The Yukon Green Party (parti vert du yukon) formally announced their status as a registered territorial political party today. The party was registered February 28, 2011 with Elections Yukon.
Approximately 20 people plus members of the press attended the announcement made by the party’s interim co-leaders Mike Ivens and Kristina Calhoun.
“We’re membership based, we’re grassroots,” said Calhoun. “We come up from the bottom and we, together as members, decide what do we want, what do we think is best for the Yukon.”
“We believe in cooperation and consensus rather than confrontation,” added Ivens.
The Yukon Green Party’s policies are based on International Values set out by the Charter of Global Greens.
- Participatory Democracy – working to create proportionally elected governments that represent and engage citizens,
- Sustainability – using natural resources wisely to protect the rights and needs of future generations,
- Social Justice – acknowledging that all humans have a fundamental right to health, well-being and freedom,
- Respect for Diversity – protecting and valuing all cultures and individuals while conserving variety in the natural world,
- Ecological Wisdom – learning to live within the physical and biological limits of our Earth and to protect its life-giving nature,
- Non-Violence – safeguarding people’s security and freedom through cooperation and consensus-building.
One questioner was adamant that politics happens quickly and was wondering how he was going to get answers and who to get them from.
Ivens and Calhoun explained that it was the party members that decided on having interim co-leaders and that is is part of the party’s policies to work cooperatively. If the question being asked is something that had already been discussed and decided on, either co-leader will answer; if not, they will confer first.
Another person suggested that most people see the Green Party as being left wing. Ivens responded by stating that the Yukon Green Party is nether left or right but, rather a consensus builder that works toward fiscal responsibility as well as environmental and social responsibility.
“I invite anybody to join us, we are not to the left or the right; we are a new way of doing politics from the grassroots up with a look not to the next election or the next budget, but to the next century to look out for future generations,” said Ivens.
When asked about the possibility of the Greens “splitting the vote” the response was that the people that have been involved in the formation of the Yukon Green Party have come from all the other parties so support is coming from all directions.
The Greens are also looking to reach the large number of eligible voters that have not been coming out to vote, said Ivens.
Calhoun said that the Yukon Green Party will probably not run a full slate of candidates in the upcoming Territorial election but that it was more important to ensure that the candidates that are put forth are chosen as the best local representatives for their riding.
Part of the requirement to be registered is to field at least two candidates, she said.
“It’s much more than a one-issue party, it’s not just about the environment or maintaining the status quo, its about change, and its about positive change,” said Calhoun.
Norm Hamilton is a freelance writer and photographer based in Whitehorse.