Heartwood sent each of the 2021 Green Party of Canada Federal Council candidates a questionnaire asking them to introduce themselves, share their vision for the Party, and their thoughts on a potential imminent 2021 election and the ongoing internal Party conflict.
Here is Nova Scotia Representative candidate Thomas Trappenberg's response.
- What would you like the members to know about you?
- What is your history of involvement in Canadian Green Parties?
- Why are you running for Federal Council, and why this position?
- Why should the members vote for you?
I have a PhD in Physics and I am a professor in computer science with specialization on AI and computational neuroscience. I went to my first Green Party meeting in Germany around 1980, and I'm an utopianist, meaning I believe that we can do better as a society. I have recently written a little book with my provincial co-leader Jessica Alexander to explain some of our thoughts. You can download a pdf version at https://greenpartyns.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GMGv16420.pdf
I helped a Green candidate in the 2004 election and ran federally and provincially 9 times (Peter Beavan-Baker only won on his tenth time). I have been on Council for a year shortly after Elizabeth became leader, and I lead the Green Party of Nova Scotia for the last 5 years,
I wish for more feedback to members by the provincial reps, and I am at a point in my political life where I have gained some experiences that I hope will can be useful to guide our next steps.
I think I have the maturity to guide, the willingness to cooperate and see workable compromises, and I am eager to communicate with members about their ideas and views (as long as they are honest discussions).
- What is your vision for the Green Party of Canada?
- What are your values around inclusion, diversity and equity?
- What are your values around collaboration, finding common ground, and working through conflict as a hopeful member of FC?
That we elect many more members and lead positive changes as shown in other countries.
We need to get better at this. I see a lot of statements that we need more IDE and yet little discussion on how to go about it. I think we all know that we need to build more safe spaces, but how exactly we do this is rarely discussed. We need to get to more actionable initiatives.
This is a very critical part. I do understand that many of our members are passionate and very principled. However, the luck of cooperation and some maturity have, in my opinion, cost us major electoral success. Talking is thereby a fundamental necessity. We had a situation in our provincial party with a conflict between me and a former NDP organizer, and this person refused to talk or attend mediation meetings. The argument was made that this is his right. However, I think this must be refined in the context of a party. Also, I think I mellowed a bit over the years so that I am ready to find common ground, and I cherish collaborations. That is the whole point of a modern democracy which is often overlooked.
The (possible) 2021 Federal Election
- What are your key priorities for the 2021 National Federal Election?
- What are your key priorities for repairing the culture and operations of the Green Party of Canada in 2021?
- Given that the Party has decided not to hire a National Campaign Manager for the next election if elected, would you want to revisit that decision? If you think that decision was correct, what changes to the role of the Fund, ED, and Council compared to past elections would not having a campaign manager necessitate?
To elect more MPs.
More openness and inviting more distributed collaborations such as supporting EDAs
I would need to first learn more about the situation. Of course, I am quite puzzled about this decision, and I would like to know more about it and what the thoughts for an alternative were. So yes, keen to revisit this decision.
Current GPC Conflict
- Given the ongoing and public rifts in the GPC and the high number of vacant and appointed positions, do you believe that the current Council should delay significant decisions until the candidates in this Council election are seated on the board?
We are now following a process that we have in place in our constitutions. So I do not see a way to stop this process formally other than an appeal to the councilors. I actually think that it would be good to have a new set of eyes look into the situation, so I would hope they consider this.
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