Thursday, July 05, 2007

One-Man Revolution

My old pal Steve Kaasgaard, a co-founder of the Green Party of Canada, got this piece of mail from Elizabeth May:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth May"
To: <23skidoo@ica.net>
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 11:05 PM
Subject: A Message from Elizabeth May




Dear Friend,

A couple of weeks ago I forwarded you a letter from Farley Mowat. If you did not receive it please *click here* >
to view the letter in full. If you did receive it but have not yet had the opportunity to respond, please consider doing so now.
When Farley approached me he said, "After 83 years with the socialist horde (I didn't join until I was two) I have seen the light. So muster me up, if I pass muster!"
Many of you may believe that the Green Party is well-funded thanks to new Elections Canada financing rules. While the party receives some financial support through these reforms, it is far from financially secure. In fact, with elections every 18 months or so, the Green Party paying off debts from the last election while gearing up for the next one. The party needs a *huge infusion of cash* to take on the old line parties effectively in the next election and to keep your environmental and economic concerns in the public eye.
It is maddening to watch the other parties' willingness to play political games as time runs out to confront the gathering storm of the climate crisis. We face other real crises, from loss of species to threats to the fabric of Canadian life as Mr. Harper moves Canada ever more into the Bush Administration orbit.
The legal maximum political donation is $1,100 per person for the federal party, and an additional $1,100 per person to his or her local EDA. The tax treatment is very favorable. A $400 donation, for example, only costs you $100 after the tax rebate.
I am writing to ask you to *give as much as you can*
and to make your friends aware that the Green Party of Canada must have resources to change Canadian politics forever. So please *tell your friends* , talk to people you meet on the street  the only way that we are going to do this is together.
I am looking forward to participating in the televised Leaders' Debates, but my place at the podium is not assured. We need funding now to keep the party's issues front and centre.
Remember that while the Conservatives boast of $15 million in their war Chest, our Green Hope Chest remains close to empty. The Harper Conservatives will have a War Room and attack ads. The Green Party, on the other hand, is promising a respectful campaign focusing on issues.
I would like to lead that campaign. To bring it to Canadians, those of us who care need to *make our donations today* .

Sincerely,
Elizabeth May, O.C.
Leader, Green Party of Canada

P.S. You can also send a cheque to:
Green Party of Canada
PO Box 997, Station B
Ottawa, ON K1P 5R1


And this is The Rebel's reply:

Greetings!

Having founded this party in the eighties as a volunteer and noticing that "we" have NOW come along way despite your efforts to water down our UN PARTY PARTY! -The Green Party ( now mostly brown) has achieved many great things and garnished enough of the popular vote to be in a situation where the system of governance actually bestows money on us to do MORE OF THAT good work with.
Meanwhile SOME of you wannabeees are taking paycheques! for work we normally did because it was the right thing to do... NOT because we required pay to do the right thing for our communities and the next generation.
You really have no clue and obviously NO class at all turning a once definite threat to status-quo into a wet blanket melba toast fundraising - flowers n' tea shop crew.
The party which we founded in the 80's has been reduced to just another stinkingly normal traditional top down controlled hobby club of wannabee do gooders who if given the chance could accomplish great things if NOT for your lack of imagination and daring.
If you want to MAKE CHANGE ON THE STREETS DON'T GIVE YER MONEY TO THE UNITED WAY OR OTHER 'NICE GUYS GROUP' BUSY stuffing the pockets of their friends...give it to the homeless folks on the streets or to those waiting at the food banks.
And if ya want to save the environment...keep it in your pocket and spend it accordingly so that it does not further the destruction we have going on in front of us.
The greens sadly are now just browns and just another stinkingly normal party that only wants our money and nothing else. That's all we get in the mail and its what you've reduced our efforts to. It's being noticed by the press and by our colleagues who inquire as to what kinda shit the greens have become with this kind of hierarchy now in violation of our original intents and purposes.A most unworthy lot that takes AND TAKES AND TAKES money from good working people who trusted GREENS as that original party we once founded as a doorway to a new age of hope for a logical and inclusive democratic system.
Fuck U clowns!
Your circus is parked on top of our hard work!

Sincerely;

Steven Kaasgaard
Green Party of Canada Co-founder 1981



The Rebel's e-mail points up the interesting historic fact of the early Green Party brawl (in Europe and Canada) between decentralists, who wanted a party that was quite anarchistic, without any hierarchy, and engaged in civil disobedience, and the centralists who quickly realized the Greens could be a player in the established political system.
Federal funding under Jean Chretien's campaign financing reform gave the Greens the money to hire professional organizers, buy ads, have an office, and even pay its leader. (All political parties pay their leaders. Few leaders' salaries are disclosed).
So the centralists, the people who are tagged as opportunists by traditionalists such as Steve, have won control of the Green Party. So my question to today's Green Party: How do you re-engage people like the Rebel, who bring enthusiasm to your cause, but don't always talk nice?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How are the Greens supposed to get elected if they don't play the game?