Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why Environmentally Concerned Canadians will Vote for Anyone but the Conservatives: Resources to Vote Strategically

While the NDP and the Liberal party each have massive shortcomings, no party is more of a threat to Canada's environment than the ruling Conservative government under Stephen Harper.

Although the NDP and Liberal parties have pledged to act on climate change they do not have a comprehensive policy to substantially reduce fossil fuel emissions. Neither party has put forth a policy platforms to manage the tarsands.

Harper's Conservatives have done nothing to seriously address climate change while they have done a great deal to exacerbate the problem. During their decade in power, the party has amassed a lamentable rap sheet of environmental abuses.

Stephen Harper has made Canada's climate record the worst in the industrialized world. When he became Prime Minister, Harper cancelled all climate initiatives, which led to his government's failure to meet its 17 percent GHG reduction commitments. Knowing he will never achieve them, the prime minister recently pledged 30 percent GHG reductions. Harper's Conservatives have gutted environmental oversight, worked tenaciously to increase the nations  exploitation of dirty energy, stifled environmental dissent, and silenced climate scientists. Under these same Conservatives Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto protocol and UN efforts to combat desertification. Finally Harper has used the nation's intelligence services to spy on peaceful environmental groups.

The Conservative leader's planned expansion of the tar sands is at odds with the internationally agreed upon goal of keeping temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times. The prime minister appears to be oblivious to the fact that Canada will need to leave 85 percent of the tar sands in the ground if we are to bring Canada in line with global climate obligations.

The battle cry for many who are concerned about the environment and climate change is, "anybody but Harper". This is because no party in Canadian history has been as environmentally destructive as the ruling Conservatives. If you care for the environment or efforts to combat climate change you simply cannot vote Conservative.

Here are some resources published in the National Observer to help Canadians vote strategically and ensure that Harper's Conservatives are not returned to power in 2015.

VoteTogether: Lead Now has developed a well-designed strategy to defeat Stephen Harper in 12 key ridings, and it is active on the ground in 70 others. If you're in one of these ridings, you'll be able to find out which candidate is best suited to defeat the Conservative. Click here for more information.

Strategic Voting: Lets you know who has the best chance of defeating the Conservatives in each riding. For more information click here.

The Dogwood initiative (BC): This site offers a detailed and sophisticated strategy in eight ridings. For more information click here.

GreenPAC organization: Candidates with environmentally sound track records (ie not Conservatives). For more information click here.

CBC News Éric Grenier's Poll Tracker website: Overview of what’s happening in opinion polls across the country. For more information click here.

Éric Grenier's Website: Breakdown of support for each party in all 338 individual ridings. For more information click here.

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