The Voice of the Greens in Burnaby-New Westminster

This blog is meant to keep you up-to-date on Scott's Green Party campaign in the 2006 Canadian election in Burnaby-New Westminster. We want to start a dialog with the voters so that your voice can be heard.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Election Day

Well said Matthew. I really can't expand on what Matthew said about why the greens are the best choice. What I will try to do is outline what each of your choices will mean in this election.

When you go to the polls today consider these following points before you place your vote:

1. A vote for either the conservatives or the liberals is a vote for 139 years of status-quo government and as Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems of our time are not going to be solved by the same level of thinking that got us into them."

2. In Burnaby-New Westminster we've already had the NDP in for a term, so voting NDP will also be a vote for the status-quo.

3. You have three choices left; don't vote, spoil your ballot or vote Green.

Not voting is again a vote for status-quo because it does nothing.

Spoiling your ballot is an effective vote if you truly believe that there is no other option for you.

Voting Green will bring the party $1.75 (very small donation) plus raise awareness of sustainability in Canadian politics. If a Green is elected, then your riding will be noticed on a national and potentially international scale as the first riding to elect a Green MP.


Voting for the old-line parties will get you the same old people in the same old government.

Voting Green is an historic event that you can be proud of.

Cheers and please get out to vote.

Election Day - Why We Vote Green

Ever wonder why people vote Green, even though sometimes it seems hopeless? Here's a speech I prepped for the Green Party election-eve rally in Vancouver. Enjoy!
- Matthew

--------------------
Friends, colleagues,

Tomorrow may not be our day in the sun. And indeed, that day may not arrive until many a tomorrow is done. But that day shall come.
As surely as dawn follows darkness, that day shall come.

That day shall come, when Green MP’s stand as equals in the House of Commons – when Green MP’s participate in the great debates that shall shape the future of this vast land which stretches from sea to shining sea, to shining sea.

That day shall come, when the Green Party leader is an equal participant in broadcast leadership debates, and we can compete on equal footing in…
- the marketplace of ideas,
- the forum of policy,
- the duel of competing visions for our communities, our country, our Canada.


That day shall come, when Green ideas trump old ideologies, and other parties adopt our policies, our proposals, as their own. In this election, we’ve seen that day has dawned. Some may worry that if other parties embrace Green themes, it will be at our expense. But I am not concerned.

Because for us, our day has dawned. And the dawn, once begun, does only rise – and grows stronger and stronger. Sunrise awaits us.

Our day has dawned, but the other parties, they have reached their noon – the future holds for them, the threat of twilight. So when they pull policies from our platform, let us none the less applaud them. For, though they may stand beneath a different banner, in that policy they will be advancing our cause, the Green cause:
the public good, for today, for tomorrow, and for all tomorrows to come.

And that cause, our cause, is broad enough to include allies of every persuasion.


And that is why we need not dominate the Commons, to succeed. We need not dominate the Commons, though that day shall, in its own time, arrive. We need merely a voice, to serve the public, to uphold their interest.

That day shall come;
Our day has dawned.

(c) Matthew Klippenstein
--------------------

Saturday, January 21, 2006

3 days 'til election – Sustainability and Respect for Diversity

I have to apologize to all the blog readers for my lack of posts in the last week. My wife and I have been moving to our new home down the street and I haven't had as much computer time as I would have liked.

I also have to thank all of the volunteers involved in this campaign for putting up signs, handing out flyers, writing blogs, managing e-mail accounts and especially for educating their friends, family and strangers on the good ideas coming from the Green party.

Now that I am in thank you mode, I am extremely appreciative to all the citizens in the riding who are involved in the political process this election. I have talked to people who are raising awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, the discrimination and violence of NATO in the Middle East and the issues of poverty in this riding. What impresses me is the number of people who are passionate and willing to work to change these situations even though it may not result in an immediate or future personal gain. This type of selfless thinking is really what is going to make this world a better place to live in for all future generations.


To continue on with the posts I've done in the past regarding the Green Party's principles, today I'm going to talk about what values of sustainability and Respect for Diversity mean to me.


