Saturday, January 14, 2006
Green Party Endorses Bold Fishery Preservation Plan
The Inshore Transition and Development Plan (ITDP) is unique in that it doesn't only rely on quotas to manage what is a very delicate resource
(Moncton, Friday, 13 January 2006) - The Green Party of Canada firmly believes in the protection and sustainability of the Maritimes inshore fishery, and therefore endorses the bold plan of the Maritimes Fishermen's Union's that will help ensure its survival, said leader Jim Harris today.
"The Inshore Transition and Development Plan (ITDP) is unique in that it doesn't only rely on quotas to manage what is a very delicate resource," said Harris. "It introduces ways to preserve the fishery, and gives employment tools to those fishers who wish to get out of the fishery. Done properly, the ITDP will be a boon to Eastern Canada's coastal communities."
In its plan, the MFU recognizes that there are too many lobster fishers to sustain the resource. This in itself is a big step ahead. But it goes further: The plan includes programs to naturally enhance and protect the region's ecosystems.
Of note, the MFU has programs in which lobster larvae are extracted and incubated for several weeks. When they are released, MFU officials have found that the survival rate is 35 percent higher. 80,000 lobsters were reintroduced last year alone.
As well, the ITDP has implemented specific steps to protect the lobster fishery, including the monitoring, preservation and research of the ecosystem in which lobster live and thrive.
Finally, the ITDP have several development projects - including research; fishing of alternate species; eco-tourism; and aquaculture - in the coastal towns that traditionally rely solely on one fishery. This diversification is paramount for the survival of these communities.
"The Inshore Transition and Development Plan is a demonstration of a protection plan hatched, if you will, at the grassroots level," Mr. Harris said. "The MFU is to be congratulated for such forward thinking."
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For More Information:
Derek Pinto, David Kay
Media Relations Officers, Leader's Tour
Newfoundland and Labrador, canada, green party, green party of canada, fishery
Friday, January 13, 2006
So. We're back to the seals. Sure. Okay. Let's talk about it.
NOTE: Please check the comments for further developments.
Credit for this post goes to FredfromCBS. Thank you Fred. As much as I wanted to move away from the subject, there's no point in runnin' away.
It all started with this letter that Fred sent to the Green Party...
"I am writing to let you know that you are making it practically impossible for Stephen Harris (and others) to run fairly in Newfoundland. He recently joined our little political yahoo-group for NL Politics and while he defends the Green Party's plank on seal hunting, it is glaringly obvious to me (a new resident of Conception Bay South, formerly of Ontario following a 25 year military career) that this loose plank in the Green Party's platform will sink her ship out here. Just thought you should know that while more and more people strive for a better global environment, the reality of an entire province, whose population has emigrated to all parts of Canada, and who has been badly treated by the Canadian Federal government for years, will never see eye-to-eye with an uninformed sealing position. Even as a mainlander who has lived in Green Germany and then in Nova Scotia where they at least separate recyclables from garbage, I can't vote Green because of this awkward seal stance..."
To which, (I think) Sharon Labchuck (Atlantic Organizer for the Green Party) replied to with...
Dear Fred Harris:
Thank you for taking the time to write the Green Party of Canada and inquire about our policies.
You have asked about our position on the seal hunt. The Green Party supports the phasing-out of Canada's commercial seal hunt. It is opposed to the culling of seals, and other marine mammals, in an attempt to enhance fisheries.
The Green Party of Canada advocates the development of sustainable economic alternatives for those affected by the closing down of the commercial seal hunt. Nothing in the party's resolution negates traditional aboriginal rights, or those rights guaranteed by the Canadian constitution or a treaty.
If you require more information about the seal hunt, please feel free to contact Sharon Labchuk, our Environment advocate, at slabchuk@... or our Industry advocate, Peter Ellis at peterellis1000@....
For general background information and the 2006 Green Party of Canada platform, please visit www.greenparty.ca. You can also access media releases through the Newsroom, located on the left side of the Home page. The Media Releases section is the first item in the drop-down menu.
The policies of the Green Party of Canada are socially progressive, fiscally responsible and environmentally sustainable. They are founded upon six fundamental principles: ecological wisdom, social justice, participatory democracy, non-violence, sustainability, and respect for diversity.
