Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Party That Calls Itself Green

Where does the Green Party stand on the network of issues related to factory farming? An enormous body of evidence has shown that the consumption of animal products by humans is a huge contributor to global warming; that growth hormones, antibiotics and other drugs used in factory farming pose dangers to both human health and the non-human environment; that the ways in which factory farms use pesticides and herbicides (not to mention the issues surrounding excess manure) pose dangers to the water supply; and that many practices that have become routine on industrial scale farms are unspeakably cruel to farm animals. One would naturally expect the Green Party to take a strong stand on all these issues. And in Canada that's just what happens--at the federal level. The Green Party of Canada has adopted a long and highly specific list of good policies in these areas. (It’s largely for that reason that I’m seriously considering switching my allegiance to the Greens in federal politics.)

The Green Party of BC? Not so much.

Incredibly, the BC Green Party’s platform includes no mention whatsoever of these issues. Their agricultural policy does not even mention animal welfare. Their climate change policy does not even mention the damage done by agriculture devoted to the production of animal food.*

To my mind, such a party is simply masquerading as Green.

Is the BC NDP any better? On these issues, sadly, not one bit better. But given that, on other issues, the NDP is clearly more progressive (the New Democrats are committed to a $15 minimum wage, for example, whereas Andrew Weaver’s Greens are committed only to appointing a commission to study the issue), the best choice in BC on Tuesday seems to me to be clear.
*Both agriculture and the environment are areas of shared responsibility between federal and provincial governments.


  1. To my mind, all the BC Greens can do is split the NDP vote and let the liberals back in.

  2. In the B.C. Green Party platform I see only this: "We need to support both large and small farm operations, but should shift emphasis away from grazing and hay, to vegetables. More than 60% of crop land is hay, and only a little over 1% is vegetables." In the NDP platform, I see nothing.

    In my riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill, Jordan Reichert is running for the Animal Protection Party. He raised the issue of animal agriculture at an all-candidates meeting, though none of the others really responded. He's not going to get many votes; the riding is strictly an NDP/Green contest, with Carole James of the NDP very likely to win.

    Issues like animal agriculture are much more likely to find public voice in a proportional-representation electoral system. Both the NDP and Greens pledge electoral reform, though I am afraid that, once in office, an NDP government, like the federal Liberals, would claim to discover that the public wasn't interested in electoral reform.