Candidate profile: Adriane Carr, Vancouver Centre, Green Party
If an election could be won by sheer enthusiasm, the Green Party’s Adriane Carr would have won this one by now. And according to word on the street here in the West End, she’s giving Liberal Hedy Fry a serious run for her money.
Green Party canvassers range in age from the early 20s to mid 70s. They are consistently courteous, patient, polite, respectful, and well informed. And they are everywhere — as is Adriane, whom I last saw riding down my street in an open electric vehicle, a sort of stretch golf cart.
Adriane Carr is an idealist who has always wanted to make sure that “the world was the best it could be for my children.”
“The environmental movement,” she explains, “brought together diverse views. There were remarkable cooperative efforts. The stumbling block was politicians!”
Carr once attended an NDP conference to garner support for wilderness areas.
“They shuffled my resolution to a place where it would never get heard,” she says. “And no one would tell me who made that decision. No one would tell me why. They didn’t feel they had to respond because there was no direct competition for votes in the political arena — failing that, they sidelined issues they didn’t care about.”
“There had to be a choice at the ballot box for the environment, social justice, and peace,” she says.
Around that time, Carr read about Greens getting elected in Germany. “What are the Greens,” she wondered, and, upon doing some research, found that their principles were “clear and compelling and true to my own values.”
And so, in 1983, Adriane Carr helped found B.C.’s Green Party, the first Green Party in North America, and served as its first leader.
It might be due to the earthquake and the ensuing nuclear crisis in Japan, or sense that it’s time for a change in our riding, but more and more people who once supported other parties are taking a good hard look at Adriane Carr.
So who usually votes Green?
“A cross section of Canadians,” says Carr. “Small business owners, people from the IT world, graphic designers, organic farmers, people who own small outdoor activities related business ... young people who are interested in issues that other parties will not champion, like food supply and distribution, local economy, quality of life.”
While there are no formal ties to organized labour, Carr says that the Green Party is aware of labour issues such as the privatization of health services and food and cleaning services and security in hospitals. Carr has supported nurses and “school teachers asking for lower class sizes.”
Unfortunately, unions don’t often ask her to speak.
On the subject of not being invited to speak (Green Party leader Elizabeth May was famously denied a spot in the leadership debate earlier this month), Carr finds it ridiculous that corporate media executives alone can decide who speaks in a national debate. She reminds us that the Green Party represents nearly a million voters and is running candidates all across Canada.
Carr says that one of the most pressing issues facing British Columbia today is linked to preparedness for disasters: namely, the seismic upgrades of our schools.
“I would approach various parties within B.C. and listen. I’m open. This is not about trying to get credit,” she says. “I’m willing to meet with anyone expressing interest in this issue.”
Her favourite colour?
“Purple … red. Peach? It’s hard to say," She tries to choose a colour, laughing. "I have a colorful personality.”
For more information about Adriane Carr and her views, visit: http://vancouvercentregreens.ca/