Please note that I have attached the press releases relevant to this topic below.
Thank you once again for taking the time to write us.
Election Info Centre Assistant
This Article was sent along as well, and I'm glad that it was. It gives a whole new perspective to Jim's visit here.
End federal support for seal hunt
This government-subsidized seal hunt is a chapter in our history that needs to come to a close.
(St. John's, Thursday, 1 December 2005)
It's time to end federal support for the seal hunt and instead use federal programs to develop sustainable jobs that will bring Newfoundland and Labrador international praise, said Green Party of Canada leader Jim Harris today at a news conference in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Killing seals is an off-season activity for fishers, and profits make up only a tiny fraction of their incomes. When Canada banned whale killing, people discovered whale watching tours were more profitable. Likewise, the Green Party believes seal watching excursions would be better for the economy and the ecology of the East coast," said Harris. "Canada markets itself on wilderness and wildlife. This government-subsidized seal hunt is a chapter in our history that needs to come to a
Most Canadians don't know that the seal hunt is subsidized by their tax dollars. The Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment reports that the federal government provided more than $20 million in subsidies to the sealing industry between 1995 and 2001. Subsidies are used to upgrade and construct seal processing plants, promote the seal hunt abroad, develop new markets for seal products, and fund research into the development of new seal products.
"Cod stocks were depleted by industrial fishing, which was encouraged by the federal government, and not by harp seal herds. Seals are just a convenient scapegoat for a politically-motivated kill," said Harris. "When Europeans first arrived on the East coat there were an estimated 24 million harp seals living in balance with so many fish that their abundance could impede the passage of ships. Today, less than five million harp seals remain, and the cod are gone."
The Green Party defied conventional political wisdom by voicing its opposition to the seal hunt in St. John's, Newfoundland, not far from where the hunt actually takes place. "Standing against the seal hunt, which since 2003 has meant the killing of nearly one million seals, would be easy to do in downtown Toronto," said Harris. "Instead, we are here in St. John's because we believe that voters have the right to know where the Green Party stands - and to present real, sustainable alternatives to the fishers who participate in the hunt."
Harris challenged each leader of the other federal parties to state their party's position on the hunt and to do so in Newfoundland and Labrador, however popular or unpopular their positions may be.
The Green Party supports wildlife conservation and would redirect seal hunt subsidies to help diversify the economy of Atlantic Canada.
Stop federal seal hunt subsidies The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is allowing a cull of 925,000 seals between 2003 and 2006. Despite scientific evidence that such a high quota is unsustainable, the federal government claims that the hunt will not harm seal populations and is necessary to allow collapsed cod stocks to recover. (Montreal, 30 March 2005)-Canada must put an end to federal subsidies that support Canada's annual seal hunt off the East coast and instead redirect these funds to creating real jobs in Atlantic Canada for local fishers, said Green Party of Canada Environment critic, Sharon Labchuk. "Most Canadians don't know that the controversial seal hunt, which opened today, is subsidized by their tax dollars," said Labchuk. The Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment reports that the federal government provided more than $20 million in subsidies to the sealing industry between 1995 and 2001. Subsidies are used to upgrade and construct seal processing plants, promote the seal hunt in Europe and elsewhere, develop new markets for seal products, and fund research into the development of new seal products.
The Green Party supports wildlife conservation and would redirect seal hunt subsidies to help diversify the economy of Atlantic Canada.
"Killing seals is an off-season activity for fishers and profits make up only a tiny fraction of their incomes. When Canada banned whale killing, people discovered whale watching tours were more profitable. Likewise, the Green Party believes seal watching excursions would be better for the economy and the ecology of the East coast," said Labchuk. "Canada markets itself on wilderness and wildlife. This government-subsidized seal slaughter is a shameful chapter in our history that needs to come to a close."
"Cod stocks were depleted by industrial fishing, which was encouraged by the federal government, and not by harp seal herds. Seals are just a convenient scapegoat for a politically-motivated kill," said Labchuk. "When Europeans first arrived on the East coat there were an estimated 24 million harp seals living in balance with so many fish that their abundance could impede the passage of ships. Today, less than 5 million harp seals remain, and the cod are gone. Current seal quotas, not even enforced, are unsustainable and are a threat to the survival of the species. Government scientists predict the seal population will be reduced by a further 30 percent by 2011."
