Beyond the Blinders of Farrell and Meddings-Smith

Looks like a couple of local Greens, Bruce Farrell and Marlene Meddings-Smith, have taken offense to my particular take on Green feminism and the politics attached to same. The following retort was submitted to The New Glasgow News this morning.

Twenty-eight years ago, three years prior to the importation of Green politics to Canada from West Germany, I found myself sitting in an upper-level women’s studies course at one of the country’s leading universities. Such is where the pursuit and evolution of my political consciousness had landed me. The course was titled “Women and Religion.” The professor was an ordained minister in the United Church. I was the only male in the course. This academic sojourn was followed-up by a further feminist thesis at a post-graduate level, an opportunity offered to me as an undergrad. I believe that I have a fairly decent grasp on the political dimensions of “the Sacred and the Profane” within the feminist cosmos and where and how my motives fit into same.

I offer this historical context not to vainly blow my own horn, but to make the readers of the current exchanges in The News aware of two things: firstly, that when I offer political commentary it is not willy-nilly pulled out of a hat, much like the current generation of Greens resorting to a vacant set of inane principles and group babble, and; secondly, to shed some historical light on the public claim that the Small Party was the predecessor to the Green Party of Canada. To make such a claim exposes either an out-and-out lie or a sorrowful degree of Joan-of-Arc delusion, neither of which I would claim is acceptable.

Over the course of 28 years one grows and evolves one’s perceptions. Loosely identified, these days my relationship to feminism is somewhere in the company of Gloria Steinem. I offer one of her most popular quotes: “We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.” As Ms. Steinem has come under attack from radical feminists for her humanism so, it would seem, have I. I gladly take the philosophical company of Ms. Steinem over that of the Greens, thanks very much.

I would suggest that what seem to be alien to Greens are the principles of choice and merit, in a feminist context, as highlighted by Ms. Steinem’s quote. This is what was conveniently overlooked as the core of my argument by both Mr. Farrell and Ms. Meddings-Smith. One need look no further than the political scam that has been foisted onto Central Nova, the unconscionable purge in the Green Party of Nova Scotia Executive, and the incessant whining of Greens for Ms. May to be part of future leaders’ debates to see how the principles of choice and merit constitute a null in the Green philosophical psyche.

Having overlooked the core of my argument, both Mr. Farrell and Ms. Meddings-Smith locked onto my closing statement: “Soon all that will be left is a stringent, fish-wife feminism blindly cooed over by a gaggle of obedient eunuchs.” By virtue of the indefinite article, what was referred to with my closing statement is the small world of Green feminism, not feminism as a valid social phenomenon, one that finds itself in very dire straights.

It is not my problem if North American feminism has morphed into a daily fix of Oprah’s enablement and Dr. Phil’s psycho-babble. It is not my problem if Greens are still stuck in a time-warp wherein women and men are still seen as enemies, and wherein the burning of a bra is a symbolic gesture of liberation. I know women, both personally and professionally, who find the Green take on feminism to be both pedestrian and offensive.

However, what is my concern, because I have made it my concern, is the inability of a political party to distinguish between affirmative action stacking-of-the deck and non-democratic internal conduct, and the hallowed principles of choice and merit, as recognized by Western democratic process.

As a direct result of the takeover of Canadian Green parties during the nineties by environmental NGO’s, who dutifully delivered the leadership of the GPC to Ms. May, I would suggest that these parties now find themselves in a quandary. The core Green principles of decentralization and bioregions have been gutted from the GPC’s history and heritage as these, obviously, will not do for a centrist, nanny philosophy. The eco-Libertarian, Green pioneers have abandoned the party in droves. The granola demographic of support is about to max out at 10%. Those Green policies that are valid have been, and continue to be, co-opted by every mainstream political hack and party on the map.

As such, the GPC has likely painted itself into a corner where it falsely sees no alternative but to play the feminist card because it is the only one left to it. One need simply take a look at the signal being sent via the orchestrated leadership of Green parties along gender lines. It is, of course, the prerogative of the GPC to go this political route. As it is the prerogative of the Canadian electorate to pass judgment.

