Sunday, September 13, 2009

Green Battle Shaping Up in BC

Liberals nominate environmental researcher in Saanich-Gulf Islands

Presuming that the Green party elects Elizabeth May as its candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands -- which, considering that Stuart Hertzog has seemingly admitted he doesn't stand a chance in the nomination contest, seems almost inevitable -- the stage seems to have been set for a battle over environmental policy in that riding.

The Liberal party has selected Renee Hetherington, a multi-disciplinary environmental researcher at the University of Victoria, as their candidate for the riding.

"My background is very diverse and so is this riding," Hetherington explained.

Indeed, much of her commentary on her research -- "temporal, spatial, and cultural impacts of fluctuating climate on paleoenvironments and human evolution, migration, and behavioural adaptability" -- sounds like utter jargon, but the diversity of her work speaks for itself.

As the former executive director of the Sierra Club, May has certainly also addressed a wide diversity of topics in the course of her activist career, as well as her political career as Green party leader.

To Hetherington, the competition between herself and May will be about who can actually be an effective force in Parliament if elected.

"As a potential governing party, we [the Liberals] have the power to effect change," she noted.

Elizabeth May, meanwhile, leads a party that is not terribly likely to effect any kind of change, except by the charity of another political party -- what else was Stephane Dion's decision not to run a Liberal candidate against her in Central Nova but charitable? Likewise, May understands her party is not a potential governing party -- again, her 2008 endorsement of Stephane Dion for Prime Minister attests to that.

The battle between the Liberal party and Green party in Saanich-Gulf Islands is almost certain to be about which party is better poised to be the standard bearer for environmentalism in Canada.

But don't expect a victory in this regard by either party to mean much -- Gary Lunn is still likely to win the election itself.

Other bloggers writing about this topic:

Woman at Mile Zero - "Renee Hetherington's Nomination Speech


  1. It seems to me like there are three distinct strains of environmentalism.

    1. Anthropocentric environmentalism: Conservationism

    2. Biocentric environmentalism: Deep Ecology

    3. Religious environmentalism: Christian Stewardship

    The Liberals seem to be supporters of the first type. Liberalism itself is inherently anthropocentric -- the ideology is centered around individual freedoms.

    The Green have a bit of all three strains. The leftists of the party are the deep ecology folk, the old PCs seem to be the conservation type, and Elizabeth May is from the religious strain.

    The Liberals have a clearer message, ideologically speaking, and I think/hope they will win out in the end. However, I'm not so sure the end will be in Saanich-Gulf Islands.

  2. Hmmm. Green politics has kind of been the theme today, hasn't it?

    There are actually numerous ways of classifying environmentalism.

    There are various strains of radical environmentalism, up to and including eco-terrorism.


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