Recent years, the concerns on environmental issue such as energy crisis, pollution and climate changes have significantly increased. Furthermore, some other issues have been considered as environmental problems such as treatment to animals and food safety. As a result, it has led to a closer relation between politics and environmental issues that more and more governments have carried out legislations in order to solve the problems and make people live better. However, the environment is changing over the time so that it could be seen various conflicts between policies and environmental issues. Hence, Dryzek (2005) introduces discourse approach to analyze environmental politics.

This essay will describe how discourse approach could be implemented into the case of election of Green Party of Ontario. Besides, other key considerations such as the concept of nature and environment, assumptions about the environment and economy, the platform of Green Party of Ontario will be mentioned.

2.0 Main Body

2.1 Review of discourse approach

     Dryzek (2005) describe a discourse as a shared way of apprehending the world. That is to say, a discourse enables people to put information into coherent stories so that more people would be able to understand. According to Dryzek (2005), discourses construct meanings and relationships, helping to define common sense and legitimate knowledge. Furthermore, he (2005) points out that each discourse is based on assumptions, judgment, and contentions that provide the basic terms for analysis, debates, agreements, and disagreements. In addition, discourses are bound up with political power that sometimes it is a sign of power that actors can get the discourse to which they subscribe accepted by others (Dryzed, 2005).

2.2 Background of Green Party of Ontario

The Green Party of Ontario (GPO) is independent yet is philosophically aligned with other green parties in Canada and around the world (GPO, 2011). It became an officially registered political party in 1983. The GPO believes that all life on the planet is interconnected and human beings have the responsibility to protect and preserve the natural world (GPO, 2011). According to Hugh (1997), nature is everything that was not made by humans. However, GPO (2011) identifies that there has been a green movement in Canada and around the world so that nowadays people need to think about more. Consequently, GPO is trying to contribute to non-violence, social justice and ecological thinking (GPO, 2011).

To this end, the GPO carried out its 2011 Ontario Election 5 Point Platform which focuses on jobs, energy, food, health and good government. To make it more detailed, the GPO aims to create jobs for a twenty-first century economy, harness safe, affordable energy to power communities, promote access to quality, sustainable health care close to home, feed communities by championing local farms, deliver government that works for people (GPO, 2011).

2.3 The discourse of GPO

     A debate was held that four parties’ candidates attended. Each of them showed their ideas in order to obtain more supporter and votes. This section will mainly focus on GPO’s discourse so that its discourse could be analyzed deeply. In addition to this, other parties’ views will be briefly mentioned so that a simple comparison could be provided.

The debate mentioned the issue of nuclear power that all candidates from different party admitted the importance of nuclear power. As mentioned in previous section, one of the platforms of GPO is energy that the party tries to harness safe, affordable energy to power communities. Hence, the candidate from GPO introduced different researches and projects on nuclear power before giving his ideas and briefly mentioned their costs (YouTube, 2011). Furthermore, the candidate used different figures to show that the previous research and projects caused very high costs.

In order to match its 5 points platform, the candidate emphasized the costs of nuclear power as well as other energies. He (2011) demonstrates that the rising energy costs are affecting communities so that GPO believes that it is the time to carry out a new approach which may cause lower costs. The candidate of GPO uses the words “dramatically reduce the costs” to show that approach will be effective and efficient (YouTube, 2011). According to GPO’s plan illustrates that “the only way to generate long-term, sustainable savings on energy bills is to eliminate waste and prioritize efficiency and conservation” (GPO, 2011). Also, the discourse points out that it is necessary to conduct a strategy to tackle rising transportation costs caused by traffic congestion and high fuel prices. The discourse of GPO focuses on the recent hot issues such as energy and costs so that more people would agree the new approach. By speaking these points, it could be easier for others to understand the importance of GPO’s platform that communities could benefit from GPO’s plans.

In addition, some candidates show the idea of “green tax” which refers to the way to encourage people living environmental friendly and healthily (YouTube, 2011). Similarly, the candidate of GPO explains the importance of health care. He used example of “junk food tax” which refers to the tax added to junk food (YouTube, 2011). The candidate of GPO states that junk food tax may encourage people to divert their attention to health food so that social health could be improved (YouTube, 2011). The candidate successfully uses the example to show GPO’s plan on health care.