Fred then posted to the NL-politics Yahoo Group his reply to this email...
Dear Sharon & Peter,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I have Cc'd this response with your reply to my query to my Newfoundland & Labrador Politics (nl-politics) Group. Liam O'Brien is the moderator if you wish to request membership.
As a reletively new Newfoundlander, I found your reply to be informative but I felt that it contained assumptions, coupled with some erroneous fact reporting. So, I went to Google and hit "harp seals north atlantic" and the top two main hits were scientific sites. Both agree quite closely to the news releases that you provided to me. I was very surprised. Numbers that I have heard in the past were much higher and must have included all seal species.
That said, I still think that stating an instant cessation of all seal hunting is Green Party political suicide in the Atlantic Provinces and especially NL. The goal of sealers and DFO is not to wipe out the seals. Creating the same style of sustainability desired for the ground fishery is their goal. Plus, it must be remembered that because we almost eradicated the whales the seals have very few natural predators and require some control. Trying to compare the majesty of whale watching to millions of pounds of fish eating blubber on the ice flows ain't gonna getchya the tourist vote either...
On the other hand, , there is cod and I feel that to protect it we must dismantle every factory freezer, trawling, dragging and netting boat. Remember when shrimp was a treat? It used to be 10 bucks for a shrimp ring! Now they're $2-4 each. Stop foreign fishing and take custodial control; allowing only hand-lines until stocks recover, is the only logical way to repair the damage.
Just my thoughts for now,
Anybody got anything to add? Post a comment.
Newfoundland, green party, seal hunt
Thursday, January 12, 2006
It's too bad that I didn't have time to post about it last night before it aired but, hopefully a certain percentage of people in St. John's got to see it. It was probably the best promotion that I received so far because it was an unedited interview. There was no clips or half responses but, a full interview strait on through.
I was able to talk about our policies on fossil fuels, tax shifting, crime, decentralization and more. Of course, there was discussion on the seal hunt as well but, that was to be expected and fine by me, considering I had ample time to discuss other issues.
I'd like to take this time to thank Krista, Rogers and everyone involved with 'Out of the Fog' for making everything so comfortable and giving me the opportunity to spread a Green message. It's very appreciated.
Newfoundland, green party
First of all, let me apologize for giving misinformation. The forum that took place on Tuesday night was not only for St. John's East but also for St. John's South. Unfortunately, the Green Party Candidate for that riding was not present.
Secondly, just so you know, this is my second time trying to post this. It was supposed to be posted yesterday but, my connection dropped as I was publishing and when I pressed the 'back' button, all the text was erased. Grrr.
Note: Use notepad first, then copy and paste. I learned my lesson.
Anyway, the forum went well. As nervous as I was, I'm confident that the questions I answered we're answered appropiatly. It was a treat actually. Not only did I gain experience participating in such a format, I was able to promote the Green vision to a room full of interested people. Albeit, it seemed from the clapping and cheering, that most were NDP supporters.
Speaking of the NDP. I gotta say, I really enjoyed meeting Mike Kehoe of that party. I found him to be a really nice and personable man. I didn't have a lot of time to chat with him but, he did try to get me to switch sides and go over to the NDP. Of course, my reply was "Never" but, it was interesting to get an invite especially considering Mr. Kehoe also spoke to me about toying with the idea of running for the Greens at one point. He later decided that he could not because of our (and by our I mean the Greens, not me personally) stand on the seal hunt issue. I can understand that. It's an issue important to us as Newfoundland and Labradorians but, there are many issues important to us and the Greens are speaking directly to those issues. Decentralization for one. That's exactly what we as a province want and what we as a party are pushing for. So, my point is, in the long run, in my heart of hearts, I truly believe the Green Party of Canada is the perfect choice for the province and by the next election, I vow to make the leader and the rest of the Party understand that our province knows best when it comes to the hunt. To not go Green because of the issue is turning my back on everything I believe in. It's too bad that Mike wasn't with me on that.
