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Canadian public opinion and the environment When the federal election was called last December, many thought that the environment would be high on the issue agenda: high energy costs, global warming and unhealthy water supplies in First Nations communities were all hitting the news. Conditions were ripe for a well-funded and energized Green Party to make inroads into voters’ consciousness.1 Yet things fizzled early. On election day, the Greens tallied a mere 4.5 per cent of the national vote with no candidates elected to the House of Commons. Worse still, the environment had been converted into a low-profile issue compared to health care, crime, daycare and taxes. Indeed, it appears that something more significant than our electoral system is now holding the Greens back2 – something that is affecting environmentalism as a whole.

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