The strategic attempt to split the Canadian electorate along gender lines, as a misguided reading of the polls may indicate to the Green intelligentsia to be a worthwhile pursuit, is beyond political folly: it is simply stupid and political suicide. Such effort, I would suggest, is what is really “vile.” The Canadian electorate will not stand for it. The GPC may as well put a gun to its befuddled political brain.

As for my “frenzy” as per the learned Ms. Meddings-Smith, allow me to pre-empt her likely next move for the benefit of the reader. No doubt it will be to pull out the inquisitor’s knee-jerk bully cart and attempt to place me in it. Victims are so predictable. Ms. Meddings-Smith and I, however, do agree on one thing: by all means, I strongly encourage readers to visit either my blog or website.

GPC Convention: Nebulous Political Eye-Candy

The Green Party of Canada has announced that it will hold its national policy convention in Pictou County (read: Central Nova), September 5-7. Yawn.

David Suzuki may or may not address the Green convention slated for Pictou County. Green parties have been riding on Mr. Suzuki’s coattails for close to 25 years, up to and including lobbying him to run on the Green ticket. I should know because, as the Corresponding Secretary for the BC Greens in 1984, I was doing the pitch. He has since appeared as a speaker at Green functions, but it would seem that he will not allow himself to be railroaded into being a Green candidate.

So just what is it that David Suzuki and Al Gore have in common that prevents their names from being affiliated with the Greens? The citizens of Central Nova may wish to ponder that question, or not.

As I stated in a letter to The New Glasgow News when Ms. May announced her non-aggression pact in Central Nova with Stephane Dion, the GPC will likely max out at 10% of voter support (with no seats), which is where the party currently sits, and then start to spin its wheels. If Ms. May has any room left in her mouth for more feet, then public support could easily fall far short of that. The reason for this is that the national hard-core granola demographic likely maxes out at somewhere around 10%. The leap to Mr. and Ms. Main Street is a political span of light years. Ms. May’s leap into the arms of Stephane Dion, however, is a much shorter distance.

Will there be any political payback for the Greens from holding this convention in Pictou County? Not according to The News’ own opinion poll. Had the GPC’s communications director not resigned in protest over the May-Dion pact, they may have figured that one out in advance. The convention is yet another brilliant strategic call by the GPC brain trust. But it sure serves the purposes of Ms. May to keep western delegates at bay while pandering to the neophytes of the Nova Scotia Green Party.

It’s over. It’s time to bite the bullet, become Griberals and work towards the great touchy-feely nanny state wherein individuals will be cuddled and hugged from birth to death.

Executives try to hijack agenda of Green Party

(Letter published in The New Glasgow News, January 25, 2008)

The resignation of Green Party of Nova Scotia Leader, Ken McGowan, over accusations of undemocratic and centrist conduct by the GPNS Executive in concert with Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, sheds much-needed light on the internal shortcomings of all Green parties. The sooner the public becomes aware of these serious political liabilities, the better will democracy be served. After all, how one looks after one’s own house is a reflection on how one proposes to look after the neighbour’s property and business.

In time, the public will become more aware of something which may yet be only an irritable scratch on the psyche: that the Green Party of Canada is hell-bent on foisting a feminist agenda onto the Canadian public disguised as ecological concern, much like a thief sneaking in through the back door in the dead of night.

But then, a thief sneaking in through the back door is acceptable politics for Ms. May and her cohort, M. Dion. Just ask the people of Central Nova.

As has been pointed out in previous letters to The News, the Green principles of bioregionalism, decentralization and grassroots democracy have all been abandoned by the Green Party of Canada. Soon all that will be left is a stringent, fish-wife feminism blindly cooed over by a gaggle of obedient eunuchs.

Some Blood Letting in Nova Scotia

Green Party of Nova Scotia Leader, Ken McGowan, resigned from his post to-day over a bitter dispute with the GPNS Executive. Mr. McGowan’s resignation has made national news. For anyone who hasn’t caught it, CTV and The Chronicle Herald have broken with the story.

