A Newbie's Guide to Canadian Government - The Greens

... a quick and easy guide for Canadians
who may have forgotten that we even
have a government with parties
and everything...
and for people watching from abroad
who may well be wondering "W.T.F. Canada?"

the Green Party

Greens have experienced considerable voter buy-in over the years in Europe, but in Canada, they are a niche brand in the national market. Their roots run back to a modest platform shared by a few candidates in the Maritimes in 1980, who unofficially known as the Small Party, and Green (Canada) Ltd. was founded in 1983.

Twenty-five years later, this super-cute party idea have captured the hearts of nearly 7% of Canadian voters and they now field candidates in every riding across the Canada.

Unfortunately, Canada's 'first past the post' voting system means that while the Bloc can translate 10 % of the popular vote into as many as 54 seats in Parliament, the Greens have yet to elect a single member. The closest they have come so far is when a member sitting as an independent decided to 'go green' but before he could sit in Parliament as the first Green member, an election was called and he was defeated.

"How" one might ask "how could a political party dedicated to the proposition that Green is the New Black fail to capture the imagination of voters who think so too?"

How indeed?

It may be that the Greens are Too Progessive - in the best left style, their firing squads usually form a circle, instead of the traditional straight line. This can give their leadership conventions the ambiance of Paris during the Terror.

It may be that the voters don't take them nearly as seriously as they take themselves.

It might seem the Greens have been almost radically ineffective as a political party - an "epic fail" - but this would be neither fair nor accurate.

Despite the fact that 93% of the voters refuse to give them a hug, they have had a substantial impact on Canadian political ecology, one that could be usefully compared to the impact of kudzu on gardening south of the Mason-Dixon line or the cane toad on pets in Northern Australia.


Like other invasive species, the Greens compete for available resources food anywhere they appear.

Their efforts over the years have ensured that a number of Conservative candidates have been elected in ridings where they would otherwise have gone down to defeat.

In a curious case of "payback's a bitch", Green leader Elizabeth May lost to Conservative Peter McKay in Central Nova, even though more people voted against McKay than for him.
The final tally?
Conservatives: 18,240... Greens: 12,620...NDP: 7,659.

- you love this kind of irony
- you feel like spoiling your ballot,
   but you want it to be counted.

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