It’s the strength and the challenge of opening up a new, non-partisan approach to environmental leadership in federal and provincial elections.
You can introduce a Candidate Matching Tool (CMT) to deliver campaign support to environmental champions across the political spectrum.
You can assemble an Expert Panel to identify the candidates from all the major parties who are most qualified to receive that support.
But in the end, the success of the matching tool depends on the voters who fill it out, then donate dollars and time to help get their candidates elected. And with British Columbians going to the polls May 9, now is the time for our front-line supporters across the province to get rolling.
Which is why we were thrilled when GreenPAC supporters Andrea Hoegler and Diana Borges and Expert Panel member Joseph Pallant told us why they had taken the trouble to fill out the CMT.
A Matter of Curiosity
“I was motivated to fill out the Candidate Matching Tool because I’m a GreenPAC volunteer, I knew this initiative took time and effort to put together, and I really wanted to support it,” Hoegler explains. But “I was also very curious to see which candidate I was most aligned with, and to devote more time to keep up with their individual campaign.”
Based on her survey responses, Hoegler learned that her best match among GreenPAC’s six endorsed candidates was Colleen Ross (NDP, Boundary-Similkameen). With that information in hand, she moved quickly to the next steps.
“I made sure to follow my matched candidate on Facebook and Twitter, and began reading more about her,” Hoegler writes. “I also reached out to a few Facebook friends who live in her riding, to let them know she’d won the GreenPAC endorsement and encourage them to vote for her. I plan to donate a bit of money to her campaign, as well.”
Borges, a recent arrival in BC, said she saw the CMT as a chance to find out more about the provincial election and local candidates. "I hope to learn more about the political history and current political atmosphere of BC, the conservation issues at stake in this election, and the type of work a local politician engages in during an election," she wrote.
"I also hope to volunteer for a local candidate and become more involved in the community."
Boosting the Parties' Climate Change Platforms
Pallant had already taken a deep dive into the candidates’ backgrounds as a member of GreenPAC’s BC Expert Panel. So he says his match with his own riding MLA, George Heyman (NDP, Vancouver-Fairview), “was solid, if a bit obvious.”
But Pallant’s main takeaway was that environmental leadership is a moving target for all the provincial parties.
“From my initial reading, none of the parties have a sufficiently strong climate change platform,” he writes. “I want to encourage environmental leadership within parties, so that we see more ambitious plans in the future. I’m hoping the winner of this election will go above and beyond their current platform,” to help hit Canada’s targets under the Paris agreement. That big-picture goal pointed Pallant to a two-step strategy: “Help get environmental leaders elected, then push for stronger climate plans.”
Hoegler’s and Pallant’s experience shows how a device like the Candidate Matching Tool can transform elections for everyone involved—by bringing more support to environmentally qualified candidates, and helping voters find the candidates who best reflect their environmental expectations and political values.
“By getting involved with this year’s election, I hope to learn more about specific candidates rather than just read the party platforms,” Hoegler says. “GreenPAC’s endorsements helped me pick out the candidates to watch, and the CMT made it easy to align myself with the one I most wanted to support.”
If you live anywhere in British Columbia, take five minutes today to complete GreenPAC’s Candidate Matching Tool.