Balancing Green Party and Church....

Elizabeth May

On Friday, I had to head back to Ottawa for the first face to face meeting of the newly elected federal Council since the August convention. Even there, we were not all together as some of the candidates for council had not been in attendance. In a party committed to grass roots democracy, the council is large, with representatives from every province and an equal number of at-large candidates. It was a very positive, collaborative meeting... with amazing progress on tough issues.

The thing I liked the best was that no one minded that I wanted to go to church Sunday morning and miss two hours of the meeting. On every and any other board I've been on, I either did not feel comfortable asking to duck out for church or the confused looks when it came up, persuaded me I shouldn't push. This morning I attended the federal council from 8:30 to 10, and when I left to catch the 10:30 service at St. Bartholomew's, promising to be back around noon, federal chair Melanie Ransom double checked what items I did not want to miss.
Smiling she said, "we'll work around your schedule." I was so touched.

What with the sudden change in plans of dropping everything (including letting down loads of people in places across Canada where I was supposed to be giving speeches or attending sessions, something I just hate, hate , hate to do as I always keep commitments to promised speeches) and spending the next month in London, I needed to re-organize my Sunday School teaching schedule. And, of course, since the parish members are my extended family, I wanted to see everyone before exploring the churches of London for the next month.

The prayers for the people offered today nearly made me cry.... The offered prayer typically prays for those in authority. Today, we prayed for "those elected and those hoping to be elected..."

Over coffee hour, everyone wanted to know what they could do to help my campaign. Well, not quite "everyone"... I didn't chat with everyone. Fellow parishioner, US Ambassador David Wilkins, for example, didn't stay for coffee hour, although last week he was very gracious in chatting with my Cape Breton family. He and I don't discuss politics and he is an enormously likeable man.. still I doubt he would have asked what he could do to help me in London North Centre!.)

So in thinking about what people outside London can do to help, the following occurred to me as worth sharing on the blog.. DO YOU KNOW ANYONE IN LONDON?? Long-lost relatives, old friends, work colleagues.??? We only have until November 27th, so please phone or email and share a personal appeal for them to vote Green in the by-election. Ask them to send a message about the climate crisis. To speak up for the 660,000 Canadians who voted Green in 2006 and did not get a voice in the House. Ask them to help all Canadians ensure a focus in the next federal election on the issues ignored in the 2006 election-- climate, Afghanistan, poverty and the need to invest in a Green economy and a long term plan for healthier communities. Once I'm an MP, there will not be a debate about including the Green Party leader in the TV debates! Ask them to vote Green on November 27th. A word of mouth campaign from friends could really help!