I spoke of this that night and I'll do it again here; Wouldn't the country be a great place to live if the Greens and the NDP were in the position that the Liberals and the Conservatives are now? These parties have enough power and I'm truly sick of the cross party mud slinging that happens between them. Nothing will ever get done if you cannot work together to get things done and these two parties obviously cannot work together. The Greens in power with the NDP as opposition (or even visa versa) would truly equal a beautiful place.
Of course, to add to my NDP/Green comments, I did go on to say "... and the Conseravtives were in the same positions as the Greens are at this point; not in government". Thought you'd like to know.
I should say at this point that I wouldn't vote NDP at this time, however. Sure they have some great ideas (a lot of which were taken or inspired by us, which is okay. Like Jim Harris says "We want everyone to steal our ideas.") but, the have a tendency to promise one thing and do the opposite. For example, they are all pro environment right? Why, I ask, do their MP's make such decisions that affect our environment so greatly? Promoting uranium mining in Saskatchewan, refusing to interfere with import of toxic waste from New Jersey for burning in New Brunswick and supporting the clear cutting of our forests in BC are all examples of past behaviors of NDP MP's. Makes you wonder what else they'll say on one hand and do on another.
Anyway, back to the forum; the media coverage of the event was minimal, especially when it comes to coverage on the Green Party (me). CBC didn't mention us at all, NTV had one little piece from me on education and the The Telegram had an article that had one quote from me: "Do not vote for Stephen Harper". For those wondering, it was in response to a question asked to the Mr. Doyle or Mr. Hearn (CPC candidates) regarding why they should vote for Conservative. The moderator gave others the opportunity to answer.
All in all, things went swimmingly and perhaps I opened up one mind to the Greens and maybe they even took a platform or a brochure with them as the went home for the evening. I made sure to leave some behind... just in case. You never know when a inner Green will find the light. It happens all the time.
Newfoundland, green party
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Poll shows high undecided rate, close race in Avalon
by Michael Connors
January 11, 2006
Incumbents lead in six of the province's seven districts, but the percentage of undecided voters remains high, an NTV/Telelink poll shows. In the seventh district, Avalon, the Liberals and Conservatives are in a dogfight for John Efford's old seat. Telelink polled 1,600 people from Jan. 5 to 9, before Monday night’s leaders’ debate; 39 per cent of respondents said they were undecided. For the 1,031 who had decided, the numbers broke down like this: 46.4% said they would vote Liberal, 40.5% would vote Conservative, 11.4% NDP and 1.7% for the Green Party. The margin of error is +/-3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Telelink then broke down those numbers riding by riding, but be warned: the sample sizes are small, at about 150 respondents each, and so the margins of error are high, at +/-8 percentage points, and 10 percentage points for Labrador. In Labrador, 63.4% of respondents said they would vote for Liberal MP Todd Russell, putting him well ahead of Conservative Joe Goudie (25.7), New Democrat Jacob Larkin (9.9) and Green candidate Gail Zwicker (1.0). In Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, Liberal Gerry Byrne has 51.9% support, ahead of Conservative Cyril Pelley (36.4) New Democrat Holly Pike (10.4) and Green candidate Martin Hanzelek (1.3). In Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, Liberal Scott Simms has 52.2% support, compared to 40.1% for Conservative Aaron Hynes, both well ahead of New Democrat Sandra Cooze (6.4) and Green candidate Judy Davis (1.3). In Random-Burin-St. George’s, Liberal Bill Matthews has 55.6%support, ahead of Conservative Cynthia Downey (37.1), New Democrat Amanda Will (6.0) and Green candidate Mark Brennan (1.3). In St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, Conservative MP Loyola Hearn leads with 45.6% support, ahead of Liberal Siobhan Coady (35.6), Peg Norman of the NDP (18.1) and Barry Crozier of the Greens (0.6). St. John’s East is shaping up to be close, with Conservative Norm Doyle at 40.5%, compared to 35.9% for Liberal Paul Antle, putting them inside the statistical margin of error. Mike Kehoe is running for the NDP (19.0) and Stephen Harris for the Greens (4.6). In Avalon, the poll gives a slight edge to Conservative Fabian Manning at 46.8%, but right behind him is Liberal Bill Morrow at 44.2%, well within the margin of error and therefore a statistical dead heat. New Democrat Eugene Conway has 7.7% support and Shannon Hillier of the Greens has 1.3%.
