The Crayon Box: Grassroots

Continued from last issue…

One of the main priorities of the Green Party is to improve democracy. When asked about whether they believe, as some New Brunswickers do, that politicians frequently go back on their word, all three agreed. Ms. McAllister thought that politicians should be more careful when making promises and, if they can’t keep one, come clean and explain what happened. Promises, she notes, are easy to make but harder to put into practice. She also advocated for more town halls, which increase voter engagement and transparency. Mr. Sabine said that we need a system to hold politicians accountable, as he does not feel like an adequate system exists. They also were well aware of a question they’ve said has been on many people’s minds, “why Green?” They argue that the Green Party would be different than the others. Ms. McAllister points to the Green Party principles and platform, which are well-developed and informative. She claims that the party and especially David Coon, are in touch with not only the people, but with their other party members in a way no other party is. All candidates brought attention to the party policy of not having whipped votes, where party members are required to vote with the party. Ms. Merritt-Gray said that if her constituents disagreed with what the party was proposing, she wouldn’t vote with her party, which is how she thinks democracy should work. Mr. Sabine says that he’s in it to make a change, not for the money. He’s even pledged, if elected, to give half of any money he would receive to not-for-profit charities. He says, “You know when you vote Liberal and Conservative, [you know] what you’re getting… if you vote Green and it’s the same thing, what are you out?” Finally, all three candidates made clear that they thought the politicians from the other parties were good people with good intentions, but since, according to them, other parties make their politicians vote with the party, they claim those politicians are limited in how much they can actually help.

Both Ann McAllister and John Sabine thought they’d be blue crayons. To Mr. Sabine, blue represents a medium colour, one that doesn’t stand out, but one he finds relaxing, especially in the blue skies and water. He often wears blue and has had several blue cars. To Ms. McAllister, blue stands for harmony, collaboration, and being a team player. Marilyn Merritt-Gray chose a green crayon, saying that it’s the colour of the natural world, of spring, and of the land.

Their advice: vote. In Mr. Sabine’s riding, 41% of people didn’t vote in the last provincial election. That means that only about half the population is actually being represented. As the title (which is an ABBA reference) suggests, the Green party wants voters to take a leap of faith and try something new. They want you to take a chance on Green.