Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Jim Harris and the Green Party of Canada

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Ah, the Green Party. They keep trying to be “the little engine that could” but end up being “the little party that just couldn’t.” There’s a lot to love about the Green Party and a lot to make fun of. In a lot of ways they are the Doom Patrol – equally loved and hated depending on who you are and who’s in charge. Plus there is a fairly healthy mix of freaky people and suits. At least now there is. Once upon a time this party was the political equivalent of a Fruit and Nut Bar that had candidates who looked and spoke as if they spent all their time in a root cellar chewing on bark. Now they’re competing with the big kids and look to actually give them a run for their money. These are the second stringers that suddenly became interesting in the right hands.

To me, the history of the Greens is like the opening of The Incredibles where Buddy keeps trying to be like his hero. In some ways it’s amazing that someone young and inexperienced can pull off something as amazing as rocket-boots but they waste their potential trying to copy their idols. In the eighties, some Green lefties were inspired by the European Green Parties and managed to register one in Canada. Unfortunately, modeling a Canadian political party after a European one doesn’t quite work since Canada is larger than all of Europe. Green Parties tend to work in smaller locations, and Canada is certainly not a small location. Anyway, the original Greens sat on a copyright for a while until the next generation came around and said, that’s actually not a bad idea and we can get someone elected if we tone down the “I know what’s right for you even if you don’t and I will cram my righteousness down your frickin throat until you accept my superiority over you” stance inherent in all environmental movements. The last election had the Greens moving from being confused with Greenpeace and the Marijuana Party to being seen more like an actual political party that could get an actual politician elected – some time in the future…eventually.

How about the logo. Why does it look like a buzz-saw or the British Petroleum logo? I don’t think that’s a good idea, but what do I know. Is it supposed to be some flower bullshit? Because to me it looks like a smudged thumbprint. I guess the Green heroes could take an ironic stance and be buzz-saw themed heroes but I doubt they’re that clever.

Now for the slogan, “We Can.” Not exactly horrible, but not exactly good. It’s not exactly specific either, what can you do exactly? Compost? But then you look through their candidates and shockingly they can look like politicians. Maybe that’s what they mean, they can wear suits and comb their hair. Okay, not all of them, but more of them than you’d expect. Maybe they can also have political scandals and pissed off ex-leaders? Yep on both cases. Good job Greens, you can be a political party – well except for the whole getting elected stipulation.

And for the leader. Is he Underdog or Jim Harris? Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that he doesn’t get picked to take part in debates. Poor guy. I bet he got picked last for dodgeball as well. Unlike the previous leaders of the Green Party Mr. Harris’s leadership has been plagued with controversy. He won the leadership by making it a goal of the party to run a candidate in every riding, and softening the unworkable Green solutions the party was formed on. Apparently this isn’t a Green value because ex-members have been writing nasty articles about him because of this. I guess it’s not Green to compromise and be worth the public’s attention.

Since he’s not included in the debates I’m going to put two pictures of Mr. Harris up here, so the voting public will get to know him. Yes, you, that one Canadian voter who reads this, this is the Green Party leader. Here he is demonstrating his super-power of misdirection. Is he going up, will he go down? Ha ha, you will never know, Toads! Yes, he can be a politician, didn’t you read the slogan? There are a few things I know about Mr. Green Jeans, he always mentions his Toyota Prius and bottled air in interviews. I wonder if he’ll give his star candidates a ride in his Prius and a hit of bottled air when they agree to run?

I need to give the Greens credit though, they managed to bring themselves out of complete obscurity by some pretty innovative means. They had mostly volunteers and little cash but pulled off what only 3 other parties have ever done and run a candidate in every riding. Sure last year’s platform was riddled with inaccuracies and it contradicted itself, and this year former employees and leaders are somehow quitting their positions again months or years after they quit the first time, but it’s not bad for a group of people with no idea of what being a political party entails. At least they don’t all look like the Unabomber.

And finally, Google image search has shown me that Kamala the Ugandan Giant’s real name was Jim Harris. While he would be a hell of a lot more entertaining to see in a political debate when he pile drives the other leaders into the podiums, I give the Green points to being randomly associated with someone retro-chic. I'd vote for this guy in a heartbeat. Plus, the Green Party ran Sailor White in the last election.

Superhero Name – Mr. Green Jeans
Super Powers – Drives his Prius like a motherfucker, master of misdirection, gets more powerful with global warming.
Weaknesses – surrounded by scary looking people
Superhero Team – The Green Machine
Overall Rating – B+ (Most improved)

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