Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Green/Liberal Alliance?

Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, made some comments yesterday, that went largely unnoticed, but could prove quite important in the next election:
The Green party may abandon its efforts to field candidates in every riding so it can target certain areas.

In an interview before her speech, Ms. May said the party is still deciding its election strategy. The Greens fielded candidates in all 308 ridings across Canada during the 2004 and 2006 votes. Their tactics might change next time, Ms. May said.

"It's possible we won't have people in every riding, that will be up to my federal campaign chair," she said,

On the face of it, May's comments are counter-intuitive. Given that parties receive federal money, based on vote total, it would seem logical to want a full slate, to maximize turnout, particularly in an election that could bring record support. As it relates to debate inclusion, the argument that Greens are running everywhere helps the cause.

I'm not privy to Green Party discussions, but if I'm allowed to speculate, May's comments suggest the first concrete signal that the Liberals and Greens may work together in an effort to stop center-left fragmentation, while Harper benefits. If this is indeed the motivation, I don't see it as circumventing democracy, but more correctly, plain smart.

As an aside, it would be a powerful testament of principle, if May sacrificed the self-interest of her party and saw the need to focus on the big picture. If it turns out that there is an informal alliance in the next election, then I will surely give the Greens my vote as some small compensation- my riding is beyond blue, it's depressing actually.

50 comments:

daniel said...

Powerful testament of stupidity, more like it.

My prediction: May will lose in Central Nova, be booted as leader by a party that already appears to feel betrayed by her, and resurface as a Liberal candidate in the following election.

If May wanted to be a Liberal cheerleader, that's fine; she didn't have to become leader of a party and burn it at the stake to do so.

janfromthebruce said...

Well we will see. If May has candidates run in NDP strong ridings, well than we know that all her progressives coming together talk is crap. It's like them running a candidate in a riding in Alberta agains the NDP candidate who has the best environmental credentials and placed 2nd in 2006. I understand they are running candidate there, but on yes, May is really interested in taking on the Cons - not!

Steve V said...

jan

I read that May is talking with the NDP too.

daniel

whatever.

Gayle said...

If the point is to make Canada more environmentally responsible, then the responsible thing to do is support the party that is most likely to be able to affect those changes. The GP has no chance of winning the election - nor do the NDP. In that light, it is more than logical May would take the step to support the liberals, since the desired result would be most likely achieved through a liberal victory. Handing the country over to the conservatives means delaying any real environmental reform for at least four more years.

(I think JB is going to show up and trash this post...)

Steve V said...

gayle

The practical has to take precedent as you point out. The goal is turfing Harper from office, or at the very least denying the craved majority. That is the main goal beyond the party turf wars, I see May simply recognizing the obvious.

knb said...

It's an interesting take Steve. I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet.

Contrary to daniel's contribution, May is anything but stupid, she is also very principled.

Two things for sure she has been clear on, the environment obviously and Harper.

As for being a Liberal cheerleader daniel, she is very critical of the Lib record, she just happens to see that Dion is sincere and committed, unlike Harper.

Steve, where in Ontario are you that is so blue?

Steve V said...

Chong's riding, very rural, after his resignation, he's a folk hero.

knb said...

Now he intrigues me. If you watch him in QP, he rarely claps and seems a pretty decent guy. Is he a PC'er? I think I remember reading that his wife's family was involved with the Lib's.

Scotian said...

I could see it, Harper really is a major threat to the principles May has represented both on the environment file (especially global warming given Harper's leadership role as the lead political opposition until just within the last couple of months where he has gone from active fighting to slow rolling approach) and other significant national domestic issues. There is also some validity to aligning to get Dion in if she really thinks he will follow through, especially on the ghg/environmental side as Gayle rightly noted. Let's face it, the odds of any party, even the Greens going from no seats to government in one shot is so absurd/unlikely it would take a much more discredited field of opposition to them for it to happen. Indeed, I would be extremely surprised to see them go from no seats to Official Opposition, but that I could just barely see. To government though with zero governing experience and zero history of even running a caucus? I just think most Canadians are too conservative at heart to take that kind of chance unless things were much worse than they are at this moment. I could be wrong, I am willing to acknowledge that, but I don't think I am on this.

