowed to register their concerns during a federal election, when
are they permitted to discuss the nuclear question?
The Small Party's electoral campaign was run on extremely
limited resources. Each candidate was self-financed and the party's
creation happened a month before the election date of February 18.
Though the odds were so obviously against them, they nevertheless won
their place in the media. The Small Party was discovered by the
media and given excellent coverage. Its most important resource was
its news-worthiness. This was exploited at exactly the right moment
to capture the media attention which continued through election day.
The campaign provided the nucleus and something of even
greater importance, the demand for a fully pledged ecological party
which proved to be a great asset to the Greens.
The Green party is supported by a wide range of ages, jobs,
and lifestyles as a result of the growing concern of people for their
environment. As controversy increases over acid rain, failures at
nuclear power electric generating stations, polluted beaches and the
problem of industrial waste, the party's focus is becoming a
mainstream concern and attracting the interest of more and more
Dr. Trevor Hancock, a health department physician in Toronto,
founder and organizer of the Ontario Greens, also involved in the
Ecology party in Britain in the early 1970s states:
The party doesn't see itself as being on the left-right
spectrum. Rather, its philosophy runs along the lines of
small is beautiful and therefore state socialism or multi-
national capitalism are equally wrong.
Hancock urged the Greens to look for the immediate 2% solutions to
the problems and save the 100% solutions for the long term during the
No matter how different the Green Party is from the other
political parties, they still share a common problem with them,
reliance on and the constant shortage of money. The Greens believe
in a decentralized financing formula of splitting donations that come
from the riding association on a 80-20 basis. The association netted
the 80% to build strong local organizations. It is the only way to
nourish the party's grass roots, for the party to grow in number,
ideas and influence in all areas of the province.
On the average, it is estimated that only one out of every
five Green members donates money to the Green Party, and of those who
do donate the estimated average is 40 dollars per year which is an
out-of-pocket donation of 10 dollars after a tax credit rebate from
the provincial government.
Below a membership of 5000, it is difficult to make this
decentralized financing formula work. But without decentralized
financing, the Greens can't grow in membership, regional riding
support, or decentralized decision making. It is a classic dilemma.
In an effort to keep its members abreast of the financial situation,
a breakdown of expenses is published regularly in the Green
newspapers along with a projected budget regularly for all to
Another problem the Greens encountered during their election
campaign occurred when a husband and wife team tried to campaign for
the same seat. Laurie Gourlay and his wife Jackie Moad wanted to
share the same riding, something that had never been done in Canada
but has been successfully done in the Green Party of West Germany
where a husband and wife team share a seat and serve half a term
each. The Green husband and wife team, however, ran up against the
Canada Elections Act, which forbids two individuals from the same
party to run in the same riding.
In a bid for equal broadcast air time, the Federal Court of
Canada dismissed a perennial fringe candidate's bid to have the
televised leader's debates expanded or cancelled. John Turmel, of
Ottawa, had asked the court to force the television networks to
include the leaders of the nation's 16 other registered political
parties or cancel the debates as unfair.
The ruling was handed down only hours before the French
language debate started in Montreal. Prime Minister John Turner,
Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney, and New Democratic
Party leader Ed Broadbent debated as the parties had always done,
locking out other points of view.
In Toronto, Ontario, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Potts
rejected a similar move by Marc Gauvin of Ottawa, an associate of
Turmel, who asked for an injunction against the debates. In a
five-page decision delivered in Ottawa, Federal Court Justice Francis
Muldoon said, Giving equal time to all candidates could be less
fair than not giving time. Such an arrangement could be most unfair
to those whom the vast majority of voters have favored at the polls."
The judge wrote, "Pretending that a plethora of parties expressing a
cacophony of contending policies is all of equal weight is more than
a parliamentary democracy can with reasonable stability withstand".
Judge Muldoon did, however, criticize the Federal regulators for not
giving the broadcasters clear directions on how they could provide
equitable election coverage.
Voting in Canada takes place between 8:00 and 9:00 A.M. local
time across six time zones at about 70,000 polling stations in 282
Federal Constituencies. An estimated 16.5 million Canadian citizens
18 years of age or older are eligible to vote. The preliminary
voter's list had 16.1 million names but the number was expected to
increase by up to 2% before the final voter's list was completed
August 28th. The average number of voters in each riding was 57,347.
A total of 1,449 candidates competed for the 282 seats in the
House of Commons. Of these, 1,365 represented the 11 registered
political parties, 61 were independent candidates, and 23 claimed no
political affiliation. The Liberals, progressive Conservatives and
the New Democrats each had 282 candidates; the Rhinoceros party had
89; Parti Nationaliste 75; Libertarians 72; Party for the
Commonwealth of Canada 65; Green Party 60, Confederation of Regions
Western Party 55; Communists 52; and the Social Credit 51.
Eleven political parties were registered by the Elections
Canada and had their names on the ballots because they nominated the
required 50 candidates or more.
In the past the Liberals have won 19 elections, the Tories,
13. As of 1984 the Liberals had held office for 70 years, the Tories
for 49 years. None of the 32 general elections before this one
brought into office fringe parties except for the Conservatives in
1958 and the Liberals in the years of 1968, 1974, and 1980.
The organizers of the Green party were realistic enough to
know they would not be electing any members to parliament, . but
idealistic enough to hope their concepts might help to save the
world. First time out the Greens ran against seven political
parties. First there was the Rhinoceros Party, which has probably
gotten more attention than any of the other parties, simply by its
technique of witty absurdity. Montreal party leader, Francois Gourd
refused to say what the Rhino's program was, because, he said, "The
Rhinos announced it last time around and the Liberals and the Tories
stole it. This time we are leaving it up to the Liberals and Tories
to come up with their own and they're obviously having some trouble
doing so." Gourd did say that the party was in favor of sex because
it is big business, so they might as well nationalize it. Rock'n
roll was endorsed because there's nothing the Russians fear more,
except maybe blue jeans. The party was founded in 1963 by an
otherwise normal Quebec doctor, Jacques Ferron, who had heard about a
Municipal election in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in which a hippopotamus
almost won. The first and current leader is his Horniness Cornelius
the first, chief Du Parti Rhinoceros, currently a guest of the zoo in
San Diego California. The party has 89 candidates, mostly in Quebec
(53) and Ontario(ll).
During the 1984 federal elections the Communist party of
Canada fielded 52 candidates across the country, mainly in Ontario
(21) Quebec (11) and British Columbia (10). The Communist program is
jobs, peace, nationalization of the banks and Canadianization of the
economy. Present leader of the Communist party is William Kashtan of
Toronto. The party has existed in Canada since the Russian
revolution in 1917. The party was outlawed during World war II, but
overcame that handicap by changing its name to the Labor Progressive
The Libertarian party is at the opposite end of the political
spectrum from the Communist. Libertarians argue that the least
government is the best government. It has 72 candidates and won a
seat in every metro riding except one. The party leader is Denmos
Corrogan. The party wants to reduce the Federal deficit without
increasing taxes by selling off crown corporations (government owned
logging businesses) cutting subsidies to businesses, and special
interest groups, and eliminating family allowances. The party was
formed in 1973 and ran its first federal candidates in 1979.
The Parti Nationaliste is a Quebec phenomenon, representing
an effort by some elements of Parti Quebecois to move their
separatist message into the federal field. It fielded 51 candidates,
all in Quebec ridings. It was founded in 1983 by the Parti
Quebecois, Marcel Leger. The leader is political scientist Denis
Moniere, who promises a nationalist Quebec.
The Western Party is a semi-independent party. The
Confederation of Regions Western Party ran 55 candidates in Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. It developed out of the
western separatist movement, but its present political philosophy is
vague, aside from its hostility towards the east.
The Social Credit Party has been virtually absent in national
politics for the past four years with the demise of both its western
and Quebec wings. It attempted a comeback in the west with 51
Social Credit was formed in the early 1930s and won
power in Alberta in 1925 under Premier William Aberhart. It
advocates an intricate monetary theory it claims would solve Canada's
economic problems. The leader is Ben Bissett. The Social Credit ran
6 candidates in Ontario, 22 in Quebec, 15 in Alberta, 7 in British
Columbia and 1 in New Brunswick.
