We need to be involved with a potential new government by pressuring them to hire (or read) people like Thomas Homer Dixon, David Suzuki and Naomi Klein to help work out social issues and financial issues.
We have incredible urban and social analysts in Canada. We need to demand that our politicians either read their work or hire them to work for Canada and use their experience and research to guide Canadian policy.
If you care about your country you should read the books in this post. You don't have to like them. You don't have to think they are "well written" or not. You don't have to agree with them. But you should read them.
I've met many politicians and one of the first things I ask them is about specific books. I ask them, have you read this or that? And depending on their response I follow up with e-mail and/or letters reminding them of my reading list demands!
Books a politician should read:
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
The Story of B by Daniel Quinn
Collapse by Jared Diamond
The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer Dixon
Environment, Scarcity and Violence by Thomas Homer-Dixon
The Upside of Down by Homer-Dixon.
The Rise and Fall of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (still holds up half a century later!)
One River by Wade Davis
Water by Marq de Villiers
The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody
Actually, the last time I ran into a bunch of Green Party members having an informal gathering at a local restaurant...all 8 of the people at the table had read the above list of books! I was really impressed! Jack Layton has been pretty good at reading when I've run into him.
We get very disappointed with politicians, but yet we seldom research into books on culture or then ask and demand our representatives read these same books. How can they represent us if we don't tell them what we read? How can they represent us if we don't tell them what we think and more importantly...what we feel?
We need to think for ourselves! We need to think and read and discuss. Then...ask..How can we understand policies and world challenges if we aren't at least reading some of these innovative thinkers like Thomas Homer-Dixon or Wade Davis or Jared Diamond? (Jared Diamond wrote "The Worst Mistake in Human History" in 1987 click here on yellow text to read it).
We need to educate and challenge ourselves at least as much as we do politicians. Then stand up and challenge our representatives.
Basically Elizabeth May is a Liberal Party member...but that's okay. She is leader of the Green Party in Canada. The Green Party in Canada is a hiding place for people who couldn't make it in the two or three main political parties in Canada. Jim Green former Green Party leader was major right winger who didn't get very far in the Conservative party ranks who moved to the Green Party in order to get a position in power. I couldn't stand the guy. I'm glad he is gone.
The good news, is that both May and Green do have a history of interest and activism in environmental issues. In fact, May used to be the Pres of the Sierra Club and participated in activist and protest actions in her past.
Canada needs to have a couple of people who are from a background of solving puzzles and helping the working class and getting rid of big-business politicians in leadership positions. NOW. In order to get rid of these right wing, big-business politicians like Stephen Harper we need to vote for Jack Layton and hopefully...he will make Elizabeth May his Minister of the Environment. Unfortunately, there aren't that many good choices for this election. In many ways, although I admire much of Jack Laytons policies research and xperience...he is a choice that is better than either the Liberal party or Conservaive party leaders.
No politician is perfect. But we can and should help them be more informed. Jack Layton has made mistakes I have been so upset by...but at least he listens to his constituents like the other day when he agreed to share debates with Elizabeth May. Elizabeth May is against abortion...but at least she is pro-choice. She doesn't want to control the personal lives of her other female citizens.
You need to communicate with these politicians and tell them how you feel and think!
And the richest two per cent of the world’s people own over half the world’s wealth. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
Ordinary Canadians and Quebeckers want this to change. A poll released last year by Leger and Leger clearly shows that Canadians identify the gap between rich and poor as the world’s number one problem.
In 1968, Lester Pearson chaired a commission on international development. He recommended that wealthy countries contribute 0.7% of their Gross National Income toward Overseas Development Assistance. Pearson’s recommendation was endorsed by the World Bank, the OECD and the United Nations.
Forty years have passed since that time. So how are we doing? In 2007, Canada is contributing 0.3% of our GNI. That’s less than half of what Lester Pearson called for. Jack Layton, 2007.
Some Policies of Jack Laytons:
1) The fight against global poverty.
2) Re-visiting the North American Free Trade Act. As it stands right now, Canada loses money as it loses resources.
3) To protect and make new jobs by having businesses and trades return labour to Canada, not outsource.
4) The efforts to make and keep peace in the world.
5) Tackling climate change
6) Return of troops from Afghanistan now.
7) On June 3, 2008, Jack Layton voted to implement a program which would “allow conscientious objectors…to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations…to…remain in Canada.
8) Political and emotional amendments with Native Canadians
9) Champion of universal health care
10) Supports pioneer environmental innovations like deep lake-water cooling systems and wind power.
11) Decriminalization and possible legalization of marijuana
12) Strong stand on anti-violence and gun control. (no domestic ownership of automatic weapons)
Jack Layton speech
Elizabeth May Wiki bio
Now...go write Jack Layton and Elizabeth May and ask them if they have read your recommended reading material! Demand an answer!
Here are their contact e-mail addresses:
316 Riverdale Ave
Leader of the Green Party of Canada
Green Party of Canada
PO Box 997, Station B