Hello Greens Supporters!
The last federal election is well behind us and we are excited for the road ahead! This may have been the last election using the unfair first past the post system. If we begin investing today for the October 21, 2019 election we will be in a most favourable position, and the earlier we start the easier it will be.

How? With just $5/month!

If every member signed up today for just $5/month, we will have enough funds by October 2019 ! Additionally, if each of us found just one more supporter to become a member and do the same, our funds can even match that of the Conservative Party of Canada. But even more important than that, we will be in a position to fund initiatives that improve our community; things like improving and maintaining nature trails, transferring unsold foods from local organic farms to the schools and soup kitchens that can really use it, or much needed medical equipment for our hospitals, and other issues that are important to us Greens.

That’s why I am taking the monthly pledge.

I’ll be honest, my bills are pretty tight right now and my wife and I are doing everything we can to better our situation, and we are just starting to see the light shine in front of us. However, the general political discourse I see is too much talking and not enough doing. I want to take action and see results today. If we take action today, we have the power to improve our community immediately.
And as a party with our roots in activism it should be a natural and fun!

In reality, I know that I won’t notice the $5 when I’m paying my bills.
Life will pass by all the same. But I will notice the trails that are being maintained and knowing that I lent a helping hand. The teachers will notice an improvement in in their students’ attitudes. The doctors and nurses will notice having sufficient equipment at their hands, and the patients will appreciate the faster service as a result. And on top of all that, I probably will notice the $45 that I’ll get back every year at tax time.I don’t want to wait until 2019 to make more promises, I want to take action today to strengthen our community, and I hope you feel the same!

Kevin Babcock
CEO North Okanagan district, Green Party of Canada

PS. Just in the 10 minutes it took me to write this, I found that I believe in it so much that I decided to double up to $10/month. The benefits of our contributions are just too important to pass up!

For a one time donation Please click here.

For a monthly donation Please click here

North Okanagan-Shuswap Green Party

Greens had great candidates in the 2015 federal election. Nationally we increased the number of our votes from the 2011 election, which is something to celebrate.
Liberals received 11 times the number of votes of the Green Party but 184 times the number of seats. Is this fair representation?
Liberals received 39.5% of the popular vote, got 55% of the seats and scooped the majority of power in parliament.
That’s what happens with Canada’s unfair “First Past The Post” electoral system.
If you would like to see a strong green presence in the next election, please support proportional representation, and volunteer to help us or donate to the North Okanagan-Shuswap Green Party of Canada.
Follow us on FaceBook /NOSGreens
Follow Us on Twitter @okshuswapgreens

Proportional Representation

Advocating for “Proportional Representation” (PR) is one of the cornerstone policies of all Green Parties; both nationally as well as provincially.  It is with this in mind that the North Okanagan Shuswap Green Executive support and commend the efforts of the Green Party of BC in their endeavour to bring the BC democratic system into  the modern era.

The importance of this undertaking cannot be overstated, as failure to move forward with Proportional Representation (PR) will likely make good, honest, fact based governance on behalf of us citizens, very difficult if not impossible in the coming years.

In fact, our system was once famously lampooned for how much worse our system was to the American system – a system which produced a Trump presidency.  In our system there is no functional difference between our executive and our legislature.  The Prime Minister lords over both.  Therefore not only are we just as vulnerable as the States is to having someone in power who does not share the views of the majority, but we have no safe guards, no checks and balances or, as was joked, “unpaid checks and political imbalances”.

Having a multi party political system combined with the recent trend in North America towards greater and greater ideological polarity, means that the current “First Past The Post” (FPTP) system is becoming an increasing liability.

By far the greatest weakness of the current “First Past The Post” (FPTP) system is that it typically grants absolute power to minority groups with a minority of the total vote.  This can leave the majority of voters captured by an ideological minority with regional or self serving ambitions.

In the 2008 federal election the Bloc Quebecois received 1,380,991 votes and the Green Party of Canada received 72% of that or 987,613 votes.  The Block got 51 seats but the Greens did not get 72% of that seat count or 37 seats.  No, they got zero seats; not a single one.

Because the Block voter base was regionally concentrated, a little over one million separatist voters held 51 seats and the balance of power.  And almost one million people who voted for a national party were ignored.

But it gets worse.

In that same 2008 election, the NDP with 2,515,288 votes from across the country, earned almost twice as many votes as the Block.  But instead of winning what should be almost twice as many seats, the NDP got a mere 37, not even 3/4’s of the Block’s seat count.

And that is how a regional group stole the balance of power from a national party.  But the disruption caused by regionalism and ideology did not end there, and again the First Past The Post caused the aberration.

