Jim Harris Jim Harris where art thou Jim Harris?

If you had been trying to “follow” the Green Party in the media over the last 3 weeks you would have found it very difficult. The coverage has been, at best minimal and at worst, totally non-existant.

Some may say that the blame lies in the media establishment, and I’m sure there is an element of that, however, if the Green Party and Jim Harris want to make their voices heard, then maybe they should first try TALKING A LITTLE LOUDER!

In my riding, I have yet to see a Green Party sign or banner. Indeed, if I didn’t, by coincidence, happen to have a friend how is active in with the Green Party in my riding, I doubt I’d even know who the current candidate is.

There was talk last week about “infighting” with the Green Party ranks and while there is certainly some of that going on, the level of disruption it is causing is, I think being somewhat overblown by the media. They suggest that this sort of infighting is somehow unique to the Green Party, when we have the well publicized feuds within the Conservative and Liberal parties to compare against.

THe difference might be, though, that the Green Party, because of it’s new found public wealth is having some growing pains. Perhaps that $1 million isn’t quite flowing to where it should be going. One of the appeals of the Greens has always been that it was a truly community minded party… focused on sustainable, community living. Well, if all the money is being tied up by the party leadership under Jim Harris then doesn’t that go against some of the principals of the party?

Yesterday the Greens were in the news as Jim Harris went to the heart of the oilpatch (and the center of much of his parties strength last election) to deliver his energy platform. It was carried well in the major news outlets.. but that is also the first time Harris and the Greens were mentioned in nearly a week.. that just isn’t good enough.

My point is this, if the Green Party wants to do better in this election than in the last then they had better start raising their profile. TV Commercials and radio ads are nice, but can be very expensive. They need to start with the basics. Get some Green Party signs out there! Extend a goal to the riding associations to make sure their candidate is in the local papers at least 3 times EVERY WEEK. Jim Harris should be on the news or in the national papers at least 2 to 3 times a week from now until the end of the campaign. No doubt, these are ambitious goals, but if something is going to come of all the griping by the Greens for coverage, a lot of that work is going to have to be done by the Greens itself.

3 thoughts on “Jim Harris Jim Harris where art thou Jim Harris?”

  1. You got it correct when you said that the Greens will have to do the work by themselves. That’s how we build the party I joined – one that grows from the grassroots up. I never supported Jim when he was elected, and I still don’t. This isn’t a party of businessmen, nor is it a party just for long-haired hippies. It’s for Canadians who believe that how we approach our politics has to switch to the topic with the most importance – our interdependence with the planet.

    As this year has cost insurance companies across the world over $200 billion in coverage (with damage nearing 1 trillion!) as a result of the most turbulent weather ever recorded, switching what our politics are concerned about is something every Canadian (minus the elite) could benefit from.

    I’ve been disappointed about the amount of coverage in the media, but it was expected. I’ve been more disappointed with the GPC using the same tactics as last election. While they are tactics (talking about our OWN party, and not simply bashing the other parties, for example) that are relatively progressive, Jim and co. have to realize that the media and the other parties simply do NOT want the GPC on the same footing as the entrenched parties, and thus we can’t go about believing we have an equal chance if we play by their unequal rules. Especially if the GPC is committed to democratic reform in this country – the current entrenched parties want to stay entrenched, and not let any other children on the playground play in the sandbox.

    I hope Jim realizes this. I do, and so I’ve changed how I’m helping the campaign – by talking to people! People I know! Realizing that people don’t give a care in the world about the stuff that’s coming out of politicians mouths (the same stuff that comes out of bovine butts, by the way).

    The Green Party would do well if the people promoting the party were not politicians, but Canadians.

  2. There’s an element of truth that the GPC doesn’t do the work to get the publicity, but you also miss the point about why people join the greens. Mostly, it’s disaffection with politics as usual. That’s partly about spun statements, and the fact that the 3 second sound bite has become the norm. That’s, in turn part of the general cynicism prevalent today. That’s why our potenetial supporters includes the 35% plus non-voters. Green canvassers will foolishly spend 30 minutes converting an undecided vote. I bet though, that the voter remains converted for life, and volunteers to boot, way too frequently for the main line parties comfort.
    I’m in the GPC because I want to actually influence Gvt. policy, and that means I have to prostitute myself with 3 second sound bites sometimes. As more greens like myself stop being normal citizens, and start becoming ambualance (media) chasers, then the coverage will follow I’m sure. In the meantime, we experiment with communications techniques, and learn how to ‘do’ politics. We aren’t stuck with old habits, and that ought to worry the mainstream further. Think of Howard Deans experiments. Y’all better be concerned. The Green party is basically honest, and it shows. The ‘split’ rumours are nonsense, and the Greens provide an ideological basis to act. The ideology has wide appeal, and Green membership will never stop getting bigger and better.
    I know wherof I speak. In Toronto, there are three EDA’s that have shown a 5 fold or better membership increase this month. All three are run by new greens, that bring real world credentials and experience with them. One downtown riding in particular is recruiting 15 -20 new members per day on the canvass trail. Give us a 2007 election, and we’ll change Toronto forever. ( Provided Canada survives the 2006 election)

    tallyho!

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