As for the bit about not competing against the NDP, well gee given how much Layton has been Harper's "bitch" for most of the last year and a half or so, I can understand some hesitation there. The reason I can't vote NDP at the moment despite loving my local NDP MP is because I don't trust him and what he would do with real power, and I do not trust him not to try to pull a double cross late in the game either if he thought he could make ground up on the Libs. Layton has already made clear through his actions and words that his primary focus/concern at the ballot box is the Liberals, not the CPC, so why would anyone willing to ally themselves to oppose Harper as their sole reason for doing so ally with Layton's NDP at the moment?

I am sure that is going to sound harsh and unfair to some, especially NDP supporters, but I am sorry it is what it is. While I would normally have agreed with Layton that this would be a good time for such a play if it were the PCPC and not the CPC, that is not the situation facing us. I have said all along that Harper's strain of conservativism represents far greater a threat to the principles and long term ambitions for Canada of the NDP than anything the Liberals are going to do. Therefore his clear pattern of working first to increase his own seats even if it gives Harper government for a time, even possibly a majority government at that, shows me that either his judgment/perception of the threat Harper poses is flawed or his lust for increased power (even if it is for noble ends a lust for power is a dangerous thing in a human being) despite that risk/danger posed is too great for him to resist. Either way as a dedicated Harper opponent that makes him and any party he leads one I cannot support, even when I have a stellar local candidate that I have happily voted for in the past.

I want Harper gone, and if May is willing to work a tactical alliance to that end for this election in return for much of her Green agenda on the environment in return I am more than comfortable with that. Thanks to Harper's obstructionism on this file over the years we are already well behind, and the Liberals did not give this a high enough priority until Martin's minority and Minister Dion got in, which is why he has any credibility IMHO on this file given the Liberal record to date governing. Therefore the sooner we get going the better, I do not want to be left behind as a nation in the economic benefits and research potentials anymore than I want to continue watching us add to the damage we already done and the nasty repercussions we have coming our way from what we have already irrevocably done.

Now, that all being said, I could just as easily see May deciding to stay on her own after all, these sorts of tactical alliances are very rare, and only end up working out to the advantage of those in it under the most unusual of circumstances. One really has to be uniting against a commonly recognized threat, yet it is mainly the Libs and Greens that have been calling Harper out for what he truly is and the dangers of leaving him in power. So the potential is there, and if it were to happen and especially if it were to lead to the defeat and disgrace of Harper and his brand of Conservativism I would be a very happy man indeed. I want to go back to fighting over the how we get to the general area we all agree upon we want this country to continue on the path it is already on and been on for so many decades now. Instead I have to worry whether it will be here because of a PM willing to severely weaken the federal government's powers and devolve to the Provinces as Harper has advocated almost all his adult life. Not to mention the naked contempt to at times hatred he has shown for how this country has evolved into the multiculutal pluralistic society it is today throughout his adult life until the last couple of years or so. If this gets us there than huzzahs all around.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, whether it has substance to it and if it does how it plays out over the next few months and then during the election when it finally arrives. At least it looks like there are some that recognize the real threat, it is too bad that when the NDP was most needed to lead that fight against the real dark forces of true brutal American conservativism they were being led by someone lost in his own little fantasy of replacing the Liberals instead as a choice for government. May is very sharp, very good on camera, and very well spoken. She is able to present very powerful arguments, and if she and Dion are on the same page on why Harper has to go then this increases the ability to counter the noise machine aka war room we just saw the CPC unveil yesterday.

Dan McKenzie said...

Yes Michael Chong is an old PC'er.

dalestreet said...

