Green Party of Canada Membership Test

Published on 2022-09-24 by Stuart Spence

What's more important to you: climate science or social justice?

Canadian politics is better when all parties are strong. How can the Green Party of Canada (GPC) recover its legitimacy and relevancy? Here I describe a simple and likely controversial membership test. I can't think of any other way forward for the GPC.

It's no secret that the GPC has been struggling, even collapsed, in recent years. We have seen one of the precious few green MPs join the Liberals, the leader leaving or not leaving, the president resigns saying the GPC "dream is dead", and ongoing self-immolation over misgendering or Palestine.

I enjoy following all political parties, and I have good and bad to say about all of them. Unfortunately, it seems like the GPC membership is more interested in virtue signaling than saving the planet. They spend a lot of time talking about social justice and almost no time talking about science or helping industry. Just have a look at the latest 2020-2022 policy process or the biggest GPC online communities. I classified each of the 55 proposals with my subjective criteria, and just 18 of 55 were directly about ecology or climate. 31 of 55 were about social justice (there was some overlap). By this measure, GPC membership spends almost twice the time talking about social justice than climate. To me, this is obviously all wrong.

The Test

With that in mind, I propose a GPC membership test. We ask a simple question:

Which is more important to you?

1) Social justice (LGBTQ, Israel, first nations, racism).

2) Climate science and fighting climate change.

3) Other, both, it's complicated, or you can't separate the two.

If you don't answer "2) climate", you get kicked out of the party. Do that for every member, everyone on the federal council, everyone. If the GPC doesn't do it for everyone, then people will just pick favorites again.

Politics is about bringing people together, forming bonds of friendship, and not kicking out members. Unfortunately, I think the people who are answering 3) and especially those answering 1) are destroying federal representation for people who would answer 2). Maybe we need two parties, I'm not sure. A green justice party, or a green science party.

See Also

As a side note to anyone reading, I highly recommend the decouple podcast. Here's the host testifying in parliament what a fair energy transition would look like for Canada.