Thursday, April 28, 2011

Canadian Federal Election 2011: Green Party Platform: Food Issues

I have thought long and hard about this particular post.  The Green's platform consists of twelve pages with a mention of subsidies to help those farmers wishing to begin organic farming.  That's it?  Not quite, they have a full discussion of food, farming and other food issues in their Vision Green document.  These posts were meant to review the platforms and not supporting documents, so I am not sure how to proceed in a fair and balanced manner.   Wait a sec, I am not a journalist and I am not even a fake news show host so...

The Greens have the most comprehensive position on Food Issues but you can see the ideological underpinnings and I question these.  Food safety is considered to be better with organics and I am not sure that is true.  Yes, we have less residual pesticide and herbicide but throughout history there have been famines and food bourne illnesses that have been eradicated.  There are so many other reasons to have organic foods in the mix that this focus seems narrow.

There is an anti corporate bent to the whole document and while I tend to be mistrustful and sometimes biased (Hello Starbucks), I am not totally against the idea of corporations.  The food system is broken or at least not running optimal but to place the blame solely at the feet of corporations is to ignore some basic human self interest. Who chooses more expensive food over cheaper?  Who buys tomatoes out of season and then complains about the taste but still wants a garden salad in January? 

The best purpose of the Green Party's platform is to act like a slow trawler waiting to be pirated by the politicians.  They are possibly the most fiscal conservative of the parties but to implement the changes that they suggest would mean a radical shift in the economy and I am not sure that mainstream Canadians are ready for it.  I am sure that many of the sectors are not quite there but this type of switch would mean that the government is choosing new winners and losers.

This review of the platforms leaves me angry and cynical.  In Canada, we traditionally vote for the least offensive option and I think that is what will happen this time as well.

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