Sunday, May 1, 2011

Questions asked and answered


1.What is your current occupation?
2.Do you have any previous political experience? If so what?
3.What do you feel are the top issues for this election in the Palliser riding and what are your views on these issues?


1. My current occupation is Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, and I am also a university student of Political Science at the University of Regina. Additionally, I am training to be a dance teacher and choreographer in modern and ballet.

2. I have plenty of political experience gained in recent years. As mentioned above, I am the current Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, a position I was elected to in 2009. I have run as a political candidate many times, in elections at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government, as follows:
2006 federal election, Green Party candidate for Palliser
2007 provincial election, Green Party of Saskatchewan candidiate for Moose Jaw Wakamow
2008 federal election, Green Party candidate for Palliser
2009 Moose Jaw Municipal election, candidate for Councillor
2010 provincial by-election, Green Party of Saskatchewan candidate for Saskatoon Northwest
2011 federal election, Green Party candidate for Palliser

As a Political Science major, I have extensive knowledge of our political system and the policy solutions that are urgently needed. I have also served on a number of councils and committees, including the Green Party of Canada Federal Council, the Moose Jaw Advisory Committee on the Environment, the Young Greens of Canada Council, and the Saskatchewan Chapter of Fair Vote Canada. I am a strong supporter of changing our electoral system to proportional representation, to make every vote count.

I am an environmental and political activist. I have worked to stop development of the tar sands and nuclear power -- because there are greener energy and job options available. I am a strong supporter of small and locally owned businesses, the creative industries, organic farming, renewable energy, preventative healthcare, and eliminating poverty. I am actively involved with the arts community. I have devoted much of my research as a Political Scientist to studying our flawed electoral system and the democratic deficit Canada faces.

3. I think climate change is the biggest issue this election, since no action to lower greenhouse gas emissions has occured since the last federal election. Palliser voters are really interested in hearing about the Green Party's plan for job creation in the renewable energy sector, creative industries (the arts), eco-tourism, and more. These are solutions that will help restore our economy and environment at the same time.

Inaction on climate change can not persist. Time is of the essence. Our air, water, and soil need to be protected, and animal welfare must be respected and improved.

Another very important issue to Palliser voters is democracy. Our current electoral system is undemocratic because it allows an MP to be elected with only a minority of the votes in the riding cast for them and a majority cast for other candidates. I am a strong advocate of changing Canada's outdated winner-takes-all electoral system to one based on proportional representation so that every vote counts. In order for people to vote, they must feel as though their vote matters.

In this election, democracy was not met because the Leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May, was not allowed in the televised leaders' debates. In the last federal election, nearly one million Canadians voted Green, yet not one Green MP was elected to Parliament because our electoral system is outdated and was designed for a two party system, not a four or five party system as Canada currently needs in order to represent all voters/parties.

Attack ads should be disallowed, and elections should be about putting forward policy solutions, not just about lawn signs and publicity stunts. Corporate media should not be deciding who voters get to see in the televised leaders debates -- that should be up to the people to decide.

So, democracy has been a big issue this election and must be restored so that issues like climate change and the environment, healthcare, affordable housing, childcare, and eliminating poverty can be addressed.

----------------------------It's time. Vote Green!------------------------------