In Canada, only one party is called Green. However, the 2008 election could be the greenest on record and not just because the so-named party is actually running candidates in 305 of 308 ridings.
Every party has put forward a position on the environment. Some, like the Conservatives offer a few token gestures. The big, red Liberals have donned green tunics, tied their entire campaign hopes tightly to the anchor known as the "Green Shift" and recklessly tossed it into the deep election waters with a very short rope. Needless to say, their boat is tipping badly and not moving anywhere. Incredibly, nobody in Liberal leader Stephane Dion's party read the financial papers or even gas station signs prior to committing his political future and the party's fortunes to this huge gamble. Dion has shown that he is completely out of touch with the needs of the population and the world. Doesn't he realize that an enormous spike in oil and gas prices have frightened the green out of people? They've also done more to reduce emissions, or at least expediate the development of alternatives, than he or any tax policy could ever do.
Last year, everyone was basking in the warm glow of Al Gore and his empowering message of hope. This year, people wonder what their meals will look like when produce costs twice as much to be imported or harvested and their jobs have disappeared in the midst of a global recession.
As for the other two parties on the left, the Green party is benefitting from the remaining environmental sentiment as well as having no hope of forming a government. With nothing to lose, all promises and statements are on the table. The NDP is trying to balance the popularity of green initiatives with its need to maintain employment for its union-based supporters. Yes Mr.Layton, no industry means no jobs.
What we get is a whole lot of dancing around the subject. Nothing any party says will make a dent in the economy, our energy needs or the environment. If a party was serious about helping all three of these things, they would promise to mandate a certain percentage of cars sold in Canada must be electric or alternative fuel within 10 years, subsidize factories making electric cars and pump billions of dollars into nuclear power plants. This party unfortunately does not exist.