Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Free Green Advice for Liberals: Make Lemonade

Whooee! There's an old saying that goes, "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade." It ain't too cryptic. If you get into a situation that looks bad, turn it around by making the best out of it. Right now, the Grits are on the receiving end of a truckload of lemons in the form of a trademark issue regarding the LPC's just-announced Green Shift policy and a private company that has been using that name for a few years. Talk of infringement, cease and desist letters and lawsuits is in the air.

Here are some of the products offered by GreenShift.ca:
  • Non-toxic, Biodegradable, cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, bags, wrapping…
  • Non-toxic, Biodegradable cleaning products
  • Non-toxic, Non Green House Gas emitting fuels
  • Fair Trade, Shade Grown, Organic Coffees from around the world
  • Chlorine Free, High Post Consumer Recycled Content Paper Products – toilet paper, towels, nose tissues, envelopes… containers.. bags… boxes..
Just the sort of supplies that would come in handy at a summer BBQ. Say... aren't the Liberals planning to promote their Green Shift at scores of BBQs this summer? Wouldn't it be a good idea if those BBQs were as Earth-friendly as possible -- both for the sake of the planet and for the sake of public relations?

Do I need to connect the dots?

I'm involved with my local community hall. We use a fair amount of the types of products offered by Green Shift. I've been advocating that our hall look into using non-toxic, biodegradable, cups, plates, bowls, cutlery and cleaning products. The switchover to green products has been on the back burner, mainly due to my own laziness wrt sourcing this stuff. Thanks to the controversy surrounding the Green Shift moniker, I have a ready source and I'll be pushing for a trial purchase by our community hall.

JimBobby

11 comments:

Lizt. said...

I do not think that Green Shift, the company , is registered

Anonymous said...

The Liberals call it "The Green Shift."

catherine said...

I don't see the relevance of those two comments to JB's advice, which I think is great advice, btw.

knb, at Liberal Arts and Minds, reports that the owner says she received 5000 angry emails. From blog postings, it seems likely these are mostly from some Blogging Tories and visitors with an agenda. That would make anyone angry. I'm aware that others have used Green Shift as well, but I agree with JB that the Liberals have some making-up to do.

Ryan said...

It's too bad that the Green Party has virtually endorsed the Liberal plan without reservation. Now Dion can look green regardless of the rest of the Liberal environmental policies! (or lack thereof)

Grover said...

Is the Green Party asking me to support the Liberals in the next election?

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Well, Grover, if you live in Lizzie May's riding of Central Nova in Nova Scotia, the Liberals are asking you to vote Green. If you live in Stephane Dion's Q-beck riding, the Greens are asking you to vote Liberal.

If you live in any of the other 306 ridings in Canada, there will be Green candidates running against Liberal candidates. The Green Party is asking you to support Green Party candidates in all 306 of those ridings.

JB

Ryan said...

But don't you think this endorsement makes Dion look more Green than his policies, and those of the Liberals, suggest?

This isn't really about partisan politics. I really that some Greens care little about getting elected and more about getting issues on the table. This whole Green-Liberal combination is giving the Liberals a green shine with little effort. But I mean really, beyond the carbon tax (which doesn't go far enough--not that the NDP plan or any other plan does either), the Liberals have offered no real environmental solutions. It may not have been the intent, but the Greens appear to have handed Dion with a green branding he doesn't deserve.

JimBobby said...

I hear what you're saying, Ryan, but I don't see Lizzie's early approval for the idea of a carbon tax as a blanket endorsement of the Liberal Party or its platform. Prior to Dion releasing details of the LPC plan, Lizzie did endorse the concept. How could she do otherwise? The carbon tax is a good idea and it's been a central plank in the GPC platform for years. We invite other parties to steal our policies and when the LPC leader does an about-face to adopt a central GPC plank, we could not possibly disparage that. Neither can we prevent other parties from taking our policies, even if we wanted to.

In my riding, Haldimand-Norfolk, I expect to see a real contest between our stellar Green candidate and parachuted star Liberal candidate Eric Hoskins. The incumbent Diane Finley doesn't stand much of a chance and the NDP hasn't even nominated anyone. I know other ridings are gearing up for strong Green campaigns.

For dedicated environmentalists and those whose main concern is the environment, the Green Party remains the best choice. The Liberals took one piece of a very comprehensive platform and they watered it down to the point that it will probably not be very effective.

Personally, I'd like to see the GPC shift the focus slightly from climate change. Not that it's not important but so we can focus on our entire platform and not get into a single issue. The environment needs a lot more than just reducing GHG's and the GPC has the best and most comprehensive environmental policy. Since teh Grits are campaigning on the carbon tax/ tax shift issue, we treehuggers oughta be showing how much more is needed and how we are the ones who offer that.

I predict we'll see more and more LPC vs GPC rivalry over the coming months as Dion keeps trying to woo our supporters away and we react to his entreaties.

JB

Ryan said...

Well, granted that sounds fine and good. I agree on the comprehensiveness of the Green's environmental policy--it's the best by far (I just can't get past "eco-capitalism" myself) But this endorsement has given me the impression via the media that the Greens have endorsed Dion's plan, making Dion look pretty Green, even though I know that it's not true.

Since the Greens get little or no media exposure, it makes it look like the Liberals are the "green choice" Just saying, it looks like it has worked in the Liberals' favour while marginalizing the strongest environmental voice.

JimBobby said...

Ryan, just knowing that some people are perceiving Lizzie's endorsement of a carbon tax as a more general LPC endorsement will make me work even harder to get the Green message out.

As I said, I don't think we had any choice but to nod in approval when the LPC wants to carry a big GPC policy forward. We obviously need to do more to show Canadians the differences between the two parties.

As the environment has taken centre stage, GPC support has grown. Growth begets growth and a certain amount of newfound GPC support might well be protest voters who see us as a more viable alternative than before 2004, when we started running in all ridings and started getting some much needed cash from Elections Canada.

It really does boil down to either Harper or Dion as next PM in a (likely) minority government. Elizabeth will never be PM. Neither will Layton. Some soft support will slip from unelectable candidates and parties.

You can bet the GPC will be doing our best to retain as much support at the ballot box as we've been showing in the polls.

JB

Ryan said...

That may be so, but that simply means that Canadians can look forward to a future of tiny changes that don't disrupt the status quo. Same old same old with the same people with the same power and everything will stay the same.