POLITICS

GreenPAC hopes to put environmental champions on federal ballot

03/28/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/27/2015 05:59 EDT
Ballot decisions rarely about environment

American tactic

Political action committees, or PACs, are common in the U.S. They're used to funnel financial support to single-issue causes, such as boosting the number of female candidates. They also fund partisan attack ads.

GreenPAC has adapted its design from the American model and promises to be non-partisan, picking candidates from all parties. 

But NDP MP Andrew Cash, who came to the GreenPAC launch, is skeptical that's possible with the current political climate.

"We have a government currently that has a very specific, in a sense, pro-fossil fuel agenda," he said. "So I will be very interested to see if they find some Conservative members that they can endorse." 

Social media levels the playing field

Pollster and communications adviser Bruce Anderson said it may take time for a green political action committee to catch on.

But Anderson, who heads Anderson Insight, thinks social media is changing the political landscape in a way that could make environmental PACs more accessible to voters. 

"The digital age has levelled the playing field for these kinds of things to happen that don't require lots of money to be spent,"  said Anderson. 

"So I think it's too early to tell whether this one will work, but not too early to say there will be more like it in the months and years to come." 

GreenPAC is hoping to attract 10,000 supporters in the next few months, getting ready for what many predict could be an election where the environment has a much bigger profile.