Finally there is the Commonwealth Party, that had 65
candidates nominated, mostly in Ontario and Quebec. The party calls
for the establishment of a Republican state in Canada as an offshoot
of a right-wing American party founded by Lyndon La Rouche, who ran
in the 1984 United States presidential election. The Commonwealth
party calls for Canada to develop laser beam weapons for both
economic and defense reasons. What is needed according to the
commonwealth, is to create jobs by means of a good expensive arms
The 282 winners will each get a seat in the House of Commons,
an office and staff on Parliament Hill, funds for a constituency
office back home, free transportation back and forth, an annual
salary of $52,815, and a tax free expense allowance of $17,640 per
year (Canadian dollars. Candidates are also reimbursed by the
government for campaign costs if they obtain at least 15 percent of
the votes cast to a maximum of 50 percent of allowable election
expenses. The Prime Minister gets a salary bonus of $60,000 and free
lodging at 24 Sussex Drive. The cabinet ministers, the Speaker and
the Opposition Leader receive a salary bonus of $40,425 a year.
According to past trends, about 80 percent of losers will collect
less than 15% of votes in their ridings and will forfeit the 200
dollar nomination deposit and the right to reimbursement for campaign
The benefits to becoming an official party for the Greens is
that it allows them to organize constituency associations, nominate
candidates in provincial elections, accept contributions and give
official reciepts for tax purposes.
Although only a year old in 1984 and with little national
organization, no constitution, or clearly defined set of policies,
the Greens have succeeded in running fifty-seven candidates in 6
provinces from Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island. The Greens
came in fourth in 34 of those ridings, and fifth in another 13
The Greens have established themselves as Canada's fourth
serious political party. Nearly 27,000 Canadians voted Green.
Thousands of Canadians for the first time heard about the party, were
exposed to Green ideas and issues, and had a chance to vote for a
According to Dr. Trevor Hancock, the major media almost
totally ignored the Greens during the election and completely ignored
them after the election. Although they have made a promising
beginning, they still have a long way to go. The next Federal
elections won't be until 1989, by which time, Dr. Hancock declares,
the Greens will have to make some changes:
Greens will concentrate on running in municipal elections.
Become involved in local issues, and develop policy to deal
with local problems. They will build coalitions with local,
provincial and national groups that share the same values.
Run in provincial elections, and build provincial parties.
Only when the Greens have done this will they be ready to
form a truly national party, based on a federation of strong
provincial parties and local chapters. Until then the Greens
need a simple, but effective constitution, a minimum national
organization and lots of trust and faith in each other and
in what they stand for.
Dr. Hancock feels one important area that must be developed
based on Green experience in this election, is democratic reform. It
is an area that the Greens feel they can make their own, since it is
an important part of their own philosophy, an area the major parties
will not move on and that will receive support from an electorate
that was frequently annoyed by the electoral system, the failure to
discuss issues, the mindless jingles and the poor media coverage. In
addition, the Greens stress a need for greater local autonomy and
decentralization in areas such as education, energy production,
social health services priorities for resource conservation,
environmental protection, meeting basic human needs and maximizing
human potential. Dr. Hancock urges Greens to push for:
1. Participatory Democracy including direct decision mak-
ing on major national and provincial issues via referenda.
2. Direct participation in the election of a national leader.
3. Proportional representation either as a supplement to
present parliamentary seats or as a directly elected
Senate using a five percent cut-off to avoid the problems
of the Israeli system with its one percent cut off point.
4. More free votes in parliament.
5. More power to parliamentary committees to investigate
6. A Federal ombudsman (in New Zealand and some Scandinavian
countries, an appointed official charged with investigat-
ing reports and complaints of malfeasance by government
agencies or officials against private citizens).
1. No public opinion polls to be published during elections.
2. Reduction of advertising, elimination of mindless jingles
and insistence upon factual, policy-oriented advertise-
3. For all registered political parties running at least one
candidate in every province and in at least 50 percent of
the ridin^g to be given the right to equal media
Although disinterest and some dissension have thinned its
ranks, the Green party of Canada has retained its unorthodox policy
and a deliberately loose organization. It promotes the idea of small
scale enterprise and environmentally clean methods of production.
Canada's central focus is on the preservation of the environment,
whereas the Green parties in West Germany as well as others outside
Canada, more emphasize nuclear disarmament. Adriane Carr of
Vancouver, president and co-founder of the Green Party of B.C., says
her party believes in private ownership on a small scale and in
involving people in government in a far more democratic way. Added
Dr. Hancock, "The Greens see economic growth as a problem, not as a
solution. The Party treats its lack of traditional political
organization as a virtue, and has decentralized policy making and
financing more than any mainstream party has ever dared to do. It
has no back rooms and in some provinces no front rooms either. The
party has no national leader. In Montreal it does not even have a
The B.C. Party, which fielded candidates and lost in four
ridings in the May, 1983, provincial election, now claims about 500
members compared to 1,500 members in 1982. The Ontario Party, the
second largest Green party in Canada with 350 members, has a
coordinating committee instead of an executive and rotates the
chairing function at monthly meetings. Dr. Hancock estimated fewer
than 100 members in each of the Green parties of other provinces.
But the Greens qualified for preliminary registration as a federal
party by supplying the chief electoral officer with the names of 100
The Greens learned a great deal from the 1982 campaign, for
instance how to get material printed, and how to get in touch with
the CBC (Canada Broadcasting Co.). The election and the party ran as
much on a moral framework as on specific policies. Greens didn't
define the specific policies, thus in a sense letting themselves off
the hook. What the Greens advocated was a major change in society
based on the belief that humans will eventually kill themselves
through pollution or nuclear annihilation. The Green's message is
that we must learn to live in harmony with the environment and with
each other before it is too late.
Their most specific policy plank, however, is proportional
representation in Parliament, similar to the system in West Germany.
By winning seats according to a percentage of the popular vote, small
parties would be given a voice in Parliament. Though their goals
suggest massive changes, the Greens have modest expectations this
time around. The elections have given the Greens a forum to
publicize their ideas.
Outside of that they are delighted to finish fourth behind
the major parties on their first time out.
The Greens were very selective about where they ran their
candidates so as not to harm members of established parties
sympathetic to their views. For instance, there were no Green
candidates challenging the New Democrat incumbent Daniel Heap in
Spadina, where just a few hundred votes might have decided the race.
However there is no behind-the-scenes alliance between the Greens and
the NDP. The Greens have also gone to great lengths to dissociate
themselves from John Turmel, a perennial fringe candidate who
attempted to run under the banner of Ottawa Centre, as the Greenback
wing of the Green Party in order to win support from the Green
constituency though he was not a Green member.
GOVERNMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL POLICIES
The Green movement's ecological ideals sprang from the
pacifist and environmental movements of the 1960s. Apart from
strictly environmental issues, the Greens advocate an end to the arms
race and what they call aggressive consumer society. Relentless
economic expansion should be replaced by a philosophy of
self-sufficiency. This is how Greens differ from other political
parties in Canada, claims Dr. Trevor Hancock.
The Greens disapprove of big business, big unions and big
governments. They do not advocate a return to centralization to
achieve a sustainable post-industrial society. They argue that
planners must recognize the limits of the planet.
"Think globally and act locally" is one of the central tenets
of the Green Party. The Party which divides B.C. into three
bioregions manages without an official leader and speaks to the press
through bioregional spokespersons, one for each region.
The Greens are committed to proper process as opposed to
any-means-to-an-end. They pay a lot of attention to the means by
which a thing is done. Concern for not riding roughshod over the
thoughts and feelings of the individual is so sacred to the Green
philosophy that each chapter meeting in Vancouver starts off with
what the Greens call a temperature-taking round where individuals
simply express to one another how they are feeling and what they are
up to. For the Greens, personal is political and it is as important
to take care of the personal needs as it is to establish a political
The Greens would like to see the cooperative movement
explored. Greens feel this would be better than having either giant
corporations or small entrepreneurs. The Greens think that if there
are worker-owned, worker-controlled establishments and small
businesses, there is going to have a better, more flexible economy
that has greater survival value. Most people lose out when the large
corporations become the unit of production in society.
