I've taken a little vacation to see my parents in Switzerland, from where I write this post today. My vacation slightly overlapped with a mild flu so that's why I've been MIA this past week, though traveling and leaving one's usual surroundings has a way of bringing environmental matters to mind even more alarmingly than usually.
This morning, I started my day by checking the report card of upcoming parties in the upcoming provincial election. Basically, a feisty 8 year old has been campaigning the importance of the environment in Ontario, Canada by traveling around and meeting with key environmental people (as far as I understand). Although she evidently has the support a d marketing tactics of many adults behind-the-scenes, her message is genuine and the idea is quite original. It also goes to show that even those outside the voting age and required criteria can spread a message and make a difference,
October 6th, 2011 is the next provincial election day in Ontario and the goal is to make sure environmental issues are not forgotten. Although the campaign has not supported one party, they have asked parties to answer their 10 question survey on environmental issues. No actual grades were given for their answers but voters can make their own decisions based what values and opinions they hold.
I am a strong believer in change coming from above and below. While I do believe that we need to do our part and convince politicians that environmental issues are important for the short-term, long-term and bottom line, I also think the little things we do in our daily routines matter and send these messages as well. For this reason, I think participating in elections with an informed vote is very important. The system may not be perfect but boycotting it is not, in my opinion, any kind of solution. So take a little time to read up on parties' campaigning platforms and make a choice. The sooner you start reading-up, the faster you'll be informed.
So here's Penelope's campaign video.
And the report card/questionnaire for the 4 leading parties and their stances.
You can also try different applications like the voting compass which asks you 30 questions based on key issues in order to determine which party's views you most identify with. I think it's a good starting point and a nice way to see what many of the main issues are. Try it here.