a just and sustainable Canada

Organizing for a Just and Sustainable Canada

Jun 23, 2021 | Norm Reynolds | 3 comments

What if rather than wrangling over who/what party to support we come up with an easy/objective evaluator of who to support for a “Just and Sustainable Canada”? What if we make up a list and promote the list in big and small ways—road signs/hand outs due to cost of media advertising.

I am looking for your opinion on how we can work together  to ensure Canadian governments (federal and provincial) are committed to a just and sustainable Canada/BC etc.  I know/I can see eye balls rotating back in disbelief—we’ve been through this over and over and over and we have attended meetings over and over and we have watched as  meetings and efforts come to nothing –gutted of any effect by wrangling over my way/my way! /my way!!! And nothing ever comes of it.  All of us –most certainly including me—are so tired of the wrangling and the inevitable failures that it seems hardly anyone is willing to even think of giving it a go again.  I am certainly not ready to attend meetings about how to end splitting the progressive vote where the only thing that comes of it is more rancor and more discouraged people who once had such high hopes of working together for a just and sustainable country/province. And I am certainly not interested in yet another party to split progressive votes.

 But I am, also, not willing to accept the status quo where big money always wins. I am envious of the right wing in Canada which, when there is a split like the Reform /Alliance / “Progressive Conservatives” the big funders make sure that the split is remedied before the next election. I wish we, progressives, could do that but healing electoral splits  is easier for those who seek to slash our common good to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy– the big money funders lay down the law: “heal the split before the funding –or no funding. But the Left doesn’t have big blocks of funding to do that with. So we could just say “I give up” as many of us have. However I have an idea that I am soliciting your opinion on that may maneuver around the debilitating squabbling among progressives.

 What if rather than wrangling over who/what party to support we come up with an easy/objective evaluator of who to support for a “Just and Sustainable Canada”? What if we make up a list and promote the list in big and small ways—road signs/hand outs due to cost of media advertising.

What if rather than arguing over who to support we simply agree to support, on a riding by riding basis, whichever party(NDP or Green)came the closest to beating the Conservative or Liberal in the past election (provincial or federal) so that in those riding where a Conservative or Liberal won due to a split vote we could encourage our fellow citizens to vote for the candidate most likely to beat the Conservative or Liberal. Where no NDP or Green candidate came anywhere close to winning in the past election we might put a few Liberals on the list who have a strong chance of defeating a Conservative.

 We could have fun drawing up a manifesto of the Canada we believe in/want to see soon. We could, on a website, point out the positive things to be accomplished and we could enumerate the gravity of climate change and our hopes of a more equitable tax system and of bringing long term health care into our primary health care system and not supporting America’s imperial wars/attacks on other countries….

We could do all kinds things to promote a just and sustainable Canada.  I am still deeply enamored of the way that Pierre Trudeau moved our nation to patriate its Constitution so we would no longer rely on the British Monarchy to control our destiny. He brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with emphasis on minority rights, he grounded our country in not only respect for –but passion for—bilingualism and multiculturalism.

 Oh—and– I loved the Council of Young Canadians—the idea of honouring and empowering young Canadians (I was one back in those old days!) My feeling is that Pierre Trudeau made the repatriation of the constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, bilingualism/multiculturalism, an aversion for US imperial wars, and a dedication to giving our young people a hand up come together and got his majority governments from promoting his unifying vision of the easily grasped,  “A Just Society.”

We could do the same with A Just and Sustainable Canada. We could create a way to put what we agree on over what we don’t agree on.  We could create eye opening news by promoting multiple parties under one Just and Sustainable Canada banner.  There is almost no end to what we could do working together rather than pulling apart and all we have to do is agree to promote voting for the candidate supporting our vision that is most likely  to win a seat/out poll the Conservatives in a particular riding. It could mean more NDP AND GREEN and Independent candidates getting elected. It could mean a more just and sustainable Canada. It could mean less support for US wars and more support for Canadians who need it most. It could be the first steps in learning– through direct experience– how we can work together for the Canada we believe in rather than continuing to quarrel apart while big money interests prevail over our passionate but divided desire for a more Just and Sustainable Canada.

 So I am looking for your input on the idea of creating a committee to electorally promote a Just and Sustainable Canada .

What if rather than leaving it to the politicians we draw up a vision for a “Just and Sustainable Canada”? Much of that work is already done in efforts like The Leap.

What if rather than wrangling over who to support at election time we come up with an easy evaluator for whom the “Committee for a Just and Sustainable Canada(CJSC)” will support ? In ridings where a (socially and environmentally destructive) Conservative won the seat in the previous election  by less than 50% of the vote, the CJSC would promote the candidate/party who came closest to beating the Conservative .   Where polls show a strong chance of an NDP or Green candidate winning a poll that had previously been a “safe” Conservative seat, exceptions to whom to support could be done by a Survey Monkey poll of CJSC members. Membership in CJSC could begin as any one who wishes to join then switch to a poll of current members as membership grows.

I see the idea of a CJSC kind of committee as a way around the confounding propensity of progressives to quarrel over who to vote for/promote in both federal and provincial elections. It is imperfect, but it is a place to start coming together for the sake of our planet’s life giving/sustaining ecosystems and for the sake of human communities that continue to push toward social and ecological collapse by our inability to see the value in working together for a just and sustainable country/Earth.

What do you think?  Please reply in the Tidechange.ca comments so everyone can read and consider what you have to say.

I am looking for “yes…and…”responses as I have seen too many great ideas of every hue die from “yes–butting.”

Norm Reynolds


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You are warmly invited to join in CV Conversations which will be more—conversational; represent a diversity of perspectives on topics of interest to Comox Valley residents. We don’t know how this will turn out—It’s and experiment! We’re going to make up the rules as we go and we thoroughly hope that others will want to join the conversations and contribute new ideas as to how the conversations can evolve.

If you are interested in being part of CV Conversations for one issue or for all posts or have some thoughts on how this conversational blog could be even more relevant/interesting send me a note at nreynolds at shaw.ca. We, the founding members of CV Conversations, see this as a natural progression for a participator centred local community website.

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  1. arthur ralfs

    Some of our democratic difficulties stem from our FPTP voting system which produces perverse behaviour. For instance I rarely vote for the candidate I like best. Electoral reform seems dead in the water for the foreseeable future but perhaps we could do it anyway in a pre-election run through a website. Although probably not proportional representation we could at least run a ranked ballot type pre-electon, or a series of run off elections, to find the best candidate and then recommend that one in the general election. This approach would have the advantage of drawing people into the decision making.

    • Norm Reynolds

      I think, Arthur, you are absolutely right. I don’t think there is time for this federal election (be delighted to hear otherwise), but for another election i think that is the only viable alternative I can imagine that would get past the first past the post and not have to go through politicians who are quite happy with first past the post.

      • arthur ralfs

        The time to start for the next election is now. I can put some time into it but it’s not something I’ll do by myself so it depends on having a few committed people.

        I think this idea might be useful too in helping to counteract the balkanization of municipal politics, i.e develop a cross boundary slate of candidates in municipal elections.


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