Decentralization of corporate power would lead to a more equitable,
more humane system.
The problem and issue in Canada as seen by the Greens is
economics. Because economics covers a wide range of human
activities, business, labor, social welfare, the environment, and
economic policy must, be included in all of these policy areas.
Indeed, economic policy forms much of the basis for other policies, a
fact which is too often overlooked by current governments.
Today there is a system in Canada which serves special
interests in the economy. Taxation, interest rates, labor markets,
incentives, subsidies to industry and use of natural resources are
all manipulated to support favored groups. Social policies are added
in only so far as they appear to support economic development. The
Green Party takes the opposite view. The economy is to serve people,
not the other way around.
Green Party economic policy is a extensive package based
first on the needs and desires of all individuals in the society.
Green economic policy therefore addresses employment, work style,
incomes, social services, industry, small business, natural resources
and energy, and equitable distribution of wealth not as separate
sectors or issues but as closely interdependent factors.
The Canadian economy is being threatened by high
unemployment, increasing social alienation, rapid depletion of
Canada's natural resources and poor distribution of wealth. The
traditional understanding of the economy is one concerned primarily
with production of goods and services for market exchange. The
nation's economic performance is controlled by varying the amount of
money available for production, by increasing the efficiency of
production and by increasing the demand for goods. This view of
economics, with its emphasis on producing large quantities of goods
at, the lowest possible price, has several ramifications as assessed
by the Greens.
It increases centralized control of capital. A large
portion of the capital market operates outside of local
control with little regard to local social economic needs.
It increases the trend toward automation; capital intensive
production is favored over labor intensive production. The
number of jobs available for laborers in Canada is
decreasing, resulting in high unemployment. This loss of
jobs means that more and more people feel that they cannot
contribute to society.
It encourages the production of lower quality goods.
Goods which do not last long will require more frequent
replacement. This keeps volumes up (supposedly helps the
GNP) but ignores the hidden costs, the waste of energy and
raw materials. It causes the rapid depletion of natural
resources by m^cimizing short-term profits without regard to
The Greens claim industries have operated on the principle of
unlimited exploitation of the forests, fish and agricultural soil.
The air and water have become badly polluted simply because polluting
is a cheap way to operate. Pollution control cuts down on profits.
The system in Canada encourages the concentration of wealth into
the hands of fewer and fewer. The division between rich and poor
grows wider. Also, since large financial interests tend to have
disproportionate control over government, the tax system becomes less
equitable and the middle and working classes find themselves carrying
a greater and greater tax burden, more so than the wealthy.
Greens claim this inequity causes people to value social status,
success and failure, esteem and feelings of self worth in terms of
income and accumulation of wealth. The use of money as the measure
of achievement in the society does little to enhance or reward such
things as sharing, cooperation, love. It ignores a large area of
activities which virtually everyone is involved in: the informal
The informal economy is largely overlooked and generally
misunderstood. A large portion of peoples' lives lie outside
of the formal or market economy. These sources of informal
economy may involve homemaking, gardening, childcare, home
maintenance, exchanging goods and services ji^Lth neighbors,
nontraditional forms of self employment, etc.
Although Green estimates of informal economic activity
approach 50% of the GNP, since no cash flow is measured, conventional
economic adjustments ignore or discriminate against this sector. For
example, consider an oven bought by a house-hold, as opposed to
bought by a restaurant. The restaurant purchase is classified as
capital investment and is allowed tax exemptions and depreciation
write-offs, while the household purchase is considered as
The economic philosophy of the Canadian Greens is founded on
the principles of nonviolence, stewardship and human rights. The
principle of nonviolence includes commitment to phased, negotiated,
world-wide nuclear disarmament. It also includes the recognition
that every oppressive relationship constitutes violence against the
oppressed, whether the oppression is physical, social, economic, or
Stewardship implies that the biosphere and, ultimately,
universe, must be preserved, healthy and intact, for future
generations. Human rights, defined by the Greens as meaning
every human being has the right to food, clothing, shelter,
health care, and due process under a system of equal justice.
Limited only by the two previously stated principles, every
human has the right to control his/her body and mind, the
right to express h^/her thoughts and to acquire education
as and when needed.
The economic philosophy of the Green Party influenced by the
belief that social progress is effected through cooperation and
respect, not through coercion. It is through redefining the value
structure in terms of what is ecologicaly and humanly reasonable as
measured in terms of long-term affects on nature, environment, and
the social consequences. This is not to say that the Canadian Greens
are against material gain and technological innovation and
marketplace transactions. The Greens are advocating a reasonable
rate of progress that limits excessive accumulation wealth and the
advancement of the marketplace activities and technologies so long as
these activities dont violate the principles of non-violence,
stewardship, and human rights. In accordance with the economic
philosophy, the Canadian Greens have outlined the following economic
1. Individuals shall have control over their economic
environment. Individuals working for, or with, other
individuals must have control over their jobs.
2. Communities must have control over the economic
enterprises operating within them.
3. The distribution of wealth must be equitable. All
individuals must have basic financial security.
Participation in informal economic activities will be
recognized as having value.
4. There will be an equitable tax system.
5. The use of Natural resources will be controlled:
a. Renewable resources will be fully replaced;
b. Nonrenewable resources and energy resources and
energy will be taxed at rates to ensure recycling;
c. There will be no extemalization of <^)sts such as
reforestation and pollution cleanup.
All individuals would receive, unconditionally, a base level
of financial support equivalent to the current level of welfare after
taxes (plus 25% for each dependent to a maximum of 1.5 times the base
amount per household).
All individuals who actively engaged in paid employment, self
employment, volunteer or community service etc., or who are the sole
support of one or more dependents, or who are engaged in a recognized
education or training endeavors for at least 50% of a working year
would receive unconditionally a level of support equivalent to 1.5
times the base amount per household. This income would be tax free.
All income earned above these levels would be taxed. The eligibility
of volunteer and community work and of self employment would be
Greens maintain the term social welfare as applied to
individuals in society refers to their health, employment,
opportunities for self improvement and social interaction and their
guarantees against hardship resulting from sickness, disability,
unemployment, old age, desertion, widowhood, etc. There are several
options available to assure financial security such as (a)
guaranteeing basic needs, (b) equal distribution of wealth regardless
of individual contribution, (c) basic needs guaranteed provided with
the stipulation that specific social norms are observed, or (d) basic
needs furnished in return for labor.
In evaluating the options, the Greens find option (a) reflects
the current state of welfare, a barely adequate level which is
resorted to when all else fails. It is generally accompanied by
social stigma. It also incorporates the poverty trap. Any attempt
by a family to rise above the poverty line by its own efforts is
automatically frustrated by the loss of welfare benefits. This
system is both humiliating and self defeating. Option (b), equal
sharing, wouid certainly remove financial insecurity but would also
remove incentives to any work at all. It is recognized that
individual creativity and endeavor is what creates wealth and the
society must continue to give every encouragement to such enterprise.
Options (c) and (d) provide a reasonable standard of living while
leaving open the opportunity of increased income. Option (d) also
recognizes a two-way interaction between an individual and the
society; while an individual has the right to expect a reasonable
income from society, he or she has a concurrent obligation to
contribute to that society.
The Green Party supports this last option. They believe that
individuals who work, he it volunteer, community service, public or
private sector, are contributing to society. This contribution
arises not only through the generating of wealth and the provisions
of services but also in less tangible ways such as social and
creative contact with other individuals and through people's sense of
The benefits are that financial security is assured for
everyone. This plan also contains incentives for people to work, but
the kind of work is very flexible. The plan maintains the incentives
there have always been for increasing personal income. It provides
security for those in the arts or those activities which have not
previously been recognized in the traditional economy, such as
volunteer and community work. It recognizes single parents and
allows them to devote their time to their family without the drudgery
of often poorly paid work. It continues to recognize and reward jobs
which are held in high regard.
The Greens argue that the costs of a Guaranteed Annual Income
would be offset by the elimination of current payments and tax
expenditures such as social assistance, unemployment insurance,
workmen's compensation, family allowance, child tax credits, Canada
Pension Plan, and most other pension plans. With the advent of the
Guaranteed Annual Income plan subsidies and tax incentives to
economically unprofitable firms and all job creation payments and tax
credits could be terminated. Marketing boards and agricultural
payments could also be eliminated. All of these programs were direct
or indirect payments from one group in the government to another and
were designed to provide financial support to individuals but with
the Guaranteed Income plan these services become redundant. Further
savings would be realized from elimination of administration of the
programs. Additional revenues would be raised through more equitable
taxation of earned income.^
Greens propose this program to be administered through the
current income tax system. Guidelines would be developed concerning
the nature of self employment, volunteer and community work, and
these would be implemented at the local level. There could be a
personal and corporate income tax reform. All income received by an
individual would be subject to a flat rate tax with the following
exceptions only (Note this section, A thru C is currently under
a. that received under the Guaranteed Annual Income Plan;
b. that invested in employee owned enterprises or in an
economic development bank;
c. that dona^gd to recognized charities or other recognized
The rate of tax levied on personal income would be dependent
upon the source of income. Sources of income would be grouped as
a. paid employment and self employment dividends from 100%
employee owned corporations
b. interest from savings, investments in employee owned
corporations or economic development banks dividends and
capital gains from small eligible Canadian Corporations
c. dividends from eligible Canadian corporations and capital
gains from Canadian investments
d. other dividends from nonmilitary or military related
corporations, other capital ga^s from nonmilitary or
military related corporations.
All profit received by corporations would be subject to a
flat rate tax with the following exceptions ( A and B are currently
a. that reinvested in employee owned enterprises or in an
economic development bank;
b. that donated to recognized charities or other recognized
The rate of tax levied on corporate income would be dependent
upon the nature of the corporation and would equal the rate of the
corresponding personal income tax.
a. employee owned corporations
b. small business eligible Canadian Corporations
c. other eligible Canadian Corporations
d. other corporations (nonmilitary or m^Jitary related)
e. military or military related corporations
that Canada's tax system is seen by the Greens as
inequitable, difficult to administer and at the risk of collapsing
because billions of dollars go untaxed because of tax shelters that
legally allow and encourage tax evasion. Another problem mentioned
is that individuals utilize tax advisors to avoid paying taxes, and
the wealthy pay no more than those with average incomes.
The Green Party's primary concern is to stimulate
environmentally and socially sound economic growth, expand
employment, increase equity in distribution of wealth, and increase
the control individuals and communities have over their economic
environment. Inherent in these objectives is the necessity to modify
the income tax system.
There are three basic issues which the Green Party tax
addresses. The first principle on tax policy is that all revenue
flows should be subject to taxation at some point between their
creation and consumption. However, any given flow should be taxed
only once. For example, if a firm produces and sells a product, the
revenue generated net of costs should be subject to taxation in the
hands of the owners of the firm. The costs of production are in turn
revenues to others, workers, suppliers of raw materials, etc. and
should be taxable in the hands of these parties.
A second principle concerns equity. There are two concepts
of equity, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal equity refers to the
notion that high incomes should pay the same tax. Vertical equity
refers to the notion that higher income individuals should pay a
higher proportion of their income in tax. This is what has become
known as a progressive tax structure.
The third principle is the recognition of the source of
income, that is whether income is derived from investment or
employment and further whether it was earned by an individual or a
corporation. The current system in Canada discriminates against
income earned from employment, particularly at the lower end of the
The current progressive tax system has rates approaching 50%
for very high incomes. This high marginal rate encourages the use of
tax shelters and tax dodging. It has been estimated that a flat rate
of 15% to 30% could provide all the necessary revenues to Canada.
This lower flat rate combined with the elimination of most shelters
would decrease the tax avoidance. A flat rate on all income above
that of the Guaranteed Annual Income is the progressive tax rate.
The only tax exemption on income under this policy (other
than the Guaranteed Annual Income and charitable donations) is income
invested back into economic development. The Greens refer to this
as, "an expenditure-based tax system which swings incentives away
from consumption towards savings." It encourages individuals to
invest in employee-owned ventures (to provide capital at a
predetermined rate of return) or in economic development banks which
in turn would invest in enterprises environmentally and socially
The Green theory is that employee-owned firms will increase
worker and community control over their economic environment, tend to
have greater economic practicability than equivalent but more
traditionally operated firms, and are inclined to be more
ecologically sound. Full taxation of capital gains also increases
the tax equitability. A higher tax rate on outside share dividends
will require firms to compete more actively for capital, and they
will have to perform better to remain attractive. Greens allege
Canada's present tax system discriminates between personal and
corporate income on many grounds.
In theory, corporate income should simply be attributed to
the share holders (be they employees or outsiders) and be
taxed as personal income. Alternatively, one could tax
corporations and allow tax-free distribution of this income.
Currently Canada does not follow either route. First there
is a separate rate for corporations and for individuals.
Second, there is distinguishing between large and small
firms. Insofar as two corporate tax rates exist, both of
which differ from personal rates, there is a need for a
separate tax on dividends. This in turn creates the require-
ment for a divided tax credit in an attempt, mostly unsuc-
cessful, to account for corporate tax paid so as to avoid
double taxation. Moreover, the low small business tax rate,
in conjunction with these other features, makes it necessary
to tax the capital gains arising from share ownership. If
such gains were not taxed, shareholders could simply arrange
to take equity investment ^turns in the form of capital
gains rather than dividends.
In short, the tax system is unnecessarily complex. The key
to the solution of this problem as perceived by the Greens is to tax
firms and individuals at the same rate. It makes no difference
whether the tax was paid by the corporation or the individual owners.
Green Party policy would tax individuals for simplicity's sake. Only
the dividends paid to foreign shareholders would be taxed at the
source. The small business, which is defined by the Greens as an
independently owned and operated business that employs 10 or fewer
employees, would have dividends and capital gains earned from a small
business subject to a lower tax rate than a nonemployee-owned
corporation. After-cost revenues which are reinvested in the
business would be exempt from taxes.
Education and management advisory services would be made
available to all small business entrepreneurs and knowledge of small
business operation principles would be required of all small business
entrepreneurs prior to their receiving loans from an economic
The Greens claim it is small businesses, not big corporations
that are responsible for most new jobs and most of the Canada's
economic growth and that they are more productive and innovative as
well. (By contrast the top 1000 companies in the U.S.A. produced
virtually no job growth during the 1970s).
The Economic Policy Committee of the Vancouver Green party
reports one million business concerns, comprising 98% of the economic
decision making units and providing 65% of the total paid employment
in Canada, can be classed as small business. Small business are the
backbone of the community providing high-quality services to and for
their community. The small businesses are aware of the needs of the
community and the environment, and tend to think of the long term
rather than the short term profit. The dedication, hard work and
long hours which a person is willing to put into his or her own
business cannot be matched by an outsider owned major corporation.
According to Greens, the two major problems facing small
business are financing and sound business practice. Economic
development bank funds would be readily available to small business
ventures which were considered a higher priority than larger
ventures. As for the lack of sound business practice, a common
problem and reason for failure of small business is lack of knowledge
of book work and sound business operating principles by the owners.
Green Party policy would encourage education programs about small
business operations, government requirements, tax laws and the
development of management skills. A condition of receiving a loan
from an economic development bank would be that the prospective
borrower either have a proven track record in small business
operation or be required to take some training.
The economic development banks would be established in each
geoeconomic region of Canada (several per province). They would have
two functions, to provide investment opportunities for individuals
and to provide venture capital to businesses deemed to be socially
and economically worthwhile.
Greens claim the current investment system operating in
Canada is faulty. It is the private investor who loans money to a
business in return for a share of the profits. Generally the
investor is not involved in the operation of the business, most often
the investor lives elsewhere and is seeking the maximum return for
his investment. This tends to lead to capital-intensive business
operations which maximize short-term profits without due regard for
long term viability, without due regard for the natural environment
and without due regard for the social and economic climate of the
community in which it operates.
Green party policy is to stimulate business which is locally
and/or employee controlled, which operates on a self sustaining basis
with regard to its natural environment and which uses socially and
environmentally sound technology.. In addition it is the policy to
encourage entrepreneurship and individual investment in the economy.
