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Elizabeth May (1) (1954–)

Autor(a) de How to Save the World in Your Spare Time

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10+ Works 140 Membros 7 Críticas

About the Author

Elizabeth May is the leader of the Green Party of Canada and the member of parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands. She is an officer of the Order of Canada for her decades of environmental work. She lives in Sidney-by-the-Sea on Vancouver Island. Who We are is her eighth book.
Image credit: Grant Neufeld (Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2006)

Obras por Elizabeth May

Associated Works

Journey to the Tar Sands (2008) — Prefácio — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



“If I were inventing democracy from scratch, I would not have invented political parties” (p17). Yes! “Mindless partisanship insists on a team mentality. My team versus your team …” (p17).

“Decisions are made on the basis of public opinion research far more than on the basis of policy analysis by the civil service” (p75). Yeah, when did THAT start to happen?

“If a citizen truly needs the intermediation of a lobby to get the attention of policy-makers in Ottawa … then we have no real democracy” (p173).

And then there’s the FPTP (First Past the Post) system Canada uses. In the 2008 election, “The Bloc won 50 seats with 1.3 million votes, while the NDP won 37 seats with 2.4 million votes. The Green Party won just under 1 million votes … yet won no seats” (p199). ‘Nuff said.
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ptittle | 2 outras críticas | Apr 21, 2023 |
Elizabeth May is the leader of Canada's Green Party. I believe she is currently the only Green Party representative in a national legislative body in North America. She is thorough and effective in all that she does, making her party more influential than the number of its elected officials would suggest. In this book she traces her identity as an Canadian activist passionately committed to both environmental and social issues. Her arguments are powerful and compelling as is her advocacy and exemplification of respectfulness in politics. Readers who have a prior knowledge of the context of Canadian politics will appreciate this material more deeply, but she writes knowledgeably of broader environmental issues at an international, scientific, and a personal level too. She is well connected, so celebrities in politics and in entertainment make surprise appearances here along the way.… (mais)
bkinetic | Jan 7, 2017 |
The back cover of this book tells you that, if you have five minutes, you can save the world. Elizabeth May, now (as of 2012) the leader of the Green Party of Canada and the country's first Green MP, wrote this back when she was the Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada. She takes on the overwhelming task of "saving the world" and breaks it down into manageable steps, showing how it is possible for even one citizen to make a difference. Chapters cover such topics as how to choose a goal for your campaign, organizing media coverage, fundraising, meeting with members of government, and more. It also includes some sample media documents (e.g. news releases) and an appendix on petitioning the House of Commons, useful for Canadian activists.

May writes in a friendly, conversational style, and it was heartening to see some of her tips include the human element: "please" and "thank you" are always welcome to hear, and people on the other side of the debate are people too (in more heated debates, this can be very easy to forget). Each chapter also includes a handy "Lessons Learned" section that recaps what has just been covered, and May draws extensively from her personal experiences when fleshing out those lessons.

The only improvements that could be made to this book are slightly more vigilant copyediting and perhaps an updated edition to discuss activism via social media (this was first published in 2006 -- shocking how fast technology advances these days). Recommended for those who are passionate about a cause and want to become involved, but aren't sure where to start.
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1 vote
rabbitprincess | 2 outras críticas | Jun 14, 2012 |
Good Points, Partisan Analysis

With her latest announcement that she will run in the Saanich district in the next federal election, I decided to pick up Elizabeth May's book to read what some of her thoughts are. "Losing Confidence" is a good polemic on Canada's Parliamentary democracy but it is her selection and omission of cases she presents which reveals her political bias, which is most unfortunate because the issues she raises are spot on.

The issues May raises are important ones in the discourse of democracy in Canada and what reforms need to take place: The anemic devolution of Parliament, the dangerous expansion of the PMO; the concentration of the media, the lack of transparency of the RCMP; and the Americanization of electoral politics. I agree with all of them, but not in the way May presents them.

Part of the hypocrisy of May's arguments lie in the fact that May herself is guilty of participating in the self-interested machinations of partisan politics and lust for power. After all, implicit with any Liberal party government in power is the side-deal which will put May into the portfolio as Environment Minister, elected or not.

May's Liberal Party bias is none the more evident than in her discussion over the excessive abuses of power by the PMO and unaccountability of the RCMP. May focuses an exorbitant amount of time on Harper and the 2006 income tax leakage. She doesn't once mention the 1997 APEC summit when the RCMP, by direct orders of Chretien and the PMO, pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters on Suharto's motorcade route.

Furthermore, because of the unfair distribution of ridings slanted towards Ontario and Quebec, the Liberal party is the only party in the current system with the possibility of winning a majority government themselves without a coalition partner. Again, something May neglects to mention because of her political bias towards the Liberals.

Finally, while May is correct in bringing up the issue of media concentration, May fails to address whatsoever the impact of and the explosion of the Internet as becoming the primary medium with which Canadians now engage with for political discourse, thereby cutting out traditional media altogether.

This book raises some very important issues with what is wrong with democracy in Canada today. However, because May has chosen to slant her polemic so far to the side of the Liberals, her arguments must be taken with a grain of salt.
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bruchu | 2 outras críticas | Aug 23, 2009 |

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