Claire Martin

Canada IS Great – Keep it that way. – by Claire Martin

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Just one short year ago, my hopes and dreams of becoming North Vancouver’s first Green MP were dashed!

Running for parliament is a wonderful, thrilling, exhausting, and soul destroying experience. It is the single hardest thing I have ever attempted to do. It involves a hugely steep learning curve with literally days and nights of cramming – learning everything from parliamentary procedures, to understanding the ramifications of contentious soon-to-be-passed Bills and then grasping the bigger picture arguments as to why one party over another is better or less equipped to deal with various growing issues.

In the longest campaign period in Canadian history I slogged through books and books of legalize, knocked on literally thousands of doors on the North Shore, and really tried to engage my constituents in thoughtful doorstep dialogue about their/our future.

It was incredibly rewarding and very frustrating at the same time.

I heard over and over again, that people desperately wanted to “just get rid of (Mr.) Harper”.

And no matter how I honed my argument, I could not make people understand that WE DO NOT VOTE FOR A PRIME MINISTER IN CANADA. We vote for MP’s – who then represent their constituency (job #1) and then make up parliament (job #2).

It was – and still is – so important that people understand this.

So today, to my surprise (I’m flabbergasted actually) I read that our exactly-1-year-in Prime Minister has said that the popularity of the new Liberal government has made electoral reform “undesirable”..

I’m shocked because one of the main Green (and Liberal) campaign promises, and one I heard echoed as needed on many a doorstep, was that changing the way we vote to truly reflect the proportion of people who vote for a given party is ESSENTIAL as we move forward.

So, on this, the anniversary of a very tough “morning after the election” for me –  after this 2016 night watching the last gong show US presidential debate – I implore you: reach out to your MP if you feel that the government is not living up to it’s promises.

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  • Reply R MacK October 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I wish I could say that I agree with you but from what I read, about 4 out 5 Canadians don’t even know that work towards electoral reform is being done. It will interesting to see what comes out of these cross country town halls in December. I am quite sure it will not be unanimous so I imagine if anything is done, it will only be baby steps.

  • Reply Claire Martin October 21, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Thanks for the comment. I am the eternal optimist and believe that some form of reform will occur. I’ve engaged Elizabeth May on Twitter (who’s currently working on this subject as part of the Special Committee on Electoral Reform) .. and you can read her comments @ClaireMartinWx or @ElizabethMay – and there’s also a CPAC site on changing our vote – feel free to share around friends. Spreading the word is up to us! Thanks again for the comment. Claire

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