3 min

No more old-party politics

Dana Miller sees a future painted Green

ASPIRES TO BE PRIME MINISTER. Dana Miller thinks people are sick of the sameness of politics played by the old-line parties. The Green Party is neither left nor right, she says, but forward-thinking-and that's why they're ignored by mainstream media. Credit: Xtra West files

When Green Party candidate Dana Miller was 23 years old she bought a backpack and a one-way ticket to Africa. Her mother was horrified. “She asked me to write my will before I left home.” She was there for six months, until two weeks before the election of Nelson Mandela. When the violence started to escalate, “being a peaceful Canadian, I decided to come home.”

Now, 10 years later, this is her first run at political office. A health care worker, Miller is on four weeks leave from work and campaigning full-time in the riding of Delta-Richmond East.

Her interest in the system started at a young age. At 17, she wrote to Ottawa and asked how to become a diplomat, “but they said they were phasing that position out.” It was discouraging, Miller says, but she didn’t lose her passion for government. She remembers telling her girlfriend, “I really want to work in Parliament.

“I have aspirations to be prime minister of Canada-am I out of my mind?” she asked her friends in university years later. They were encouraging and she thought, “I have a calling, here.”

Miller realized “I needed to find a party with values akin to my own,” and went to Ottawa and Victoria where she interviewed politicians and queried others by email. Her conclusion: “the Green Party was the wisest. The Conservatives frightened me. The Liberals are small “L” liberals, not the party of Pearson or Borden, and the NDP is not fiscally responsible. They take social progression so far that there’s no pragmatism to it. They dole out money to everyone.”

Miller draws a distinction between being a politician and a public servant. She aspires to be the latter: collaborating, educating and being educated. She said she won’t make decisions for the people, but will carry forward the message. Positive and passionate going into this election she hopes “to reform our democratic system so it represents every voice with proportional representation. I hope to give Canada back the image of the humanitarian.”

She further hopes to teach youth “that there’s a party that’s less confrontational, less aggressive and less hostile. I hope I can send a message to young people that not everyone is motivated by greed.”

Miller knows “they see the shallowness.” So putting her money where her mouth is, The 33 year old proposes that over her four-year term she will rebate the public half of her earnings every year “because I don’t need $170,000 a year (an MP’s salary) to sustain myself.”

She says she is motivated to be an out gay candidate “by the statistics of youth violence because they are gay-because I want them to know they’re not alone, that they can fulfill their potential and live their dreams.”

Shadow cabinet member for human rights within the Green Party, Miller, while she’s not comfortable commenting on the bawdyhouse laws without the text of the legislation in front of her, notes that while Greens don’t have overhauling that legislation in their platform, “I know that human rights and equality are in the platform.”

“The Green Party believes homophobia is wrong-and in equality and human rights for all,” Miller says. Same-sex marriage will occur with a Green Party, Miller says. It is in the party platform. Miller also feels strongly about supporting Little Sister’s bookstore in its fight against Customs. She said her party “is aware of it as a human rights issue-permitting images of straight sexuality but not gay ones.” While not an active advocate of pornography, Miller is an active advocate of human rights. “It’s a blatant injustice,” she observes.

Approached during this campaign to join the NDP, Miller isn’t swayed. “I’m not interested in old-party politics. I don’t approve of their slick media tactics to oust Greens from all provincial debates. We’re running 308 candidates in 308 ridings-we’re making history!” And there’s been virtually no mainstream media coverage, Miller charges. “Greens are currently blocked from national debate by the CBC.” She wants everyone to know “we are being censored by the mainstream media.

“Our platform is so advanced it frightens the elite in Parliament. We’re not left or right, we’re forward-thinking. Most Green Party candidates are ordinary-we’re ordinary citizens taking on an extraordinary task for humanity.

“There is an alternative, positive voice out there,” Miller insists, but people need to seek beyond what the mass media feeds them. “They can’t rely on television and newspapers and radio,” she says. “Pick up your community newspaper and you’ll find out that the Green Party exists and that we’re a global movement with MPs in countries around the world.

“They can look at our website and realize for themselves that we’re the future-no more old-party politics.”


To join the Dana Miller campaign or ask a question: