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Last night on "The National" Jim Harris of The Green Party was answering questions posed by Canadians around the country as well as the host, Peter Mansbridge. There were some good, hard questions broached, and although Mr. Harris was definitely doing his best to put a positive spin on the more critical topics, he did seems to have a pretty solid stance.
What really struck me was their response to health care. Mr. Harris declaired that the best solution to our health care crisis is prevention. Rather than continue to pump money into building a system merely to treat people with health issues, their goal would be to address the issues that create the health problems at the root of the cause. Although it's a long-term approach to a solution, it is also deeply ingrained in their philosophy to clean up the environment. With an estimated 50% of cancer cases considered to be avoidable, a widespread cleanup of polluting could prove to be a more efficient approach.
The biggest problems that seems to face the Greenies, seem to be dispelling myths and gaining credibility with the media. Mr. Harris complained a few times (and was quickly cut off by Mr. Mansbridge) of how hard it is for their party to get equivalent media coverage as the other parties; for example, they have yet to be invited to the leader's debates. One of the common myths is that by focusing on environmental issues, our country would be losing jobs and industries. According to Mr. Harris, and from various articles I have read in Discover magazine, it seems that it is likely a lot of current jobs may be cut, only to be replaced by jobs in newer, more environmentally friendly, industries.
I look forward to learning more about this party. Some people say a vote for green is a wasted vote, but it does seem clear that our major parties have some serious accountability issues. Perhaps the growing respect for the green party may never lead them to government, but the larger their following gets, the stronger the signal for real change will be.