Sunday, 6 April 2014

Québec Solidaire: Well-meaning Disservice to A Prosperous Green Economy

To Kevin,

First, I would like to say I am sorry about the appearance of the nature of our exchanges on Twitter yesterday.

Twitter can at times be a very inadequate tool for communication when the subject is complex and a full response requires much more than the 100 or so characters left after including Twitter addresses.  Worse a disagreement in this limited format can seem like a confrontation when this is not the case.  Regretfully, both of these factors were at play during our exchanges regarding Québec Solidaire (QS).  Accordingly, I am offering you this more complete picture.

Second, I think we are on the same page for a prosperous, inclusive and green economy.  However, when I apply these criteria to QS as well as the other parties, no party responds to what I am looking for as well as excludes that which I definitely don't want.

To begin on QS deficiencies, the QS policy on the environment is a complete departure of from green economy paths elsewhere in the world in that QS calls for financing of the green economy mostly from a redistribution of the wealth over to green causes along with government being the principal financier of such initiatives.  This puts the green economy in the same category as social programs and as a result it's a recipe for failure rather than one for economic development.
Moreover, as Françoise David has repeatedly said, under the QS model, QS would heavily invest in public transportation for all as its principal solution.  Nowhere else in the world does the "solution" depend primarily on a single measure.

Add to this, the QS proposal to nationalize the wind sector when there are very few Quebec indigenous wind technologies -- an absurd formula that would result in an international green private sector boycott of Quebec.

The Chinese, European, Brazilian Indian and US governments provide combinations of legislation, policies, fiscal measures, programs, incentives/disincentives and financial leveraging measures to foster a change in economic paradigms that favour private sector investment in the green economy.   These  countries have  recognized that one requires an over-arching approach to engender transformative change.

There are 3.5M jobs in the EU green sectors and 1.2M in their renewable sector.  In Germany, the green sectors are collectively larger than the auto industry.

Indeed, the green sectors have become one of the highest job creation sectors of our times and this has been achieved by promoting the migration to a green economy as economic development, as well as sustainable development, solutions.  The green economy is in fact a good news win-win story.  In this regard, a Canadian BlueGreen Alliance report has indicated that there are six to eight times more jobs per subsidy investment unit associated with green investments when compared with similar investments in the fossil fuel sectors.

Yet,there is nothing in their platform about creating new wealth - nothing for a prosperous green economy.

QS for me lives down to the stereotype image to the effect that a green economy and economic development are at odds with one another.  Harper conveys the same message.

Rated against what I want -- a prosperous inclusive green economy -- QS fails on 2 counts. 

Then there is what I definitely cannot support 1) a party with no plan for economic development and 2) a party that advocates Quebec sovereignty.  These are two of the three themes of QS.

This of course leaves me with no party to support.  For the first time in my life, I will vote for an independent candidate as a protest vote in that each  of the four parties has baggage that I cannot accept under any circumstances.  I hope this is the last time I feel compelled to do so and that the next time around there will be an NDP provincial party.

In closing, it is incredible how many people have written letters and articles published in newspapers to the effect that they feel like orphans in this election.  The following is just one example of this phenomenon.

Your way of compromise may be better than mine.  Indeed, that kind of formula has worked for me 99.9% of the time - Quebec 2014 is the first and I hope last exception for me. 

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