Save the Planet: Stop Harper

I feel passionately that the current elections in Canada and USA are one of the most critical in our lifetime. Against previous promises to myself not to talk about politics on this blog, I have already posted one long piece about Stephen Harper’s arts funding cuts. This morning, I received the message below from the Canadian wing of AVAAZ. With an increasing sense of urgency I wish to share this with my Canadian readers, though I think most of you are with me on this, but request that you pass this on to all your friends and contacts. Here it is in full, with hyperlinks added by me.

Dear friends,
With the election in 10 days, Stephen Harper is within striking distance of a majority government. Canada is just steps away from four years of unchallenged rule from one of the worst leaders on the planet on climate change.
Canadians are rallying in response. Our campaign to come together across party lines and vote strategically to defeat the conservative candidate where we live is taking off like wild fire. In just a few days we donated over $100,000 to run campaign ads in key ridings, and now an impressive group of top Canadian artists have come together to record an inspiring song for Avaaz calling on all Canadians to join the campaign. Click below to listen and get a free download of this awesome song from diverse artists like K-OS, Sarah Harmer, Ed from Barenaked Ladies and Jason Collette from Broken Social Scene.

Click below to listen to the song, and answer its call to action by signing our pledge to vote smart to defeat the conservatives. The election is close, if we can get just 150,000 pledges to vote smart in close races, we could make the difference. Act now, and forward this email to everyone!

At the debates this week, Harper, with a straight face, touted his “hard targets plan” to cut emissions which he claimed is “admired by leaders around the world”. Unbelievable! In fact, Harper has been voted the worst leader on climate change in the world by international experts at the UN Summit in Bali. Elizabeth May [Green Party – ed.] called his climate plan what it is, “a fraud”. The plan has limited measures to cut emissions per barrel of oil, but since Harper’s planning to hugely increase oil and tar sands production, total emissions could still increase! Harper’s neoconservative oilman buddies like George Bush like his plan, but no credible expert, scientist, or environmental group supports it.

What kind of leader deceives his people in such a significant way to avoid action, and wreck the world’s efforts to act, on the most crucial issue of our time? A leader with great spin doctors who, like George Bush, isn’t there for the people, he’s there for the oil companies.

We can’t let Harper win 4 years of complete control over our country. The Canada we love is in danger, let’s come together quickly — as NDPers, Liberals, Greens, conscientious Conservatives, Bloc supporters and people with no political stripe — and do everything we can over the next 10 days to save it.

With hope and determination,
Ricken and the Avaaz Canada Team

P.S. – For an outstanding guide to how to vote strategically where you live, visit this great website: Vote for Environment
For a great analysis of the Parties’ environmental records: Elections at Desmogblog
And here is another good strategic voting environmental website: Vote for Climate
If you want to double-check that who you should vote smart for, this is a highly impartial guide from Greg Morrow, who does not support strategic voting.

ADDED Oct.6th: Anything but Conservative

October 5, 2008 in Canada and BC, Current Events, Environment by Marja-Leena