From what I understand, the revised Clean Air Act is pretty much Dion's Environmental Plan, isn't it? If it gets passed, wouldn't that negate the need for any alliance between May and Dion? In that scenario, if May's primary motivation is to do as much for the environment as possible, wouldn't she then look to the NDP for a deal, since they have have stronger environmental policy/credentials than the Liberals?

Miles Lunn said...

This is not totally unusual. In Australia and Germany, both centre-right parties don't field candidates against each other although they tend to appeal to a different demographic as opposed to overlap, so the comparison might not totally work.

As for Wellington-Halton Hills, I believe it was the only riding in Ontario outside Eastern Ontario where the Tories got over 50%, so despite its close proximity to Liberal areas such as Guelph, Kitchener, and Toronto it seems quite conservative. Even having the Go Train go to Georgetown doesn't help as Chong actually did better in Halton Hills than Wellington surprisingly.

janfromthebruce said...

I am responding to Dion is the politician to be trusted and the development of the red/green show with Dion the liberal leader. The same Dion who voted with the Conservatives against labelling of GMO foods, against mandatory fuel efficiency in cars, against the protection of worker rights, against the implementation of Kyoto targets as Inter-Provincial Minister, and a Party that supports the export of cancer causing asbestos, nuclear power in the tar sands, NAFTA and deep integration with the U.S?... a Liberal Party that has voted or promoted policy that in a lot of instances only differs by degrees from the Conservatives by degree?

And this stuff that Layton can't be trusted. Let's see, which party has voted against the govt on all confidence motions? Not the Libs nor the Bloc. So who can't be trusted and who has more principle? Well, I rest my case.

Next, May shows this consistent pattern. On the one hand she doesn't want to ruffle any Liberal feathers (say running in Cape Bretin against a Lib), but undercutting the NDP, that's OK, the Nova Central riding who came 2nd.
Ditto: Dion is a great friend of the environment, deserving of AT LEAST our qualified support... while about Jack Layton it is nothing but questioning of motives and what's their agenda.

I don't even have a problem with that. It's partisan politics. Goes with the turf. Complaining is just whining.
But I most definitely have a problem when people practice partisan politics and tell us they are doing something different [or delude themselves that their preferred leader/party is].

And if we are all talking about supporting who is most likely to win in a riding, in Nova Central it is not the Greens who in 2006 election got a whole total of 124 votes, and does not have a riding association.

Steve V said...

miles

You know your ridings :)

dale

First off, the revised bill has almost no chance of getting passed, if you listen to the Conservative rhetoric. Second, if you actually want to enact change do you go with a party with no chance of governing, or do you side with the practical, whom May has a great deal of respect? Seems a no-brainer from here. As to "credentials", the NDP policies are no longer more advanced than the Liberals (remember I voted NDP because this wasn't the case under Martin) so people with environmental concerns have more choice, in my mind anyways. As you said, this is basically "Dion's proposal" (not just his, others too), wholeheartedly endorsed by environmentalists, which speaks to the changed landscape. The NDP is no longer the environmental bastion, which is great news for the country.

Steve V said...

"But I most definitely have a problem when people practice partisan politics"

Jan, will all due respect, everything you write is completely partisan. Even when all the parties finally came together on the revised Clean Air Act you couldn't be gracious, it was all NDP, NDP. I made a point about Dion's plan being enacted and you spewed venom at me, as though it was factually incorrect.

If you will read the history, I commended Layton for forcing this bill to committee, and also chastized the Liberals initial stance- it was bullshit. However, that was then, and this is now, and the bottomline, had the parties not worked together, Layton's initial "victory" would be hollow at best. It was a collective victory, and something we should all row together on, PARTISANSHIP aside.

Anonymous said...

Some of the more senior organizers within the Liberal party have made it clear that no major central resources will be given to the candidate that will represent our party in Central Nova.

Out in BC, the Liberals have attracted and acclaimed at least two female candidates who ran under the Green Banner in the last election.

