Vote for a possible future with Sonia Furstenau

Instead of voting for the same old partisanship, vote for a principled, persistent powerhouse

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Vote for a possible future with Sonia Furstenau

To be or not to be — is the question I grappled with. Given the role I have in the community, should I ‘be’ (real) or “not be’ (keep quiet). And then it came to me. I am also a resident/citizen with the right to free speech and I write in that role.

This election really does come down to “to be or not to be?”

Elections worldwide have for many years; now we are all at — or perhaps past — the precipice.

Do we take the actions the scientists (think Dr. Henry and the pandemic or the 98 per cent of climate scientists) are advising, or do we not?

That individual decision, those daily actions, and how we act/vote informs the collective result in ways and timelines we can’t really know, not for sure. What we do know for sure is that if too many humans make the wrong choice — the ‘business as usual’ choice — as we head into the winter of COVID and of homo-sapiens — well, the results could be disastrous on many fronts.

I abhor partisanship, certain I would never speak publicly in favour of a party. If I I want to be true, I must.

I MUST speak out — hands down, the closest person to my beliefs and the knowing within my gut is Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau.

Every time we’re called to the polls we hear, ‘this is the most important election we’ve ever had.’ Each cycle it’s more true, particularly this next few years everywhere — to avoid catastrophic earth changes — changes that are without a doubt already upon us.

Still dealing with the respiratory effects from the West Coast of the U.S. burning, I have no doubt this election, and each one that follows around the world at all levels, comes at the last time meaningful action can be taken that gives life a chance to avoid catastrophe.

As I listened to the UBC debate and heard the same old partisan attacks from the two usual parties towards each other — parties who have passed the power back and forth for my whole six-plus decades — those that practice attack over debate, I knew I could no longer stay silent.

Yet here, from their lips, I heard another voice, almost a whisper.

From partisan type leaders came words and phrases I’ve consistently heard spoken by a principled, persistent powerhouse, ever since I met her while we served together at the CVRD table — Sonia Furstenau.

“We have to work together,” “with us all working together,”etc. Google her. No one except perhaps her right arm Maeve or husband Blaise can do her full justice. (So I won’t even try.)

I didn’t hear from either of those leaders, the words that I long to hear, that my heart knows is the truth: (paraphrasing Furstenau) — we can’t prop up a dying industry by giving them $6 billion of tax money so they can survive; we can’t build a dam so that fracking and LNG companies can get resident-subsidized power rates to keep driving the GHG emissions road we’ve driven since Henry Ford; we can’t cut down one more old growth tree, destroy one more intact ecosystem, or ship one more raw log overseas; we can’t keep overcutting our forests so they may never rejuvenate — all for short term gain, to put off long term pain.

Pain that will only add to the present hurts from climate change, among them, species extinction, unaffordable housing, substance use disorders, mental health issues, and low paying jobs that our young are inheriting — along with so many other things we haven’t gotten right, bringing us here to the brink as ecosystems collapse all around us. Nor did I hear them saying we must stop taking Indigenous babies from moms and give them the supports all mothers need.

Now an existential question: in the words of author Arunduti Roy, “Another world is coming. I can hear her breathing.”

In my opinion, another voice is speaking; may all those who want to solve our many problems not only listen to this voice, but act. Instead of voting for the same old partisanship, vote for a principled, persistent powerhouse of a woman. Vote for Sonia Furstenau and her Green Team. Vote for a possible future.

Kate Marsh

Chemainus

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