SUSTAINABILITY


As Matthew pointed out in his last blog on peak oil, resources in this planet are limited and we all must recognize these limits and live within them if we want to sustain human life of this planet. I really have no words to express my perplexity towards the other parties that are completely ignoring or paying minor lip service to the issue of sustaining our natural resources on this planet.

The Green Party is often construed as an environmental awareness group with no concern for humanity or the economy and we couldn't be more misrepresented in this stereotype. My common sense concern for our environments is only because I want to see humanity continue on earth for at least the next 200 years and I would like to have a stable and sustainable economy in place for those generations that will follow us. Mother Nature, oceans, rivers, mountains and plains will all survive quite well even if humanity destroys itself.

The idea of preserving a strong foundation of natural resources for future generations is an idea that can be used in many other aspects of our society. We can ensure that we have strong families in all of our communities who can work together to make sure that no one in their community is marginalized or forgotten. Local and provincial governments can be empowered to address problems as they occur and where they occur. Concentrated power leads to corruption and is unsustainable, so we should spread the power and responsibility as much as possible in order to reduce corruption.

Right now, we can only plant the seeds of sustainability and make sure that they fall in fertile soil if we ever want our ideas to come to fruition. Let's work on the foundations of strong families and small government and see what happens.


RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY


We have to recognize as a society that everyone and everything has a reason and purpose for being. People with various views and cultural backgrounds bring unique and inovation solutions to problems that may never be thought of if all of humanity was homogenous. The same can be said for nature, and variety of species and elements. I recently read "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and this is one of the most important learnings I took from the book. For if Alchemists were to change all of the metals of the world to gold, gold would lose it's value and we would all wish for iron or lead. Everything has it's place.

As Canadians, we have to work hard against the law of entropy whether it means the transformation of our culture and media into just a glob of Americana, or our great lakes into globs of sludge. We have to sustain the diversity we already have and encourage more diversity in the future, because when humanity faces the diverse problems of the future, we better have an arsenal of diverse ideas ready or we will perish.




Ok, if you actually got through all of that then you deserve another little restaurant hint, and this one is a very closely gaurded secret that I have so listen carefully: ASA Sushi beside 7-11 on Royal Oak and Rumble. Best sushi/price I've found in Burnaby and I challenge all readers to find a better place.

Cheers,
SJ

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Peak Oil: Danger + Opportunity

There are many issues facing Canadians in the coming years. Some receive the attention they deserve. Others don’t. And in this blog we’d like to talk about one of those “other” issues.

We’d like to talk about Peak Oil.

Now, people have been saying “we’re running out of oil”, for the past thirty, fifty, seventy years. They’ve been wrong every time. That’s not what peak oil is about.

Peak Oil is the theory that worldwide oil production is reaching its peak at about 85 million barrels of oil per day (85 mbd).
This wouldn’t be a problem if demand was flat – but demand is rising.
It still wouldn’t be a problem if we had other energy sources ready to replace oil – but the developed world has been slow to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, wave, geothermal, and solar. Canada has been especially slow.

If demand is rising faster than supply, prices will rise. And in the past few years, there have been tremendous increases in the prices for oil, natural gas, uranium, even coal. Many people think those prices will continue to increase. People like Scott and I, and many scientists, geologists and engineers.

Many professional investors also think Peak Oil is coming; and they’ve put their money where their mouth is. They’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars, betting they can make hundreds of millions more. The most prominent Canadian example is mutual fund guru Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management. Check out his“peak oil watch” at http://www.sprott.com/peakoil.php.


Scott and I strongly feel the Green Party offers the best strategy for Canadians, to face Peak Oil. This is the issue where the Green Party can earn its due. This is the issue where we can prove our worth to the electorate. No party brings the environmental and entrepreneurial spirits together, like us.

We would foster conservation and alternative-energy industries – both of these will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, while creating a new generation of “green-collar” entrepreneurs and industries, whose services and products will be in demand, at all points around the globe, in a world facing higher energy prices.

You probably know the Chinese characters for “crisis” are “danger + opportunity”, right? Well, this is the danger and opportunity of Peak Oil:

The Danger - societies unprepared for Peak Oil will see a drop in their citizens’ standard of living
The Opportunity - societies prepared for Peak Oil will be able to sell excess energy, and export alternative-energy products, to less-prepared countries badly in need of them.

