Magazine article Alternatives Journal

All You Need: Love Gets You Some of the Way, Hard Work the Rest

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

All You Need: Love Gets You Some of the Way, Hard Work the Rest

Article excerpt

THE MELODY of the Beatles song "All You Need Is Love" fills the BC legislature as the audience rises, faces turned to the entryway where a jubilant NDP caucus walks in to loud applause. It's a lovely tribute to the late Jack Layton and his last words, "Love is better than anger." But love was certainly not all these folks needed to get them into government.

It was a long, strange election, full of scandal and hard work followed by weeks of nail biting stress and confusion to sort out a minority government. For environmental advocates, there are some important lessons to be learned from the campaign trail, and some exciting times ahead.

The first lesson is that every vote matters. I can remember my parents telling me this the first time they took me with them when they voted, but it really hit home watching the results in May 2017. At one point, the difference between another majority BC Liberal government or the possibility of a Green/NDP government was a nine-vote difference in the riding of Comox-Courtney!

After the absentee ballots were counted, the riding went to the NDP by 189 votes. The election was the closest in BC history, with 43 seats going to the BC Liberals, 41 seats to the NDP, and three seats to the Greens. Ultimately, the NDP and Greens forged a governing agreement and the Lieutenant Governor gave NDP leader John Horgan an opportunity to form a government.

Even though the Harper era crackdown on charitable organizations was over, some environmental organizations still stood on the sidelines. But many did not. In the months prior to the election, Leadnow. ca, Stand.Earth, Dogwood Initiative, Sierra Club BC, and others worked to build their supporter lists so they could call or door knock these people to encourage them to vote.

Getting out the vote, as long as you are not endorsing a candidate or party, is a charitable activity and can have a real impact on close elections like this where there are clear differences on issues like climate policy, the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Site C, trophy hunting, species protection and First Nation rights. …

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