Tip of Iceberg, Tipping Point & Power of Green Party -- Shifting Politics

Jim Harris

Polls show Green Party Support just tip of iceberg

We’ve all seen the polls over the last year showing the Green Party of Canada at 10-14% – but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In the Ontario provincial election in October 2007, polls showed that an additional 17% of electors said the Green Party as their second choice – in other words, if they changed their mind they’d vote Green.

Another 10-15% of electors are considering voting green.

In total more than 40% of Canadians have already decided to or are considering voting Green. This is setting up the next federal election to be the Green election.

Tipping Point

In the 1988 federal election the Reform Party won 275,000 votes and no seat – and then in the subsequent 1993 general election, the party won 2.5 million votes and 52 seats – just missing becoming the official opposition by just two seats. How could the party jump from no seats to 52 seats? And win almost 10 times more votes? One simple thing.

In between the elections the Reform Party won a single seat in a by-election. Deb Grey became the lone voice in parliament arguing for the party’s position. Then in the subsequent election Reform Leader Preston Manning was included in the debates – millions of Canadians heard the Reform message and the party won almost 10 times more votes.

We are on the precipice of that same shift.

How do we know the shift is happening? Well 77% of Canadian voters believe Green Party leader Elizabeth May should be included in the televised leaders debates (it’s 80% of Ontario voters). Even a majority of electors who have decided to vote for other parties or historically vote for other parties believe Elizabeth should be in the debates.

The fact that Jack Layton desperately wants to keep Elizabeth out of the debates may encourage electors who are considering voting orange in Guelph to vote Green. The fact that Stephen Harpers desperately wants to keep Elizabeth out of the debates may encourage electors who are considering voting blue in Guelph to vote Green.

All the party strategist for the old line parties can read polls just as well as we can – and this explains how the Green Party even without seats yet is driving the political agenda in Canada.

Power of the Green Party
A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships

If you ever doubt just how powerful the Green Party is – all you have to do is look at this one fact – the Green Party which has long advocated tax shifting, taxes on non renewable resources has grown so powerful that the Liberal Party – sometimes called the natural government party because it has been in power for 70 out of the last hundred years – has taken the Green Tax Shift and made it the central focus of their campaign.

In other words, the Green Party has forced the historically most powerful party in the country to adopt our policy. That highlight how powerful we are far beyond what the media perceives. The media only looks at the tip of the iceberg, whereas we who are Green know about the profound shift that is happening below the radar. We are seeing it daily here in canvassing in Guelph.

Journalists sometimes ask me “aren’t you upset that the Liberals have stolen this key platform plank?”

There are many replies:
• Imitation is the most sincere from of flattery.

• We want to see this policy implemented, we want all parties to adopt this. We congratulate the Liberals on being the second party to adopt this!

• A rising tide lifts all ships – while the Liberals will inevitably gain some share of environmentally concerned voters, the total pool of voters concerned about this issue is growing exponentially – and as a result the Green Party vote is growing exponentially.

What is it worth the Green Party to win in Guelph?
Simply winning in Guelph will guarantee that Elizabeth will be included in the televised leaders debates.

The four debates are each 90 minutes long and are carried on five networks in prime time. Add the value of all that programming up and it’s more than $10 million. So winning Guelph is worth $10 million to the Green Party.

The Guelph campaign is rocking – this weekend there were more than 50 people canvassing in the riding – and we are just surpassing Toronto Centre – which is the riding that had the second highest number of Green identified support. And the Guelph Green Campaign will soon overcome London North Centre as the most identified Green support of any riding in Canada!

If there was ever a time to help out it’s now.

Looking at Guelph
When you look at a riding like Guelph the percentages are even higher.

3 things that take less than 3 minutes
• Phone just one friend in Guelph and urge them to
. . . o Vote Green
. . . o Get a lawn sign
. . . o Get involved in the campaign

• Join Facebook Group supporting Mike – The Guelph Greens have already surpassed Liberals in Facebook support! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-Nagy/13661623451?ref=s

• Take a photo of yourself with a sign of why it’s so important for Guelph to elect the first ever Green MP and post it on the Facebook Group above

If want to do a bit more:
• Donate one hour on the Virtual Phone Bank – calling Guelph electors and identifying the Green vote.

If want to do a bit more:

Every Volunteer who campaigns for 10 hours or more gets one of these Guelph’s Going Green T-Shirts

Let me tell you, when Mike wins on September 8, these T-Shirts are going to be priceless.

Come to Guelph for a weekend to canvass! It’s a blast. We had more than 50 canvassers this weekend. The Guelph Greens will find you accommodation and we have great BBQs at the office after canvassing. (We had fresh corn cooked on the BBQ this weekend that was exquisite). After a day we typically retire to the Wooley (the Woolwich Arms Pub which serves all local beers and local food) for camaraderie, story telling and fun. By the way the slogan of the Wooley is Think Globally, Drink Locally – a fun variation of the Green Party slogan Think Globally, Act Locally”

If you want to get up to date on what’s happening here are a few blogs: http://greenparty.ca/en/node/6550

Donate to the Guelph’s Going Green Campaign
Donations early in the campaign have a significantly greater impact than later ones. Donations now mean we can order more signs now which will take a week to arrive.
To help out

call (519) 820-6899 and make a donation by credit card. Of course you'll receive 75% of your donation off your federal taxes payable of any donation up to $400.

Alternatively, you can send a cheque made out to Tara Treanor, Official Agent for the Mike Nagy Campaign and mail it to:

The Mike Nagy Campaign Headquarters
73 Gordon Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H5