The Joy Of Democracy

Chris Alders

Greetings all!

All of us have reasons as to why we are politically active. For some it is wishing to advance issues that shape public discourse in their communities and the country as a whole. For others, an overriding social benefit derived from being around people who wish to change the world for the better is inspiration enough.

My own chief reason can best be summed up by the feelings attained from the privilege of inviting others into the democratic system with a view to helping people heighten their sense of citizenship. A case in point was a gathering of Greens that unfolded last evening in Springhill, Nova Scotia. This is a community that has largely been given up for dead by those charged with devising social and economic development formula. Thoughts of Springhill invariably call to mind a famous coal mining disaster and one of our country’s favourite daughters – Anne Murray.

A hopeful sign for Springhill and other communities that comprise the constituency of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is the emergence of a community-based Green Party of Canada Electoral District Association. A group of people infused with purpose and determination met at the local campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.

Such events have served to constantly remind me of the yearning that many people possess to shape and mould democratic processes and institutions to meet their own needs and aspirations. I am often awestruck at the good spirit exhibited at such meetings and this aspect was in evidence in Springhill. A person who exerted a substantial amount of effort to pull the meeting together was Darryl Whetter, a published author, CBC Radio panellist, and one of the Fifty-Two Green Party of Nova Scotia candidates who ran in the historic 2006 Nova Scotia general election. A little less than two months old, the GPNS ran a full slate of candidates, astonishing many in the process.

Atlantic Canadians are awakening to the imperatives of their time and the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Greens are poised to become a tangible democratic extension of those imperatives. To become involved please contact them via email at:

Chris Alders
Atlantic Canada Organizer
Green Party of Canada