Locally operated Economic Development Banks are one strategy
the Greens feel will help in achieving these goal's. In this system,
each geoeconomic region would establish an Economic Development Bank.
These banks would come under Federal or Provincial charter but would
be operated and managed locally. The elected managing boards would
consist of local business, public and lay persons as well as
representatives from larger regional concerns. They would operate as
a nonprofit, nonsubsidized business.
Operating funds would be derived from individuals who have
investment funds available. Investments in the bank would be made at
fixed predetermined rates of return and would be competitive with
other investment vehicles. The banks would loan funds to businesses
at fixed rates of interest. A majority of the funds would go to
local ventures while a portion would go into larger regional pools
for larger ventures.
The priorities would generally follow these guidelines:
economically viable, employee owned, small business, environmentally
self sustaining, labor intensive, socially and economically
acceptable to the community and beneficial long term. Loans would
also be made available on a regional or provincial basis to
environmentally sound capital intensive ventures which involve
research and development or that would be internationally
competitive. Loan insurance or guarantees would be handled at the
Each province would be divided into several geoeconomic
regions. The use of natural resources, public utilities, the
transport of food, energy, raw or processed materials and
manufactured goods between any two regions would be taxed at a rate
commensurate to the full cost of using such transportation resources.
The Green Party policy intends to bring about two things in this
policy. In those areas where Canada is internationally competitive
without being environmentally destructive, such industries would be
fostered. In the specific areas of energy, food, building materials
and clothing production, Greens feel Canada should he as self
sufficient and decentralized as possible.
Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, B.C.,
Canada, Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado.
Rolf Bramann, Leader of Quebec Green Party, Canada, Letter
to Amir Piroozi, 28 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir Piroozi,
Kevin Annett, "A Green Twig Sprouts," British Columbia
(Canada) Canadian Dimension, November 1983, p.13.
^Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, B.C.,
Canada Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado.
Rolf Bramann, Leader of Quebec Green Party, Canada, Letter
to Amir Piroozi, 28 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir Piroozi,
Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, Canada,
Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado
^Kevin Annett,"A Green Twig Sprouts," November 1983, p.6.
^Rolf Bramann, Leader of Quebec Green Party, Canada, Letter
to Amir Piroozi, 28 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir Piroozi,
Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, B.C.,
Canada, Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986, Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado
Rolf Bramann, Leader of Quebec Green Party
Letter to Amir Piroozi, 28 March 1986, Personal
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado
Glen Makepeace, Member of Green Party in Lillooet, B.C.,
Canada, Letter to Amir Piroozi, 16 March 1986 Personal Files of Amir
Piroozi, Denver, Colorado
B.C. Greenspeak, printed by the B.C. Green Party, VOL.12,
^Larry Anderson, "Greens Urged To Fight Legislation,"
B.C. Greenspeak, VOL. 12, September 1983
Glen Wheeler, "Gay and Green", Unknown publisher
Alexander Goldsmith, "Green Party For Ganada", Unknown
Financile Post, "The Green Party Pops Up In Toronto,"
(Canada) 17 May 1984, pg. 5
Paul George, "The Party Needs 5000 Members To Function,"
The Green Party News Letter, Vol.l, June 1983
Toronto Star, "Green Party Bicycles Into Scarborough West,"
by Shaw Mirron, 1 August 1984
The Toronto Star, "Court rejects Bid To Hault Debate Or
Have 16 Other Candidates Join"
^Toronto Star, "Guide For Trivia Buffs," Aug. 84, No author
Toronto Star, "Record Number of Fringe Parties Push Their
Chances," by Robert Duffy, 1984
The Green Party News, Vol.l No.6 by Trevor Hancock, Natonal
Leader of 1984
John Hay, "The Struggling Greens", (Ottawa) unknown
Globe Mail Aug. 31, 1984, By Stephen Burnt, Toronto
Sherri Barron, "The Greening of Canada" article from
unknown Toronto newspaper supplied by Rolf Bramann (Leader of Quebec
The Courier, British Columbia, (Vancouver) Oct. 23, 1985,
"Green Machine," by larry anderson
31 Green Economics, A Policy Statement prepared by the
Economic Policy Committee of the Green Party of British Columbia,
Vancouver B.C. pg. 2.
Ibid pg 2.
Ibid pg 2.
Ibid pg 1.
^Ibid. pg 3.
Ibid, pg 3.
^Ibid. pg 3.
38_. .. o
Ibid, pg 2.
Ibid, pg 2.
^Ibid. pg 3.
^Ibid. pg 3
Ibid, pg 3
Ibid, pg 3.
The Greens in Canada are not run by one constitution that
dictates to all Greens, because the Greens are firm believers in
decentralization and the people's right to control and determine (as
much as possible) the decisions that will affect their lives and
their environment. There is a constitution that establishes the
basic goals and beliefs of the Green Parties of Canada. The
constitution was formed by a coalition of Green chapters themselves
and simply states what the basic guidelines are for the establishing
chapters, and the goals to work for.
Each province has its own chapter which in turn has its own
individual constitution that determines how the chapter will be
governed. Although the chapters share the same basic ideology of
ecology, social responsibility, participatory grass roots democracy,
nonviolence, decentralization, spirituality, and post-patriarchy,
some of the rules, regulations and bylaws may vary as pertains to the
governing of the members and the policy decisions of the chapter.
The constitution of the chapter governs the political
activity of the chapter and the registered political organizations
under the constituency associations and the electoral district
The Greens in a given province, according to the
constitutions of the Greens, are a coalition of chapters. A chapter
is defined as a fundamental political, economic, social unit and
self-grouped according to interests that may transcend electoral
boundaries, and devoted to furthering the purposes of the Greens in a
given province. The chapter may participate in local, grassroots
political action and electoral politics. At this time there are no
numbers available to show how many chapters exist in Canada, but
Greens say there is at least one Green chapter in each province.^"
The Green Chapter is the basic decision-making body of the
Greens. As long as each chapter acts in accordance with the
constitution and observes the basic guidelines set down by the
coalition of chapters, the chapter is autonomous with respect to its
choice of political objectives and strategies; its response to local
issues; choice of its own decision-making process; internal
structure; criteria for granting and revoking of membership; its
name; the resolution of internal disputes; and its growth.
The chapter is the primary source of fund raising. It is
responsible for its own finances and the allocations of its funds.
No fees can be levied on the chapter by the Greens without the
To become a member of the Greens, an individual or
individuals may join an already existing Chapter, or a new chapter
may be formed. To be recognized as a chapter, the group must receive
the endorsement of other recognized Green chapters. The group must
notify all other recognized chapters of their request to be
recognized as a chapter. The group's application is then placed on
the agenda of the next conference. If at least 75% of the recognized
chapters at a conference approve the group's request, then the new
chapter is recognized. The new chapter will then have one vote at
The Group requesting recognition as a Green chapter is
required to submit an application or a constitution describing how
the group intends to operate as a chapter. The application or
constitution must contain the name of the new chapter; the name and
address of the chapter contact; the political objectives and the
values of the chapter; membership criteria and fee (if any); and the
process by which they propose to make decisions and resolve internal
To dissolve a chapter, any chapter may initiate a proposal to
dissolve itself or another chapter. Failure of a chapter to observe
the constitution does not, however, mean automatic derecognition of
the chapter; but it may be grounds to initiate an adjudication.
Out of the chapters emerge the Electoral Associations, which
are subordinate to the chapter. The Electoral Association serves the
parent chapter by carrying out the chapter's overall political
activity. The Electoral Association is a legal entity which exists
only for the purposes of collecting contributions and fielding
candidates in elections. The Electoral Association accounts are used
solely as money channels into and out of chapter accounts for the
purpose of issuing tax creditable receipts."