Just to recap the results with regards to the Greens, here's what it looks like.
1.7% Province Wide
1.3% Humber - St. Barbe - Baie Verte
1.3% Bonavista - Gander - Grand Falls - Windsor
1.3% Random - Burin - St. George's
0.6% St. John's South - Mount Pearl
4.6% St. John's East
I'll be back to post about the forum last night in a little while. I have to go watch NTV news first.
Newfoundland, green party
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Why should you vote Green? As you know I represent the Green Party. I am not going to give you any waffle about promises I cant keep or go on about the past political record of the other Candidates. Or even pretend for one minute I am going to win! For all of us there is a much larger issue that we all need to take a serious look at and it’s the reason I have stepped forward to run in this election, because I think anyone with a green conscience in Random Burin St Georges, needs a place to mark their vote on election day.
Global oil production is said to peak in the next few years, this would mean that there could perhaps be 40-50 years remaining of industrialisation based on oil, perhaps less. The end of oil will basically mean a huge change in the way we live. Currently, our lifestyles are 100% linked to oil and fossil fuels. With huge growth expected in countries like China and India, there is an ever increasing chance of an approaching energy crisis and with that many other problems. For the most part this is merely a side note in Canada’s other political parties. The NDP, Conservative Party and the Liberals all advocate a continuation of industrialisation based on ever increasing growth, a society based on these principles will eventually fail because all the ‘resources’ humans need to survive are not endless commodities.
Unless we begin to redefine our relationship to the planet we face turmoil in the years to come. The burning of fossil fuels is changing the earths climate, causing acid rain, water pollution, more human sickness, and species loss. With an ever expanding globalized economy there will never be enough fish in the sea, forests for fibre, natural gas, or anything else we take from nature to live our over consumptive lifestyles. We see the effects of this with the collapse of fisheries around the world and devastation of the worlds forests and with that an ever increasing demise of the species of the earth.
The Green Party is currently the only party that is undergoing a serious discussion on redefining our relationship to the planet. The Green Party has an extensive platform (www.greenparty.ca) that will help deal with these looming problems. What we need to do in this election is to scare the wits out of the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives by taking many votes from them, only then will they begin to change their attitudes and their policies and begin implementing real changes that need to be made to secure a future that is currently in question for all of us. There really are no jobs on a dead planet. Thanks.
What a country we live in that will allow a Separatist Party to voice it's opinion to the nation and not a Party who believes in strengthening Canada as a whole.
It's frustrating as a Green supporter to hear Jack Layton say that there is another choice for Canadians and know full well that he isn't the only other choice. Many people have decided who'll they'll vote for by watching last nights election and it's completely unfair and undemocratic to the citizens of Canada to not be able to hear all their options.
It's time for a drastic change in our Government, in Canada, and the only ones prepared to make such a change is the Green Party of Canada.
Let Ottawa know you're frustrated with the current government. Let them know you'll not stand for the same old ideas for age old problems. Let them know that your sick of the bickering that's ever-present in parliament causing nothing to be achieved. Let them know that such obviously biased organizations like the CRTC should not decide who Canada sees and who Canada doesn't which it should be handled by a impartial organization like Elections Canada. Simply, let Ottawa know that it's time for change.
Make your voice be heard; Vote Green.
Those who are in and around or close to St. John's should remember that there is a forum tonight at the St. John's Convention Center, starting at 7:30pm. This will be featuring all the candidates in St. John's East and is open to the public who can ask questions. Read this blog post for full info.
Newfoundland, Canada, Green Party
Press Release: January 9, 2006.
People ask Green Party candidate Mark Brennan "Should we vote for the NDPcandidate or should we vote for you and the Green Party?"
Brennan acknowledges that people who are interested in social justice issues and
also in environmental issues in Newfoundland, find themselves facing adifficult choice in this election. The Green Party also has a strong social justice thrust in its election Platform.Brennan agreed that "Sometimes the Green Party policies are not deep enough, for example supporting carbon emissions trading, and that perhaps aparticular environmental policy of the NDP may be more progressive than thatof the GP. However, it is only within the Green Party that a certain kind ofdiscussion is taking place, about the fundamental shift in consciousness needed in how we humans have to relate to the Earth." Also, "The Green Party says it supports deep ecology, which provides the philosophical basis to oppose 'resourcism', the dominant human-centered world view of industrial society, that the Natural world exists primarily as raw material for the human purpose."