For instance, the candidate of GPO points out the issues such as illness and disease. According to GPO’s platform, health care spending makes up half of the provincial budget and the percentage of budget may increase to 80% by 2030 if there is no relevant policy (GPO, 2011). The candidates of GPO says that the party focuses on preventing illness in the first place, by creating healthier communities, promoting healthier lifestyles and ensuring a healthy environment (YouTube, 2011). As it could be seen, the discourse is always related to the party’s platforms and plans. The candidate uses different examples to make discourse more understandable. This is because it is easier for people who have little knowledge of environment protection to know how the party could help improve people’s living standard. It is a good way to make people aware the party’s plans or strategies by using simple examples and figures.

Finally, the candidate of GPO explained the party’s plan on food. He states that most of institutions in Ontario serve food such as hospitals, universities, prisons (YouTube, 2011). Hence, it is necessary to pay attention on food security. He demonstrates that “our proposal is to give time to institutions to make connections with distributors, local farmers” (YouTube, 2011). According to GPO’s 5 Point Plan, the party will advocate for a comprehensive Ontario Food and Farming Strategy that provides access to healthy food from Ontario’s farms (GPO, 2011). The candidate of GPO illustrated that this strategy begins with ensuring that farmers and food processors have a stable, reliable income and meanwhile, it is a way to ensure the supply of health food. The candidate of GPO fully used the time of debate to introduce the party’s plan. Besides energy and health care, the discourse mentioned the food issue as well. According to GPO (2011), the food sector is the second largest employer in Ontario and profitable farms and agricultural businesses are the backbone of a prosperous rural economy and essential to feeding Ontario. Consequently, the discourse could make people notice the importance of food issue by explaining how the party’s plans could benefit others.

2.4 Other parties views

   Different parties hold different views which could be reflected by different platforms. While GPO focuses on jobs, energy, food, health and good government, Liberal Party aims to contribute to equal opportunity which makes Canada great. For example, Liberal Party will invest in quality, affordable child care and the party will help every family with the costs of university or college so that every kid could be able to be educated well (Liberal Party of Canada, 2011)

Differently, the Communist Party is trying to dedicate to the cause of socialism and the party aims to achieve the socialism which is based on working states class power in Canada and internationally will mark a real advance towards true democracy (Communist Party of Canada, 2011).

3.0 Conclusion

This essay is divided into four sections. The first section briefly reviews the Dryzek’s theory of discourse approach. As Dryzek states, there are always conflicts between environment and policies. Furthermore, he points out that discourses are bound up with political power. The second section focuses on the background the GPO that the party became an officially registered political party in 1983 and in 2011, the party introduced it 5 point platform. The platform focuses on five issues which are jobs, energy, food, health and good government. The third section is about the analysis of discourse of GPO. As mentioned, there was a debate among different parties and 4 parties attend the debate. Each candidate from different party showed their opinions related to environment issues and their party platform. As for GPO, the candidate mainly talked about the 3 issues which are energy costs, health care and food. The candidate of GPO used different ways to make people have awareness of the importance of its plans. For example, he uses examples, figures to make more sense to other candidates and audiences. And the last section briefly introduces platforms of Liberal Party and Communist Party.

It is impossible to find a best way to give a discourse. However, as Dryzek (2005) states, a discourse is a shared way of apprehending the world. Hence, it is more important for parties to make others understand what they could do and how they could improve people’s life.

(1615 words)

 Reference List:

Communist Party of Canada (2011)

Available online at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011) 

Dryzek John S. (2005) “The politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses”

Published by OUP Oxford, 2nd edition

Green Party of Ontario (2010)

Available at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011)

Hugh Anderson (March 28, 1997). “History of Climate Change”. NASA. Retrieved 2007-01-07

Liberal Party of Canada (2011)

Available at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011)

YouTube (2011), Environmental debate second hour part 1 (2011), upload by Rojasrod,

Available online at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011)

YouTube (2011), Environmental debate second hour part 2, upload by Rojasrod,

Available online at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011)

YouTube (2011),Environmental debate second hour part 6(2011), upload by Rojasrod,

Available online at:

(Accessed on 8th October, 2011)

原文链接:environment and health