Democratic Participation: Interesting and Unique Opportunity

February 28, 2013

Dear Friend,

Sierra Club Canada is a proudly non-partisan organization; we’ve always strived to work with ALL political parties, federal, provincial and municipal. Our history is well-documented. That’s not to say we don’t engage in the democratic process, we do! For example, during federal elections we issue a report fairly analyzing and comparing the party platforms. Our mission is to empower people to protect, restore and enjoy a healthy and safe planet, after all!

As you may have heard, the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) is in the midst of a leadership campaign and an interesting development has taken place. Candidate Joyce Murray has called for one-time co-operation among Liberals, New Democrats and Greens in the next federal election, and she has David Suzuki’s support (see “Suzuki gives boost to Liberal leadership dark horse”, Globe and Mail, 21/02/2013).

Since 2005 (and through three federal elections) the majority of Canadians voted for parties advocating strong action on climate change and protection of the environment. Each time, however, Canada’s dysfunctional, unrepresentative and undemocratic electoral system marginalized millions of Canadians and gave power to a party that does ^NOT share these values.

Many people, including Suzuki, believe the only solution to this dilemma is cooperation among like-minded political parties sharing our environmental values. The stakes are so high and they are (justifiably) frustrated. They want to prevent the coming climate crisis and feel the only way to do this is to shake-up establishment politicians stuck in the first-past-the-post, all-or-nothing electoral paradigm.

Over the past week dozens of concerned Canadians contacted Sierra Club Canada urging us to follow David Suzuki’s endorsement and ask our supporters to vote for Joyce Murray (the only candidate supporting collaboration). As a non-partisan organization we cannot do that. The Club, however, does strongly feel it’s important to empower people and encourage their participation in decisions that impact them and their families. It's for these reasons that I am emailing you today: I felt it was important to make sure our membership was aware of these recent developments, and the fact that any Canadian can participate in the LPC leadership contest (Note: the deadline is March 3rd).

Electoral cooperation may be the only way to get action on climate change, repair the omnibus damage to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Act and remove the muzzle from our government scientists.

Check out the links above. If you think we need electoral collaboration, we encourage you to get involved and vote accordingly. Either way, we always love to know what you think – so please send us an email today.


Howie Chong, President
Sierra Club Canada
412-1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
Sierra Club Canada on Twitter / Bennett Blog

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