There is already a solid, informal Liberal-Green coalition in place. However, it's primary purpose over the next few years is to knock out the NDP once and for all. The long term goal here is begin a process where by the Green party replaces the NDP as an alternative choice for the left…an outcome that is currently favored by our party.

Finally, some "Jim Harris" Green’s (mostly from the eco-capitalism/pro business wing of the party) are seeing May as a complete sellout.

-ITC

knb said...

anon, that's why Harris isn't there any more!

jan, with respect, you're sounding like McGrath and perhaps you'll see that as a compliment, it's not. She sounds ugly now, I used to respect her.

To cite all those votes, if you were honest, you'd include why he voted against and what was contained in the bill, given that he is not NDP, but Liberal.

I'm tired of this "I agree", but you're "bad" junk from the NDP. You look ridiculous.

Personally, I think the NDP has a role to play, but "tough guy" is counter intuitive to what you are supposed to stand for. Be tough against what is wrong, but for goodness sake, stand for what is right. That is what your leader is missing, imo.

Peter said...

If I was a Green Party member I would go ballistic. Since I am not, I observe in bewilderment. I have admired May from afar for quite a long time. Now I watching her downfall.

May was elected to improve the Green Party's base for future elections. Instead, she is making the Green Party the second voice of the Liberal Party. And I previously wondered: Why does Dion want May in the leadership debates?

Predictions:

1. McKay kicks May's butt.

2. Harper refuses to include May on the televised debates (it is his right, by the way, the Greens have no seats).

3. The Green Party, after looking like it was going to challenge in some ridings, gets less votes than the last election.

4. May is the first Party leader to get turfed after the election.

MississaugaPeter

P.S. Those claiming she is doing the right thing on principle should ask her to just step down as leader of the Green Party and become a Liberal (why hide behind the Green Party - is it maybe because of her pro-life views?).

MississaugaPeter

knb said...

peter, you'd go ballistic based on your own bias.

I have no idea whether she'll do this or not, but if she does, then I say she's looking out for the country as a whole and who the hell can dispute that? She's doing it from her perspective, but she's (gasp) putting politics aside for what she believes in.

This sell out crap is just that, crap. Anyone who knows her stance, yes on social issues, I cannot follow her. That is not her platform pal. Those are her views that she does not impose on the party and they elected her. Good try though, if you thought you'd frighten some of us.

Steve, I have no idea if she'll do this or not, but I think your speculation was great. If she does, I think it's a smart and committed move, to bring the country out of what it has been mired in since Harper took power.

Josh Gould said...

There is already a solid, informal Liberal-Green coalition in place. However, it's primary purpose over the next few years is to knock out the NDP once and for all. The long term goal here is begin a process where by the Green party replaces the NDP as an alternative choice for the left…an outcome that is currently favored by our party.

There's nothing like some delusions of grandeur from a Green partisan to make the evening complete. Perhaps the Greens should focus on winning at least one side in at least one provincial legislature or Parliament before continuing on with their plans to conquer the left.

wayward son said...

Peter said...
"If I was a Green Party member I would go ballistic."

I am a Green Party member. Ballistic? Nope. Cautious? Yes. My reaction will depend on what May does. The GPC is not going to be forming a government anytime soon. I recognize that we will have to make some sacrifices in order to: 1. improve the environment 2. get representation in parliament. 3. get proportional representation. If May has to make a deal to get us towards one or more of those goals then I support the idea and will evaluate each deal when the details are present.

"Now I watching her downfall."

The Green Party still seems to be the only party polling much higher than a year ago.


"May was elected to improve the Green Party's base for future elections. Instead, she is making the Green Party the second voice of the Liberal Party."

Being the leader of a party that has never had a seat is a difficult job. Because it doesn't have a strong regional base like the Bloc and Reform did means that the leader has to look at all means to achieve influence in the political system.

"1. McKay kicks May's butt."

Mays chances of winning this riding are very slim. However she choose the east coast riding that will give her the most publicity. That increased publicity will help all GPC candidates throughout the country. She took on the tough job to help out her party. That is leadership.