In order to establish an Electoral Association, the chapter
is required to submit an application for registration to all regional
chapters. The application consists of a proposal outlining how the
chapter plans to govern the behavior of the Association and its
officers, candidates, and bank accounts; to share the association
with other chapters that might arise or already exist in the same
electoral district; and to resolve disputes among those chapters
concerning the governance of the association, according to the
constitution. When the application is made and has been approved by
the province Greens, the leader or designate of the appropriate
political party will automatically register the association with the
relevant Electoral Commission. The Electoral Associations will be
deregistered if the chapters governing the association file for
deregistration with the Electoral Commission; if the chapters
governing the association is derecognized by the Provincial Greens;
or as a consequence of the adjudication of an inter-chapter dispute.
For the most part this is a basic sampling of what most of
the Green Chapters Constitutions contain, with slight variances along
the way. For example, some chapters have no formal appointed
leaders, but instead have ad-hoc committees or rotate leadership
responsibilities. Some chapters may not permit nonmembers to attend
some of their meetings, while others are more open. Some chapters
still use a form of majority rule in their decision making process,
while most prefer to use consensus.
CONSENSUS DECISION MAKING
The value of consensus decision making is seen by the Greens
as a powerful tool for developing unity and creative decision making
because it stresses cooperative development rather than dividing the
group into winners and loser: (see Fig.2).
The Greens' preference for consensus decision making was
chosen because majority rule is seen as having several inherent
flaws: (1) it involves the assumption of competition, people often
listen to the opposition only to gain arguments for the benefit of
their own side; (2) majority rule fosters a hierarchy of power where
leaders or outspoken members have exaggerated influence over the
group; (3) there is a tendency for the participants to opt for
efficiency by settling for the better of two decisions. The full
range of options is rarely explored. It tends to keep the group in a
closed, protected mode of communication.
Consensus decision making is said to encourage strategic
openness. This process encourages constructive feedback between
participants, which in turn, fosters exploration of a range of
options to recipients of feedback.
Consensus is defined by the Greens as a group decision
reached by having the consent (not necessarily agreement) of every
member. Agreement may be total or partial, e.g., "I don't quite
agree, but I can live with it".
The process of consensus decision making is based on some
assumptions. These assumptions are a faith in people, that given all
the available information, the people will make decisions that are
best for themselves. That member's thinking and participation are
essential to the life of the group, and therefore to its decisions.
The minority, a single voice of dissent, or silent members frequently
have wisdom that is needed by the group as a whole, which they are
Consensus Decision Making VS Majority Rule: Adapted from
Consensus Deslsion Making: A Guide For The Perplexed
Unpublished paper by Larry Anderson
expected to share. Since human decisions are imperfect and
impermanent, reexamination may be necessary at some future date.
Differences are seen as opportunity for reexamination, discovery,
creative thinking, and better understanding between the members.
Some requirements Greens cite for this process to work are
that there be discipline by all members, both of themselves and of
the group. In this way the sole authority and responsibility is not
left to the chairperson alone. All members become alert to when the
group goes off the topic, or to a speaker getting cut off in mid
sentence, and they help to get the group back on topic.
Members learn to listen to each other in order to understand
rather than argue down. Good listening helps the group to identify
the difference between honest disagreement and power-tripping,
blocking for the fun of it. It sometimes helps to ask the dissenter
to offer an alternative. Truly disruptive and irresponsible behavior
soon gets exposed in this process. The group has to find a way to
handle a member who is persistent in such behavior.
When authority is delegated by consensus (e.g., to a
representative, a chairperson or a political candidate), that person
is held accountable to the group for his decisions and choices on its
behalf; and alternatively the group maintains support for that
Although there are advantages to the consensus method, there
are pitfalls to avoid. A member may change his mind to please the
group. Greens claim it is better that a person support only what he
or she can agree with, at least to some degree. Some may be tempted
to use majority vote to reduce conflict. This method does bring
about conflict, but the Greens say it is better to do so, and resolve
the conflict whenever possible rather than to force a decision and
later wonder about apathy, lack of support and seething resentment.
There are still many skeptics of consensus. Their objections
are first, that consensus will not work because you need people of
good will to make it work. The Greens note, however that consensus
works successfully for the Quakers and for several successful
industries in Sweden and Japan. Second, there is the question of
trying to make consensus work with large numbers of people. The
Greens deal with this by breaking the large groups of people into
small groups. Each of these small groups finds its consensus, and
sends a representative to the main group. That group then works out
its consensus. If none is reached, the group may try again, or
cancel the effort to be continued again at some later date. Some
Green skeptics see consensus as too slow a process because it takes
time to develop mutual trust. Green advocates of consensus say
decisions based on mutual trust and reflection are likely to be the
most satisfying ones and with practice, the process will work more
The great benefit of consensus is seen by Greens as a search
for understanding rather than persuasion and control, that reduces
the energy spent on arguments and manipulations. More energy and
will are released, when all group members are involved. Decisions are
strengthened because they express both the rational and the emotional
support of the group.
Although Canadas citizens are equal under the law, the
society according to the Greens is very unequal. The schools that
poor children attend are not as good as those which richer children
attend. The shelter and clothing available to poor children is
substandard, and as these children grow up they can expect to live
significantly shorter lives than their richer counterparts. It is
estimated that on the average, the poorest live nine fewer years than
The disadvantaged groups such as Blacks, Indians, Gays and
women in Canada suffer economic and social degradation. The Greens
say it is not uncommon to hear of job rejection, housing rejection,
ceilings on promotions, as they affect members of minority groups.
Women are still educated differently, limited in their freedoms, and
expected to carry out all the nurturing roles at home and in their
jobs, where they are paid much less than men in parallel jobs.
The Green party believes that until Canada has a society that
can accept all its members, it will not be a strong country. Until
all children have the same birthright, the communities will suffer
losses in direct proportion to the skills not developed, the talents
wasted, and the working lives shortened.
Education is seen as more than just teaching the young.
Education is seen as the continual process of peacefully mediating
change from old to new. In this process the Greens claim they are
educating each other to a common world view. The present Canadian
school system is competitive and hierarchical.
To alleviate this condition the Greens propose that there be
a structure that will promote inquiry, communication, caring and
mutual education between people of all ages. The school should be
integrated into the community and cease to be separated from
community daily life. Children should be involved in an active
community of life, leading to a responsible place in the community
for each member. The curriculum would be oriented toward not only to
providing facts and technical skills, but also to encouraging values
of ecological awareness, social responsibility and quality in human
Greens call attention to what they observe as another
situation adding to the strain on human rights in Canada, the
increasingly changing economic and employment condition of the
population. 3,353 jobs have been permanently eliminated in the
forest industry due to modernization of existing plants or permanent
closure of plants. An estimated 100,000 jobs in the United Kingdom
were eliminated by the computerization of petrol stations and the
U.K. industries have estimated a reduction of 30% in their work force
by the year 1990.
Along with the reduction of available jobs, there is the
added hardship of the simultaneous creation of new occupations that
come with new technology and the obsolescence of service jobs that
will most likely result in dislocations of the work force. This
dislocation not only forces the people to. travel to where the job
exists, but also puts strain on the ecological system.
If technology results in massive productivity gains in the
service industry, it will particularly affect the career aspirations
of many women planning to enter the labor market. Much job
displacement may be expected among professional and managerial groups
and sales and clerical workers.
The occupations seen at immediate risk by Greens are those of
proof reader, library assistant, mail carrier, telegraph operator,
draftsmen, accountant, financial advisor, administrator, secretary,
machinists, mechanic, assemblers, billing clerk, keypunchers,
cashiers, filing clerks, meter readers, shipping clerks, T.V.
repairmen, light electricians, material handlers, warehouse men,
sales clerks, and compositors.' Compared to this list, the new
occupations opening up to fill the void are few and are highly
specialized positions such as computer assisted design technicians,
computer assisted manufacturing workers, fiber-optics workers,
robotics technicians, laser/electro-optics technicians, and
The Greens contend there is a need for a readjustment program
to train and retrain Canadas work force. Older workers, low skilled
workers, poorly educated youth, native Indians and immigrants also
could be affected adversely. Most office workers will likely require
some form of retraining. (see Fig. 3)
Several proposals have been put forth by the Greens, and
others are under exploration by them. The most controversial
proposal has been the Guaranteed Income proposal. Under this plan,
all individuals or households would be guaranteed, unconditionally, a
WHY THE GREENS ADVOCATE A GUARANTEED ANNUAL INCOME
Why The Greens Advocate A Guaranteed Annual Income Adapted from
The Federated Anti-poverty Gropup Of B.C
Green Party News, Vol.l #6, 1984
level of financial support sufficient to provide the basic
requirements for food, clothing, shelter and access to education,
health care and other social needs. This level of guaranteed income
would be equivalent to Canada's currently defined poverty level.