I’ll close with an an analogy:
-- Toyota was years ahead of GM, with its hybrid cars.
-- Toyota recently made record profits; GM is verging on bankruptcy.

When Peak Oil arrives, the Green Party wants Canada to be a “Toyota”, not a “GM”.


And to any doubters out there, we have two words: We Can.


A few Peak Oil resources:

http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil
http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net
http://www.theoildrum.com
http://www.sprott.com/peakoil.php

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Pub Crawl

9 days 'til election – Schedule 'til the election day

SUNDAY 15th
MONDAY 16th
Check my blog for updates

I will continue my postings on Green Party values and how by the simple act of voting, we can get these values accepted and implemented by the powers that be.


TUESDAY 17th
WEDNESDAY 18th
Mock Election
Burnaby South Secondary
11:30am - 12:30pm

Students at the Burnaby South Secondary school are setting up a rally before there school undergoes their mock election.
All Candidates Debate
Burr Theatre
6:30pm


THURSDAY 19th
FRIDAY 20th
All Candidates Debate
7502 2nd Street Burnaby
7:30

Please come out and get your voice heard regardless of which party you support. The audience can pose questions to any of the candidates, so get out their and make all of us candidates sweat.


SATURDAY 21st
SUNDAY 22nd
Pub Crawl
See my next post for details
Green Party Rally
Robson Square downtown Vancouver
1:00pm - 4:00pm

All Green Party candidates and Jim Harris will be there.


MONDAY 23rd
Please get out and vote!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

13 days 'til election – Volunteer Party and All Candidates debates

This will be a quick post. Tonight we had a volunteer get together at the campaign headquarters (my condo) and we all got to share our thoughts on where Canada is today and where we should be heading in the future. I will have another volunteer meeting this Saturday, again at my house.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7pm I will be at 7651 18th Ave for an all candidates debate. If anyone would like to attend, please come by and ask all of the candidates how they are going to help you if they win the election. I would really like to hear more opinions and voices in this election.

Cheers

Monday, January 09, 2006

15 days 'til election – Another answer to e-mail

I apologize for just putting these e-mail responses as posts lately, but this one took a lot of time and I want to get some mileage out of it. This is a blog interview I did for Samantha Burns:

1. Can you give me an elevator pitch as to why people should vote for you? Please briefly explain your platform to those unaware.

I am running to promote the Green party's values of:
  1. Ecological Wisdom

  2. Social Justice

  3. Participatory Democracy

  4. Non-Violence

  5. Sustainability

  6. Respect for Diversity

If elected, every decision I make will be based on these values and I will be a voice in parliament for accountable and responsible government.

We are at a crossroads in history right now. With our current levels of consumption and pollution, the status quo of government and business is unsustainable. The Green Party is the only party with the courage to acknowledge this issue and develop a road map for us to change this situation.

If you are concerned about how we are affecting future generations by our actions today, a vote for me will represent your concern.

2. Where do you plan on getting the money to fund your government programmes/changes?


I do not believe in in-debting future generations just to find a short term gain. I do believe in proper investment that, over the long term, will provide the most effective method of providing government services to citizens. Most of the programs that I intend to champion will be funded by shifting our tax base to natural resources (including private land) an relieving the tax burden from employment income. I would also support the cessation of the nearly 1.4 billion in yearly subsidies directed to the thriving oil and gas industry.

3. Aren't there more effective ways to solve problems without government?

For every problem there are a myriad of solutions. Some problems can best be solved through government intervention and some are best tackled through other organizations. What is important is that a Canadian governmentsupports the most sustainable solutions in all situations. Stop-gap measures don't help anybody in the long run.

4. When one hears the name the Green Party of Canada, the first thing that comes to mind is a bunch of tree huggers and tree-spiking hippies. Is that a fair and accurate description? If not, why?

I don't see anything wrong with hugging a tree, but spiking a tree and endangering someone's life is irresponsible. The Green Party can more accurately be called the Common Sense Party, as we agree with good ideas and solutions to problems no matter if they come from the political right or left. If anyone takes the time to read our platform, their confusion as to the identity of the Green Party will quickly disapear and I think most people will find that they agree with most of our platform; it's full of common sense.