"2. Harper refuses to include May on the televised debates (it is his right, by the way, the Greens have no seats)."

Harper doesn't decide who is in the debates - so it is not his right. The media conglomerates do. As I have said many times before there are no rules for who is included in the national debates. Basing entry into the debates solely on past performance (ie needing a seat) would be an assault on democracy. The BQ and the Reform party would have both been allowed in the '93 debates even if they didn't already have a seat based on the knowledge that they would have seats after the election. The United Farmers of Ontario won the most seats in a provincial election of 1919 despite not even existing during the previous election. What if the polls had the GPC running at 20% or 35%? Do you think that the media would be stupid enough to keep them out of the debates? No, that is why they were smart to realize that there can be no set rules - such as a seat rule.

"3. The Green Party, after looking like it was going to challenge in some ridings, gets less votes than the last election."

Anything is possible.

"4. May is the first Party leader to get turfed after the election."

That is possible too depending on when the next election is held. Every two years the Green Party has a leadership race. May will have to defend her position in August 2009 give or take a month. Remember Harris almost lost his leadership in the 2005 race despite increasing the party's vote count by almost 600%.

"P.S. Those claiming she is doing the right thing on principle should ask her to just step down as leader of the Green Party and become a Liberal"

Are you a GPC member? Because I kind of think that is up for us to decide. My main concern is the environment. I ask the leader of my party to put the environment ahead of everything else. If Elizabeth May thinks that forming so kind of alliance with another party is in the best interests of the environment then she should look into it. The party members will have to evaluate her decisions. So far, for me at least, I am undecided on this present course of action. Why? Because it is pretty hard to come to a conclusion - as you have - despite having no facts or evidence.

As for Elizabeth May she has been asked to join most political parties many times over. If she wanted to be a Liberal cabinet minister she certainly didn't have to go through this kind of trouble.

"(why hide behind the Green Party - is it maybe because of her pro-life views?)."

There is nothing wrong with being personally pro-life and politically pro-choice. I know countless people who would never have an abortion, but support the rights to others to make their own decision. I really do hope that some party is stupid enough to try to smear May in this way. It will backfire on them then it did to the NDP in LNC.

janfromthebruce said...
"It's like them running a candidate in a riding in Alberta agains the NDP candidate who has the best environmental credentials and placed 2nd in 2006. I understand they are running candidate there, but on yes, May is really interested in taking on the Cons - not!"

Your argument is ridiculous. So far the Greens are running candidates in every riding. It is possible that May might change that. But so far she hasn't, so of course that means that riding associations would have selected a candidate in their riding whether the NDP finished 2nd, 3rd or whatever.

Jan you are a good example of why I left the NDP. Too many NDPers are just angry in general. Too many NDPers like to paint the Liberals and Conservatives with the same brush. It just isn't true and anyone who is not insane would recognize that. Ask yourself what the country would look like if it had been governed by people like Harper for the last 40 years. Despite that I would have stayed in the party if the NDP had a decent record on the environment. It doesn't. The two NDP Provincial government's have poor environmental records. In Saskatchewan they have been routinely ranked second worst (Alberta) on the environment (according to the Sierra club) and once again this year despite increasing spending significantly they did not increase environmental spending by one cent. The other provincial NDP government - Manitoba has been cautiously placed in the middle of the pack. That is based on strong environmental rhetoric, but as the Sierra club points out still no environmental action. Their provincial budget is supposed to be released any day now. I guess we will see if they put their money where their mouth is. The story was the same when the NDP was in power in B.C. and Ontario.

"Next, May shows this consistent pattern. On the one hand she doesn't want to ruffle any Liberal feathers (say running in Cape Bretin against a Lib), but undercutting the NDP, that's OK, the Nova Central riding who came 2nd."