In 2008 the Conservative Party received 822,147 votes in the Alberta region while again the Green Party  received 987,613 votes across the country – 25% more votes than the Alberta region Conservatives.  The Conservatives were given 27 seats in Alberta alone but as we already know, almost 1 million Greens got zero seats; zero representation.

Had the 822 thousand Conservative voters been ignored like the 987 thousand Green voters, the Conservatives would not have been able to hold power with just a 38% minority of the total vote – only 22% of the actual electorate.

The very nature of PR is to create governments that rule by true majority often built through consultation and co-operation between parties.  This protects the voter from being subject to minority rule. And Proportional Representation also increases voter turnout because most of our votes actually count for something. 

When one ruling minority takes control of the government from a previous ruling minority, there is often a radical seesawing of policy.  For instance: Here in BC, the recent banning of political donations from corporations and unions reversed years of unencumbered donations which tended to buy elections.  Unless we get PR before the next election, the next ruling minority may just as easily reverse that ban, and again allow foreign or special interests unfair access to our decision makers through their targeted funding.

Because PR protects the majority from being ruled by a minority that could hold regional or ideological interests, the chance of wild policy shifts is greatly alleviated and the more extreme ideological elements remain under control.

The high sensitivity of FPTP to small shifts in voter preferences that often flips governments and policy in opposite directions, creates an air of regulatory and fiscal (tax/funding) uncertainty in the industrial and financial communities which often leads to reduced investment and a stagnating economy. Countries with PR have a 1% higher economic growth than countries with FPTP.  When you consider that Canada’s growth in 2016 was 1.5%, an extra 1% is sizable.  It would bring Canada’s growth up to the world’s average growth of 2.5%.  This 66% increase in economic performance is attributed to a tendency for PR governments to provide more credible long term economic policy.

The statistical evidence that  the First Past the Post system has become a liability and that any form of Proportional Representation is a better way to function and compete on the world stage is voluminous and compelling.  If you can help or would like to learn more, please go to Fair Voting BC.  There is more information and links below.

If our votes aren’t equal, how can our rights be?

How you can help

Why we need electoral reform

Statistical evidence

Federal Election Results 2008 – National,_2008

Federal Election Results 2008 – Alberta

Canada’s growth in 2016

Explanation of various electoral systems

Harper speech to the U.S. Council for National Policy (unpaid checks and political imbalances)

Happy Birthday Canada!

Best Flag

Yesterday we celebrated 150 years of this exercise in co-operation called Canada.  For sure the land and the original settlers have been here longer than that… a lot longer.  In fact there is mounting evidence that the first people on this land we now call Canada were here even before the land/ice bridge occurred at the end of the last ice age.  These people agreed to share this land with the newcomers from Europe and for that, I’m grateful to them and their descendants.
There is a certain amount of group pride in being Canadian and a whole lot of personal gratitude, but we need to acknowledge that this Canada that we love is still not treating the original people here very well – actually they’ve been treated terribly – and this is something we all need to work on before we can feel accomplishment as a nation.
We can be proud of our history of helping other countries in their hours of need, in our acceptance of others and in our desires and actions to be a beneficial force in our world.
I personally feel just plain lucky to have been allowed to grow up Canadian, but recently the direction we Canadians have taken has filled me with immense gratitude, pride and much realistic hope for the future of our country, our world and our children.
In the last federal election, we Canadians made extra efforts to shun bigotry and embrace inclusiveness,  to move past the status quo and work to re-define a country and a world that respects the rights of all, including future generations and their right to a livable world.  That is an immense reversal of a world view that is not only essential to survival, but also is a return to a more heroic way of being – one that my parents and theirs lived by.
We didn’t get what we asked for or were promised, but that is the fault of those who would break their promises on fair elections, honest environmental reviews, protecting the right of privacy and substantial action on equity between Indigenous peoples and modern settlers.
Yes, the Trudeau Liberals are better than the previous administration but that was a pretty low bar.  We need to move the bar up and hold this new government accountable.  That’s where we need you to do what you can to keep upward pressure on this Liberal government that has been back sliding into the “Old Boys Club” again.
Right here, right now, as this country celebrates it’s 150th birthday, is the time to set our course for the next 150.  It is up to you, and me, everyone, to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.  So that future generations will have a fighting chance to help this world. So that in another 150 years those that bear the torch we once so valiantly carried, will not only celebrate the birthday of this nation, but the renewal of a world that we almost lost.
So please stay informed and help out where you can.  Together we will build a better country and world.
Happy Birthday Canada!
The Okanagan Shuswap Greens