This program would also be administrated through a negative tax
In Vancouver, another avenue is being explored to help meet
the needs of Canada's pressing social problem. The CCEC Credit Union
has been established as Vancouver's only credit union serving the
specific needs of self-help, cooperative, and community service
groups. The credit union is a viable alternative to other financial
institutions for individuals and groups whose needs are not
adequately met by banks and more conventional credit unions.
Individual members may make loans from the CCEC to meet basic
personal needs such as purchase of housing co-op shares, tools of the
trade for self employment, or loans to cover emergencies.
Small community-based organizations that would hesitate to
turn to conventional financial institutions for loans readily use the
CCEC's services because of the credit union's sensitivity to the
needs of struggling nonprofit organizations and democratically
controlled cooperatives. Individuals can become credit union members
by virtue of belonging to an organization that holds membership in
the CCEC Credit Union.
The LETS system, (Local Exchange Trading System) is a new
Green economic organization that works in any community. It is a
self- regulating economic network which allows its members to
generate and manage their own (completely legal) currency system
independent of and parallel to the federal money system. It offers
communities everywhere the tools to stabilize and support their local
economy without diminishing their participation in the whole. It
allows members of the local community to exchange goods and services
on a Green dollar basis when federal dollars are scarce or
The first LETS system was begun in 1983 in Comox Valley of
B.C. Others have been started in neighboring communities, and by
October of 1984 a multi-level system was operating in Vancouver, B.C.
By the end of its first year, the Comox Valley system had a turnover
of $10,000 per month, with 450 members, and was growing at a rate of
12% per month. The Greens project that the system could handle up to
2000 members and a turnover of one million dollars per month.
LETS works as simply as having another bank account. Member
accounts hold Green dollars, a quasi-currency, equivalent in value to
the federal dollar, but no money is ever deposited or issued. All
accounts start at zero and members can use Green dollars only with
other members. If you provide some product or service to another
member, your account is increased and his/hers is decreased by the
value you both agree on. The system is thus always exactly balanced
with some of the members in credit and the others in debit.
This creates a local recirculating currency, whose
effectiveness is determined by the arrangements that there is no
obligation to trade; any member may know the balance and turnover of
another member; no interest is charged or paid on balances;
administrative costs are recovered, in internal currency, from member
accounts on a cost-of-service basis.
A LETS system can be cheaply initiated anywhere. Set-up
costs are minimal and the operation can be self-supporting
financially at the outset, even at a fraction of the system's full
capacity. Basic equipment needs are met with a home computer and
There are several features of the LETS system that
distinguish it from conventional currencies, banks and credit-card
barter systems. Conventional money systems involve the issue of
money to a population by some authority. The amount of money issued
ideally matches the productive capacity of the community, yet the
management of the money supply has always been, as it is now, a major
source of difficulties and instabilities. The volume of money in
circulation, its initial distribution and tendency to accumulate, the
question of financial backing, inflationary tendencies, problems of
fraudulence and loss, and the simple cost of maintenance are all
In the LETS system, it is the people themselves who create
the currency, and do so at the time and place where it is needed. A
negative balance means you have issued money (recorded in computer
entries only) in return for services or goods, not performed a
service. No individual is waiting for you to pay up and no one has a
claim on your assets. It's not debt, it's commitment, and you honor
it at your own rate.
For the person participating in the LETS system who spends
heavily and then is unable or unwilling to repay, the system has
advantages over the conventional money and credit system. The
defaulter in a debit position of either a temporary or permanent
inability to recompense does not restrict the rest of the community
because they are still able to continue trading with each other. The
community is not waiting as they would have to do if the defaulters
commitment were a direct cash loan, so they are not at a personal
loss. However, the community would be at risk of be defrauded by
those who might seek to make a quick monetary profit. For example, a
fellow neighbor could conceivably acquire services to do otherwise
expensive repair work or make additions to his home and sell the
house at a substantial profit without returning services to the
community. For reasons such as these the Lets system will only do
well if restricted to small and long established communities where a
bond of trust exist among its members.
Another point to be made is that the inability of an
individual to meet commitments in the cash economy is often a result
of the scarcity of money. In the LETS system, the money issued never
leaves the community. It's always available to use, or to re-earn.
And since it is not in short supply, it is less likely that
competition for it will exclude anyone from earning.
A large number of defaulters could undermine confidence in
the system. Yet the system is protected by the fact that everyone's
balance is available to all members. Because all account balances
are publicly available, any member who attempts to exploit the system
by being reluctant to earn to receive Green dollars will find it
progressively difficult to spend his Green dollars. By refusing to
deal with trade or deal with the would-be exploiter, the community is
able to protect the integrity of its own currency system.*^
The Green party encourages women to participate in political
activity at every level of the decision making process. This also
includes affirmative action. Within their own organizations the
Greens have encouraged the participation of women at all levels by
making sure there have been adequate child-care provisions so that
parents could attend and participate in the meetings. Children are
welcome in the meetings and parents encouraged to bring their young.'*''*'
The Green party advocates the replacement of school materials
which portray people in sexist stereotypes, with non-sexist material.
They advocate non-sexist life programs and sex education for all
students, appropriate to the age levels. To guarantee women an equal
education, the Greens support that provision for women's studies
courses be made in public schools, along with an inclusion of the
contributions of women to other courses of study. Every student is
to have the choice of a full range of programs and activities to
achieve excellence in nontraditional and traditional areas of
endeavor without discouragement based on sexist attitudes from
teachers or counsellors, and that access to non-sexist vocational and
academic counselling be created.
On the economic level the Greens advocate that personal
financial planning education be implemented as part of both an
elementary and secondary school curriculum to enable women to
control their own economic conditions better. To deal with the problem of
sexual harassment, Greens propose steps be taken to ensure a
procedure to address sexual harassment of students, teachers in the
current school system and in the general work place. Teacher's
associations are encouraged to negotiate sexual harassment clauses
into their contracts which would include definition of sexual
harassment and grievance procedures in the event of such
confrontation Women belonging to unions are encouraged to seek to
implement this same clause in their contracts.
The Greens advocate the right of women to equal employment in
positions of high.responsibility, with a commensurate income, and the
enforcement of equal employment standards via women's unions.
Decriminalization of prostitution between consenting adults
is being pushed for so that women may work in the safety of their own
homes without endangering their lives. For victims of rape or
assault, the Greens favor community-based financial support for
emergency centers, and promote the establishment of facilities to
teach women self defense, up to and including the instruction of
physical and mental defense in the public school system.
The Greens also support women by acting as a medium for the
distribution of information concerning women's support groups,
whether that information is printed, verbal or in the form of
seminars. The Greens participate in the forming of phone trees to
inform Green Party members of public demonstrations or other activist
events initiated by women's support groups such as Rape Relief.
Credit Union service is being looked at that would be
designed for the specific needs of single parents along with the
provision of quality child care centers and services which are
adequate to meet the needs of children from infancy to adolescence,
universally accessible, and responsive to the needs of parents and
The Greens recognize marriage and other contractual relations
as equal partnerships with equal obligations in the event of divorce
for the care and support of children. The Greens support the
alternative of a child being legally entitled to adopt the mother's
family name or the introduction of legal hyphenated names which would
include the family name of each parent.^
On the issue of abortion, the Greens have stated that without
reproductive choice for female members of a society, their value to
their society will be defined inevitably in terms of their capacity
to be mothers. And just as inevitably, the size of that societys
population will increase.
The ecological paradigm recognizes that the size of the
present population has adversely impacted most, if not all of the
earth's ecosystems. Continued growth of this population is
unsustainable in the long term.