Running in CB as a party leader, especially one who doesn't yet have a seat and will therefore have to campaign both locally and nationally, would have been a logistical nightmare. Running against a sitting Liberal or NDP would have gone against May's reasons for seeking the GPC leadership - to stop Harper from allowing the destruction of our environment and ruining Canada's already tenuous record on the environment in the eyes of the rest of the world. She wanted to run in Nova Scotia (and why not as her running on the east coast will certainly boost the GPC votes throughout a region where they traditional fare very poorly), she wanted to run against a Conservative. Logistically McKay was the best choice - closest to the airport for incoming journalists.

As for Alexis - Is she running? Months before May made her announcement I heard that it was very unlikely that Alexis was going to run again, which if true, makes your point moot and means that you just like to spew anger for little purpose.

Steve V said...

wayward son

Wow, you're a breath of fresh air. Thanks for adding the Green perspective.

Josh Gould said...

As for Alexis - Is she running? Months before May made her announcement I heard that it was very unlikely that Alexis was going to run again, which if true, makes your point moot and means that you just like to spew anger for little purpose.

I don't believe she's running again, but as I've had to point out elsewhere, NDP support in the area cannot be taken as dependent on the candidate when the party holds two of five provincial ridings and was only off the victorious Tories by a few hundred votes in two others.

wayward son said...

“Thanks for adding the Green perspective.”

Well of course I only represent one member of the GPC, I can’t speak for the rest. I should mention that one of the reasons, why I am far from going “ballistic” is that I have participated in environmental campaigns. One of the things that the successful campaigns seemed to have in common is that they reached out to all the members of the community. They did not try to divide everyone up into two camps of those who were saints and those who were evil. I don’t know of a campaign that could have been won with exclusively NDP voters (or Liberal voters or Conservative voters). It took a community of people who agreed with that specific goal, who found common ground, although they had diverse opinions on other things. I don’t see how politics can be any different especially when something like climate change is such a larger and more complicated issue then anything I fought. The other thing that I found is that successful campaigns are dependent on people having a changing of viewpoint or awakening to the cause. Each campaign started small but grew as people who originally disagreed with us eventually joined us. Many of those new arrivals were our strongest supporters and campaigners while bringing many of the best ideas and taking over much of the workload as some of the initial campaigners felt burnt out and discouraged by lack of progress. I care little about Dion’s past views, I care about his current views and they are far better than Harper’s. Name a political leader who has a serious chance at governing anywhere in the world who is pushing for stronger environmental action and policy than Dion is. Yes there is a chance that he wins the next elections and abandons much of his environmental positions. But it appears as though May is trying to make sure that he follows through and Dion appears to be one of the more honest politicians I have seen in a long time, but maybe my hope in humanity is clouding my judgement.

It is pretty simple for me.
I can't look at the positions on the environment that Dion has or the positions that Layton has and says they are wrong. I can look at the positions that Harper and the new CPC has on the environment and say that they are very wrong.

Next I can look at the fact that the party - with one third of the votes - which holds the opposite position of mine on this issue (and so many others) is controlling the government. I think that is wrong and I don't think that 35% of the population should be able to enact policy that the other 65% disagrees with. Things need to change. Before things will change people need to change. It is my hope that May is trying to help achieve that change. I might not agree with what she eventually feels is the best course of action, but I will always agree with her looking for a best course of action.

Josh Gould said...
“I don't believe she's running again, but as I've had to point out elsewhere, NDP support in the area cannot be taken as dependent on the candidate when the party holds two of five provincial ridings and was only off the victorious Tories by a few hundred votes in two others.”

True, but prior to her they only got 11% of the vote in 2000. Despite the NDP being even stronger in Nova Scotia at that time - winning 3 seats. Alexis was a very strong candidate, one of the best in the country from any party, and tripled the NDP vote count. It would take an even stronger NDP candidate to improve on her result and topple McKay. Sorry, but I don't think that the NDP will be able to find a better candidate than Alexis for Central Nova for many years to come.

lance said...

The idealistic wayward son's comments to the contrary, I'm with Peter.