5. How do you feel about the actions of eco-terrorists? Do you believe they help or hinder your cause?

Terrorism is an unsustainable method to bring about societal change. As a descendant of Mennonite immigrants, I strongly believe that the only way to bring about change is through non-violent methods. To protect the environment, personal sacrifice and education are the tools we must use, not violence.

6. 'Frankenfoods', genetically modified crops, and pesticide-controlled foods tend to yield far more crop per square acre than going organic. With rampant worldwide starvation, doesn't it seem more logical route to take than going organic where crop yields would be greatly reduced?

World hunger is a serious issue. Today, with the current world production of food and our current population, we don't have an issue of food scarcity, we have an issue of not getting the food into the areas where it is needed most. The danger with relying upon pesticides and genetically modified crops to feed the world is two-fold. One, we don't know what the long-term consequences are from ingesting this type of food and two, we cannot continue to think that endless growth and consumption is a good thing. No matter what methods we use to produce food, we live on a planet with limited resources and we will run out of resources if we continue to increase our consumption. The Green Party recognizes this and will implement programs to help us live sustainably within the limits of our resources on this planet.

6. Should First Nations (Indians to our readers to the south) be forced to give up unregulated fishing and hunting in the name of conservation?

First Nations groups have a respect for and a responsibility to the natural resources in their homelands. In many jurisdictions, First Nations have observed the un-abated rape of their land for profit and governments have ecouraged these groups to partake in the abuse. The Green Party, through negotiations with First Nations groups will implement government regulations that support the sustainable harvest of nature while respecting the ancestoral rights of the First Nations.

7. Isn't a little deforestation worth the livelihoods of BCers working in the forestry industry? Same question goes for the oil industry and drilling up north.

Short term gain is not worth long term devastation. There are ways in which we can ecourage environmentally safe harvest of our resources, but we a government with the courage to change. In fact, by ensuring that the forestry industry and the oil industry are environmentally sustainable will help these companies compete globaly and create more jobs.

8. The biggest polluters of CO2 tend to be volcanoes and cow flatulence. What good are our personal conservation efforts when they are being flagrantly violated by nature?

More pressing than climate change are air pollution in our cities and scarcity of input resources for our economy. Nature is much more powerful than the human race and will survive even if we kill ourselves off through overconsumption. Personal conservation merely alows humans to continue to exist on this planet.

9. We've come a long way from the polluting days of the industrial age. Our rivers and lakes are cleaner, sewage is being treated, pollution and smog are down, deforestation is on the decline, yet environmentalists are raising the panic flag higher than ever. Can you justify these actions?

Our rivers and lakes are cleaner? There may be some success cases along these lines, but on the whole the world has much less clean fresh water available. The scarcity is more apparent when you look up how much water if available per person world wide. The real problem is the cancerous growth of humanity throughout the world, we are starting to reach the world's carrying capacity for the human race.

10. Oil and coal are primary energy sources, fuelling our economy and allowing us to enjoy the lifestyle we do. Should we go back to horse and buggy days and deal with horse pollution, because last time I checked, solar panels do not work in Vancouver for at least 6 months out of the year?

Advances in technology can actually help us use less energy than ever. We just have to commit and have proper support to reach energy reduction goals.

11. The Marajuana Party of Canada wants to legalize the drug. In your opinion, should hemp be used for clothing, smoking, or both? Further, what is you opinion on legalising hardcore drugs?

Marajuana should be legalized in order to reduce the amount of money funneled to organized crime and other drug trade. Personally, I don't think smoking is a healthy way to injest anything, but I also don't think that gambling is that effective of a way to make money (especially with my poker skills), but making these things illegal just fuels crime (as seen with 1920's prohibition). As for hardcore drugs, I think we can go a long way to hardcore drug use by ending poverty and build strong healthy communities. If you are happy with yourself, your life and you have a community that supports you, you won't have much need of chemical supplements.

12. [This one's for a little fun for my readers] What do you think of compost toilets such as Envirolets, www.envirolet.com? Do you have one and would you push for this to replace American Standards in every Canadian home? I mean, they are made in Canada afterall.