"The NDP," said Brennan "due to its overall orientation, is not an ecological party, because of their belief that the major ecological problems can be resolved within industrial capitalist society. Yet it is this very society which has caused the Earth-threatening ecological crisis." Brennan explained, "We need to think much more deeply. Ecocentric justice is more inclusive than human or social justice. 'Community' has to include not just humans, but other animals, plants and the Earth itself."Brennan said that people who in the past have supported the NDP should understand that:"
1. The NDP is totally human-centered in its overall orientation andwill always put human interests first, before any environmental issues."
"2. The NDP is committed to economic growth and consumerism within a capitalist economic framework. It does not understand or accept that ecology imposes 'limits' upon all of us.The NDP has no alternative economic model to thatof the global market economy."
"3. Everywhere the NDP has been in political power provincially, ithas worked within the industrial capitalist paradigm, be it in forestry,agriculture and the fisheries. Thus, in industrial forestry, the NDP has supported clear cutting,spraying, handing over forested crown lands to industry, etc." Brennan pointed out that while NDP interventions have a bias towards workers' interests,both worker and capitalist interests disregard the interests of the forests and their non-human inhabitants and degrade the forest base over the long term. And, he said,"It's a similar story for the industrial fishery and industrial agriculture."
"Other examples of NDP's ecological ineptitude," said Brennan, "are their support for the uranium industry in Saskatchewan; and for the auto industry, where the NDP, by upholding the job interest of the auto workers, seriously undermine their commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and to reductions in global warming."Brennan pointed out "The ecology movement draws from all the 'isms' insociety. People come to the Green Party from social democratic, liberal,conservative, and other political backgrounds." He concluded by saying, "I believe that only the Green Party has the potential, as a political party,to contribute to the needed shift in consciouness for humans in how theyrelate to the Natural world that sustains us all."
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Mark A. BrennanThe Green Party Candidate for Random Burin St Georges,
GREEN PARTY OF CANADA www.greenparty.ca
Green Party, Newfoundland
Monday, January 09, 2006
One to Jack Layton, one to Stephen Harper and one to Paul Martin. Where's the letter to Jim Harris, the leader of the Green Party? Does he too not respect the official Party enough to even find out where they stand on issues regarding our province? It seems to me that if he loved Newfoundland and Labrador as much as he says he does, he at least find out ALL the options that are before him. The Green Party of Canada is a real option and one that could benefit our Province more than any other party has to date.
Why would he not write Jim? It just doesn't make sense to me and is a complete ignorance to the 3117 people who voted for the Green Party in Newfoundland and Labrador during the last election... let alone those who have turned Green since.
I send Mr. Williams an email concerning this. Let's see if he gets back to me.
Danny williams, Newfoundland, green party
Sunday, January 08, 2006
The Green Party of Canada became a officially recognized Party last election by winning 4.4% of the votes (the % needed was 2) throughout Canada. With this come over a million dollars of tax payers money. Don't these taxpayers deserve to know what this money is going towards?
Nearly 50,000 people have signed our petition to let Jim Harris debate with the other leaders... which is quite a few, especially when you consider the fact that only 10, 000 Canadians sent questions to ask the leaders as of now.
With 1 day left, I encourage you all to sign the petition and help make sure that this undemocratic act doesn't go unnoticed.
And speaking of petitions, I came across one that is important specifically to our Province. It calls for Improved Recycling Infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador and I encourage everyone visiting here to sign it. Every step you take to keeping Newfoundland and Labrador a beautiful province is well worth the effort.
Please Sign the Petition now.
There was an online poll recently located on the front page of The Globe and Mail which asked the question "If the Green Party, for example, received 5 per cent of the popular vote in the federal election should it also receive 5 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons?"
21617 people voted, 57% (12366) Yes and 43% (9251) No. Looks like a majority of people want exactly what the Greens want; a proportional representation electoral system.
View the results yourself HERE