The Greenie at the Door

(2018 April 14) – A fellow from the Green Party came knocking on my door last Thursday. He was canvassing for Mike Schreiner, their provincial leader and the Party’s candidate in Guelph for the coming provincial election.

The Green Party has a way of parachuting its leaders into a riding they view as winnable. Then they shift resources from other campaigns to concentrate on the leader. They did it with Elizabeth May, finally landing her in British Columbia. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but there’s a belief that Guelph is the most environmentally conscious and committed place in Ontario. It’s nonsense, of course. We do our best, but so does everyone else. We are no more, or less, green than any other city in the province.

Schreiner tried his luck here in 2014 and came third, narrowly pushing the NDP candidate, James Gordon, into fourth. This was somewhat ironic considering that Gordon has done more to build environmental understanding in Guelph than all the local Greens lumped together. James Gordon walks the environmental talk, but the Green Party ran their leader against him anyway. When the June 7 election rolls around, Schreiner and whoever the NDP nominates will be back into another epic battle for third place.

Never mind that, though. When he knocked on the front door, Charlie started barking. I put him into the back yard and I opened the front door. The canvassing Greenie offered me a leaflet and asked if I would consider supporting his guy. I said no I wouldn’t and he asked me if I would tell him why. I said of course I would.

I told him there is nothing good or progressive about the Green Party that can’t be found in the NDP, and nothing irritating about the NDP that wouldn’t be doubly so with the Greens.

I told him that the Green Party was disingenuous. It is largely populated by people who abandoned the NDP and other parties and who now moan and whine because no one wants to merge with them.

I told him that any party that would nominate Gord Miller, an unrepentant Mike Harris Common Sense revolutionary, as the Guelph Greens did for the 2015 federal election, could never be considered progressive.

The conversation wandered a bit into the Ontario Cannabis Store. I told him the Green Party position on marijuana legalization was hypocritical. They have widespread internet ads saying they oppose the monopolization of cannabis. It is already being monopolized by people like Julian Fantino. What they are really saying is to keep it out of government control and regulation. 

I didn’t have a chance to get into the matter of Elizabeth May declaring Brian Mulroney the most environmentally friendly Prime Minister we’ve ever had. Never mind that he decimated the railways and tore up the tracks. She had recently stopped working for Mulroney’s Environment Minister.

He told me I was very knowledgeable and asked if I’d like to meet Mr. Schreiner, that he was a really nice person. I told him I had met Schreiner and of course he’s a nice guy. They all are, but that’s not the point.

It was a pleasant enough doorstep conversation. He left to bring his message to other homes and I got Charlie’s leash and took him for his afternoon walk. About half way around the block I saw the green canvasser and another man coming towards us on the opposite sidewalk.

He gave me a cheery wave and I gave him one back.