Mr. McGowan’s assertions of questionable and undemocratic conduct within the GPNS and its Executive have a familiar ring to them. For anyone who might be interested in the juvenile antics that I had to put up with when I attempted to let my name stand for the leadership of the GPNS, please check out some of the first posts in this blog.

A letter to The New Glasgow News has been submitted.

Eleventh Hour Proposal for TrentonWorks

(This article was published in the print version of The New Glasgow News, January 15, 2008.)

Last May I announced my intent to seek an independent candidacy in Central Nova for the pending federal election. The status of my candidacy has not changed; it is pending.

The following proposal was to be, and may yet be, a major plank in my platform. However, as the situation for the future of TrentonWorks has hit a crisis point, I have no alternative but to release this proposal now in the public interest without having myself attached to it as a political candidate.

I propose the following: that the Government of Canada undertake a feasibility study to determine if it is possible, from an engineering perspective, to retrofit the Confederation Bridge to house a hydro turbine tidal fence. The proviso for this proposal is crucial. Should a feasibility study prove to be positive from engineering and economic viability perspectives, then all fabrication work for bridge upgrades and eventual turbine manufacture, whole or in part, be contracted to TrentonWorks.

I would think that a guaranteed demand for product, with minimal shipping overhead, i.e. from Pictou Harbour to sight of assembly, and with the potential of tapping into a dynamic, global market, would catch the eye of any tentative buyer of TrentonWorks, if not the eye of Greenbrier itself.

I further propose that said feasibility study incorporate the engineering expertise of Blue Energy International (BEI) along with representation from Strait Crossing Development Inc. (the current owners of the bridge), appropriate federal ministries, and provincial representation from New Brunswick and PEI. Note that the Federal Government would occupy a crucial seat as the management and operations of the bridge resort back to the Government of Canada in 2032.

BEI is a Canadian company and a world leader of tidal turbine and tidal fence technologies. I strongly suggest a visit to the company’s web site at http://www.bluenergy.com/ to view the company’s Dalupiri tidal fence project in the Philippines and, in particular, the bridge retrofit project on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. (A note to skeptics: no, I do not hold a share position in BEI.) The total length of the Dalupiri project is roughly the length of the Confederation Bridge. On completion, utilizing 274 of BEI’s Davis turbines, the Dalupiri project will generate 2,200 mega watts of energy. I leave it to you, the reader, to connect the dots on what this implies for the energy self-sufficiency of the Maritimes and possible export of surplus.

I further propose that, within the economic context outlined herein, that a share of Atlantic Gateway monies be earmarked for the upgrade of Pictou Harbour.

A multi-billion dollar project of such magnitude as is being proposed would require careful navigation through a minefield of a myriad of political, corporate, financial, legal and bureaucratic self-interests. Some sort of 3P arrangement goes without saying. However, it all boils down to the results of a feasibility study and, based on the study’s results, the marshalling of political will.

Lastly, I propose that the Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia offer to jointly lease the TrentonWorks facility, with all current assets in place, for the length of the proposed feasibility study. In this manner, Greenbrier is not only given the option of freezing bids for the duration of the study, but it is also not out-of-pocket.

This proposal is offered to the community in good faith. As the federal political representative of the community, the onus falls on The Honourable Peter MacKay to move with it, to bring it to the attention of Cabinet, or not. As such, the proposal somewhat takes on the dynamic of a standard call option. Should Mr. MacKay not exercise the right on the option by its expiry date, i.e. the date when the writ for an election is dropped, then the option reverses back to me as my intellectual property and as a plank in my pending independent platform.

The long-range vision implied in this proposal is for hydro energy self-sufficiency for the Atlantica region. If such a simple thing as a feasibility study to kick-start the process collapses, on either Mr. MacKay’s end or on mine, then the citizens of Central Nova may be strongly urged to boldly rally behind the socialist, earth-shattering NDP vision for a $10/hour minimum wage. They will need it.