If you weren't aware, Jim Harris, leader of the Green Party of Canada was on the National last night in a town hall meeting hosted by Peter Mansbridge. That was the first time I saw Mr. Harris speak in a format like that - I know the Green Party platform largely from their press releases, but it was the first time I saw Mr. Harris present it.
Mr. Harris differentiated the Green Party from the NDP clearly, as the only party that supports the environment, with the creation of "green collar" jobs and they will not support industries they deem to be big polluters.
Jim Harris dismissed the claim that there would only be voluntary compliance for government regulations on the environment. It seems it's quite a controversial point for the current Green Party.
I think, on the whole, he carried himself well even if it at times it did seem he was not directly answering a question. I don't think it was question avoidance, in the conventional political sense, but just answering a different question then was asked. For instance, when Mr. Harris said something was "unacceptable", that meant he would eliminate or prohibit it. Say instead then "The Green Party would eliminate it".
While I think his statistics were good, I think he could tone down the X% of this, Y megatons of that, in each response as the answer to a question - what is your position and your end goal. Use the statistics to support that goal and only focus on the goal - what are you going to reduce, what are you going to eliminate, or tell us why reducing something by a certain amount will increase something good. Then say, "We're doing this because, Y megatons of this substance affects X% of Canadians."
He's not as slick or polished as the other leaders, but that's not a prerequisite for a job as an MP. And, he's got that Salesman 101 training down pat - "That's a great question, [insert name here]". :-)
Tags: canada, green party, jim harris, politics