It is recommended that a sufficient reason for a woman to
obtain an abortion be simply that she wants one. The Greens feel
that no one, whether husband, parent, father of her child, or the
community at large, has the slightest right to deny her this option
to have an abortion. Abortion is seen an a legitimate choice to a
personal problem, the ultimate choice being the responsibility of the
A fundamental value of the Green Party is careful
consideration of all aspects of life. Greens therefore work toward
providing alternatives to abortion. Greens advocate support services
for women choosing either option. Such services will help remove
pressure from decision making, e.g. guaranteed annual income;
counselling; assured quality day care; home-maker services;
post-abortion discussion groups. The Greens advocate development of
education and information programs on birthing and abortion.'*'"
Examining the problem of unwanted pregnancies, the Greens
assert that legalizing abortion only treats the symptom and
criminalizing abortion prevents neither unwanted pregnancies nor
abortions. The Green philosophy emphasizes the problem's root, by
proposing a program for preventing pregnancies. To solve the
problem, the Greens support mandatory sex education and birth control
information through school, church, home or other institutions
according to parental preference. Greens favor contraceptives being
available to adolescents, although they say more research is needed
to develop safe, effective and available birth control.
Greens promote the acceptance of responsibility by both men
and women regarding birth control and child nurturing. Government is
given neither the legal authority nor the responsibility to be
involved in abortion decisions, and performing abortions should be
removed from the Criminal Code. The Greens feel the Canadian
government should not be required to furnish the facilities for
abortion if the state is not given decision making authority
concerning abortions. Just as the separation of church and state
takes away authority of the government over the church and disallows
government patronage of the church, such is the case in the
separation of the abortion issue and the state. Greens suggest that
free standing clinics could independently provide abortion
It is reported in the Economic Review of February 1983, that
women of the world do 66% of the work, and earn 10% of the money and
own 1% of the property. The native Canadian Indian women and their
children come out even worse in this discrimination in that they lose
their status and homes for marrying non-Indians. Indian men do not
suffer this loss. The Canadian Greens think that it is time for
women to demand and receive their due in the society. According to
the Special Senate Committee on Poverty in Canada, the Native Indians
in Canada represent 5 percent of the Canadian population. They
represent 17 percent of the jail population and 39 percent of problem
children. It is estimated that 77.2 percent of the native children
will need to be taken into care while 35 percent of the adult
population will need detox.. Of these statistics is estimated that 84
percent of crimes and 100 percent of homicides committed by Indians
are alchohol-related. In large part this can be attributed to the
fact that 80 percent of the Indian population is poor.
The Greens concur that all. human beings have the right to
lead a self determined life in a safe and healthy environment. They
support the rights of all people, regardless of sex, race, religion,
sexual orientation or national origin.
They believe that lesbians and gay men should have full
access to equal opportunity in employment, including in government
agencies. It is time that child custody cases were not determined by
the sexual orientation of the parents. Greens say it is time the
government recognized that sex between consenting adults is not a
Repealing of the Bawdyhouse laws is favored by the Greens
along with the ending of raids on the bath houses. The Bawdyhouse
laws were meant to deal with prostitution and have nothing to do with
what goes on in the privacy of the baths. Currently these laws are
used to prosecute gays.
The Greens also advocate giving decision making power to the
gay people to determine as much as possible the input as to how money
is spent for AIDS research since gays are the people most affected.
They say that the AIDS Committee of Toronto should he allowed to
direct the funds to research projects.
Where practical, the Greens promote alternatives to food,
clothing and other materials derived from animals. Greens encourage
development of alternatives to animal experimentation, and the
preservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats. The Greens advocate
the prohibition of importing exotic animals, and restricting
entertainment involving animal exploitation. To reduce the needless
suffering and overpopulation of unwanted pets the Greens support
expansion of spay/neuter programs to reduce the pet population.
It is estimated that four million mice, rats, dogs, cats,
rabbits, farm animals, fish, birds and other species are killed
annually in animal experiments, by the Canadian government,
universities and industry. Animals are used in such research areas
as biology, biomedicine, development of drugs and therapeutic
chemicals, testing of consumer goods, education and extraction
Consumer goods are often tested by the L.D. 50 method (or
lethal dose of 50%). L.D. 5,0 means the amount of any substance from
cosmetics to cleaning products sufficient to kill exactly half of a
group of lab animals. In this test a tube is forced down the animals
throat, a product like detergent is forced down the tube into the
animals stomach, producing convulsions, bleeding, paralysis and
The Draize test used for eye irritants of cosmetics is the
most widely known. Rabbits have no tear ducts and can't wash away
the substance. There are other tests, but the list is too long to
include them all here. Those in favor of such tests are
self-interested companies, citizens that don't know any better, and
the Food and Drug Administration. They argue that the public must be
protected so animals must he used.
Of those against this testing, the Greens cite Dr.
Gerhard Zbinden, a world renowned toxicologist. Dr. Zbinden states:
The L.D. 50 test value in animals rarely bears any
relationship with the lethal dose in man. A high enough
dosage of any substance will result in undesirable
Enough alternatives exist that animals need not ever be
for the testing of consumer products.
One alternative to the Draize test pointed out by the Greens
is a culture alternative. Dr. Douglas at the Tufts School of
Medicine is currently working on cultivating tissue cultures of human
corneas. These human tissue, cultures will then be used instead of
animals to test toxicity of given substances on individual human
cells. Other alternatives to animals include the use of liver cells
in culture to predict biological activity, and alveolar macrophage
(the use of the cells of the lung or glands with secretory cells that
engulf foreign material and consume debris and foreign material), to
assess the effects of gases and other fumes.
Animal experimentation is also a major form of animal abuse
in universities, medical institutions and research facilities. Some
of the research is well thought out, and valuable information is
obtained without harm to the animal. On the other hand, experiments
thought up by some researchers have no legitimate purpose and yield
no new results, like monkeys being smashed against brick walls to
give mankind a better football helmet, cats testicles immobilized by
a cup-shaped device and then compressed to see if cats experience
Greens support an end to factory farming of animals which
involves sensory deprivation or physical discomfort. The abuse of
the Megafarm produces most of the chicken, turkey and beef in Canada.
The chicken is raised in a cage that is about the size of a folded
newspaper which represents the base of the cage and stands
approximately 0.5 meters tall. Five chickens spend their entire
lives in this small area. With this overcrowding, it was found that
the strongest dominated the weaker and sometimes cannibalized them.
To solve the loss of profits from this activity, farmers de-beak all
the chickens on these farms. The raising of veal calves represents
another such atrocity. The calves never see the light of day, are
immobilized in stocks (a structure that holds the head of an animal
in an immobilized position), and are fed only a liquid diet because
producers don't want dark, tough meat.
*The Constitution of the Ontario Greens, typewritten material
published by the Green parties of Ontario, August, 1984.
Anderson, Consensus Decision Making: A Guide For The
Perplexed, typed paper prepared for the Ontario Greens.
Green Party News, Agreeing And Disagreeing Amiably, (B.C.
Canada) Vol.l #6, Fall issue of 1984.
Green Party Of Canada Fields Metro-Area Candidates, Typed
material printed by the Green Party of B.C. Canada. Page 8.
^Green Party News: Special Convention Issue, (B.C. Canada)
Vol.2 #2 page 13 June 1985 issue.
'*''*'The Economic Review, (Yukon, Canada) Employment &
Emigration Canada No.115, Feb. 1983 issue Technological Change &
Employment, (Yukon) CO. LO. Nobbs, Regional Economics Service Branch,
Employment & Immigration (B.C. Yukon), March 1983 Printed Material.
B.C. Green Party News Special Convention Issue, (B.C.
Canada) Economic Policies, Vol.2, No.2 From annual general meeting
and policy convention June 29/30 and July 1 85, page 12 June 1985
The Green Party News, Vancouver Canada, CCEC Credit Union
Moves, Vol.l No.6 Fall 1984, Vancouver Green,s page 5
Green Party News (B.C. Canada) Lets Try A New Economy,
Greens of B.C., page 14
Green Party News, (B.C. Canada), Meares Protest, B.C.
Greens Vol.2, No.l Spring 85 issue page 7.
^ The Feminist Conference, Material distributed by the G.P.
Resource Center Vancouver B.C. page 2.