I don't have one of these toilets, but it looks like a good idea. I do have a low flush (6 litres per flush) toilet that has reduced our water use. I would think that the envirolet may be suitable in some sites, but I don't know if it would work in a condo. I'll have to read up on it.

13. How do you feel about Americans? And, what is your opinion on Paul Martin using attacks against Americans to appear as a strong leader who does not bow down to US wishes?

Most of my wife's family are Americans and I really enjoy all of of their company. The American government and the American people are two very different things. I don't think you have to insult someone in order to stand up to them.

14. How would you respond to Tucker Carlson's characterisation that Canadians live in igloos and ride dogsleds to work? Referring to this

Wouldn't that be fun, riding a dogsled to work. Tucker 's ignorance is his responsibility, not mine.

15. Why should people with more money pay higher taxes? Isn't everyone in Canada equal and shouldn't they contribute equally?

I would like to see Canadians pay taxes based on how much public resources they privately control or use and not on how much money they make.

16. When the government tends to be horribly inefficient and ineffective, why do we continue to tack on social programme after social programme, crippling our population's tax burden further?

Great point. Elect me to government and I'll work to improve government efficiency.

17. Aren't there more effective ways to solve problems without government?

See Above

18. If you have a millionaire willing to pay for his own private medical care, why should Joe-poor be forced to pay for Joe-rich?

If a millionaire wishes to pay for his or her private medical care, what is stopping them from hopping on a plane to US or India? Providing health care to millionaires is not the problem, we have to work to provide health care and not just sick care to all Canadians. Most of which are not millionaires.

19. Everyone born and raised in BC has smoked pot. Have you? And, did you inhale?

I'm not born or raised in BC (Saskatchewan and Alberta respectively), but I have smoked pot and I inhaled. Like I said before though, I don't think smoking is the healthiest way to injest things.

20. Do you have any favourite blogs or websites that you read?

http://burnabypolitics.blogspot.com/

21. How can people contact you if they have questions or would like to aid in your campaign?

Best is by e-mail: sjanzen@greenparty.ca or check out my blog

22. Is there anything that you would like to add that has not been asked here?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

17 days 'til election – Answer to e-mail

Today I recieved some interesting questions from Shawn on e-mail and I thought I should share my response with you all. I would love to hear your opinion on these issues.

1. Legalisation of marijuana will benefit society in that money
currently funding gangs and organized crime, will go to legal business
and the production of marijuana will be regulated and taxed. Tobacco,
alcohol, gambling and marijuana all have negative affects on society
and I personally don't advocate smoking anything, but prohibition in
the 20's showed us that banning these types of drugs only leads to the
creation of bigger and better financed organized crime. I'm very
black and white on this issue that if marijuana is illegal, so should
tobacco.

2. If everyone worked a 35hr work week, more people would have jobs, the money would be divided more equally, and our market place would have to adjust prices down to accommodate less discretionary income per person. The same argument was used when the work week was reduced to not include Saturdays. Right now, even with the 40hr work week in place, very few people adhere to this rule. As a society, we have to realise the importance of spending time with our loved ones, relaxing, volunteering or simply enjoying our lives. If we work hard all of our lives just to ensure that our children have to work even harder, what's the point?

It is my hope that with a shorter work week, people will have time to get off of the endless spiral of consumerism and connect with the things that really are worth living for: family, friends and community.

3. Taxing companies that pollute is not an easy overnight shift. This
is something that has to be done gradually and with care. You are
right that by taxing inefficient companies, we may drive them out of
Canada, but we will make the companies that stay much more competitive as they will have to be on the leading edge of technology and science. Toyota will be the leading car manufacturer in North America very soon if it isn't already precisely because Japan has very strict regulations for efficiency. Enforcing energy and resource efficiency in Canada will simply mean that Canadian companies will maximize their production with minimal inputs which will mean stronger companies and a stronger economy.

The Green Party believes that the current model of endless growth for
the sake of future growth is unsustainable. Humans have to recognize
that we live on a planet with finite resources and we have to live
within the limits of these resources if we want to survive. The
economy only exists because of the resources supplied by our
environment. In protecting our environment, we will sustain our
economy for future generations.