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Why isn't the Green party as popular in Canada as it is in Europe?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Why isn't the Green party as popular in Canada as it is in Europe?

I have often wondered this...
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Why isn't the Green party as popular in Canada as it is in Europe?

I have often wondered this...
#1: THomas Hartz wrote some interesting books on the political spectrum and the founding of North America by European immigrants. Often these were "splinters" of the political spectrum, alienated in their home country - coming here they basically influence the founding political thought of our continent, and since the founding that thought has been limited to a subset of the wider spectrum in Europe.

On both the left and the right, there's a bigger diversity of thought. The class divisions and political history of Europe mean there's a much larger presence of progressive/left-wing elements in their politics - enough to not just give oxygen to a vibrant green party, but very strong center-left "mainstream" lefties and communist parties that actually send voting members to parliaments (instead of collecting less than a percentage point of votes cast here in Canadian ridings!)

#2: Canada is kind of "in between" a much more narrow American politics and the wider spectrum in Europe - we still have a strong Tory bent (the American version, the Whigs, fizzled in the 1800s) and a stronger progressive politics (which had its last gasps in America in the 30s, perhaps truly dying out with the Wallace run for president after WWII). So here the green party has to compete with a progressive tradition in Canada that never died out and actually got stronger over the 20th century. But there's enough space here to make them at least have some relevance.

Look south, and their greens are truly in the wilderness. Another question is - "why isn't the green party in America as strong as it is in Canada", and I think Hartz has the key to understanding the answer to that question too...
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
^ well said but it also comes down to our voting system, there just isn't as much of a draw to vote Green if you know your MP isn't going to get in anyways and effectively your vote will get thrown out, if it was being counted towards a popular vote as in many European countries, then I would consider the splinter parties

I really think our Senate needs to be based on a provincial popular vote, or just thrown out
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Yeah first past the post is our limiter on third parties - which is probably still weaker than the American two-party system, which is really ironclad in its ability to thwart third parties. But ya, certainly a popular vote would increase diversity in our MPs...
 

Bacchus

TRIBE Promoter
I've always thought that it was because any of the Green Party policies that actually make sense are already part of the NDP Platform (other then fiscal conservatism, of course)
 
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