Welcome to the world of politics.

You’re young, you’ve got big plans for the world, and a potentially hostile environment to navigate.

Traditional political stripes have left you jaded and cynical, but you’ve still got the drive to do something good for your community and your planet. You’re a Millenial, so you’re reaching the top of the power pyramid, but you’re still in a position to be guided, directed or ordered around, depending on your determination.

With any luck, you’ve developed respect for your elders and their wisdom, and through exhaustive experience, you’ve learned to tell when someone has motives beyond what is presented on the surface. You’re largely sick of political shenanigans and nuanced statements, but you know that on some level you’ve still got to play the game to get to a place where you might have some influence on your surroundings.

For this, the advice is simple: surround yourself with fellow youth, and youth advocates.

With this in mind, I have found myself immersed in my work with the Young Greens of Canada. As Co-Chair on the governing council, I am in direct contact with young political and environmental activists from Victoria to St. Johns. When the world of politics, lies, scandal, bribes, heckling and corruption seems to be just too much, I turn to my fellow youth and find solace. Young politicians, I have learned, don’t have time for the old school games of the traditional politician, and Young Greens in particular have such a clear focus on what needs to be done and how we’re going to do it.

My fellow councillors have encouraged and inspired me to be the best that I can be, and with direct support from our honourary Young Green, Elizabeth May, and the rest of the Green Party of Canada, we have found ourselves at last in a position where we can do good by our people and our planet. These connections we have made are tangible, and the fruits of our labour are plain to see. The decisions we make directly affect our constituents from sea to shining sea, and while everything is always a work in progress, it IS progress.

Flying the Green banner can mean many different things to different people. While we are all guided by our six core values, as indeed are all Greens across the globe, there is no prioritized value, and no cookie-cutter format to employ them. Green is a fluid and innovative way, as our the majority of our members. What works in Vancouver doesn’t necessarily work in Montreal, and what works in New Zealand doesn’t necessarily work the same in Canada, but our end goals are ultimately the same.

We want the best for our people, our planet and our future.

Arguably, so do all the other major parties, but their decisions aren’t anchored by uniting values, unless that value is simply to gain political power and hold onto it as long as possible.

Sustainability, Social Justice, Ecological Wisdome, Respect for Diversity, Non-Violence and Participatory Democracy.

These six principles govern the way Green politics work. As long as we’re holding true to these values, we are free to govern our constituents with their best intrests in mind, not just the interest of the party leader.

Welcome once again to the world of politics; will you take the dirty, beaten road, or the clean, Green path to a new, sustainable future?

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