Any deal brokered by May with the Liberals is political suicide. Stupid is about the nicest I can describe it.

The Green Party is first and foremost a political party, second is the environmental issue.

Anyone who doesn't realize that is peeing into the wind.

Cheers,
lance

Anonymous said...

May does not want to be elected, that's obvious. She'll do fine by cashing in on $1.75 a vote.

Anonymous said...

I don't see it as a problem, afterall, Tommy Douglas did it to keep Conservatives out of power in order to save social programmes. Jack Layton is so high on his own ego that he wouldn't consider what Tommy Douglas did, yet he claims to be the party of Tommy Douglas and uses Douglas' stature for his own gain.

The Green Party would then get more recognition in they are in parliament, show their stuff, and go back to being their own party.

Might be a long range plan and a more direct path to being at least a recognizable and gain as many if not more seats than the NDP down the road.

dalestreet said...

Steve

So why wouldn't the amended Act get passed? Just curious. It has the support of all the opposition parties and the last time I counted, their combined total of seats outnumber the Government's. What can the CPC do to scuttle this? Refuse to bring the amended bill before the House? If they do that, won't that give the Opposition and Environmentalists and the media something to feast on? The only way I can think of how this doesn't get passed is if the all the parties in the House let this fall off the radar and the media ignores it. But, maybe there is something I'm missing here.

Peter said...

Wayward Son,

I said "If I was a Green Party member I would go ballistic."

This does not mean you would or anyone else will. I repeat, "If I was a Green Party member I would go ballistic."

May was elected to improve the Green Party's electoral results, not to prevent the Conservatives from getting a majority!

If the first priority of the Green Party is to prevent the Conservatives from getting a majority, then the Green Party should not run any candidates at all and endorse either the Liberals or NDP.

COROLLARY: If the first priority of the Liberals or NDP is to prevent the Conservatives from getting a majority, then the Liberals and NDP should merge and run only one candidate in each riding.

I stand semi-corrected on the comment "Harper refuses to include May on the televised debates (it is his right, by the way, the Greens have no seats)." I have no idea who decides on who is included in the televised debates. I always thought that the parties sent representatives who with the networks determined the format and order. That being said, Harper can refuse to participate if he does not feel May should be included in the debates.

I was very excited by May's ascension to leader of the Green Party. I have always and still do admire most of the work the Sierra Club (which May was Executive Director) does.
I have a lot of respect for many Green Party members who wear their convictions on their sleeves. I know many of them are beginning to question May and her political maneuvering. I had been approached to run for the Green Party and had considered it.

Running less than 308 candidates is and should be the end of May.

MississaugaPeter

Mark Greenan said...

wayward son,
"I recognize that we will have to make some sacrifices in order to: 1. improve the environment 2. get representation in parliament. 3. get proportional representation."

I just don't get why a alliance with the Liberals is going to help you do this. 1. They've repeatedly shown that they care more about their partisan performance than anything else. 2. They've consistently minimized the need for and blocked the progress of proportional representation for federal elections. Seems like there's only one party calling for PR in parliament ....

"Canada's already tenuous record on the environment in the eyes of the rest of the world."

And whose responsiblity is this? Mulroney - nope he's the best environmental PM ever. Can't be the NDP, never held power. Seems like a strange dance partner for a Green party to me

Josh Gould said...

True, but prior to her they only got 11% of the vote in 2000. Despite the NDP being even stronger in Nova Scotia at that time - winning 3 seats. Alexis was a very strong candidate, one of the best in the country from any party, and tripled the NDP vote count. It would take an even stronger NDP candidate to improve on her result and topple McKay. Sorry, but I don't think that the NDP will be able to find a better candidate than Alexis for Central Nova for many years to come.

You still misunderstand - the NDP has gained a lot of ground in the rural mainland over the past few years and has never been stronger in NS than it is right now. Alexis was certainly a strong candidate, but it should be patently obvious that the NDP has significant strength in the area independent of her.

I don't see it as a problem, afterall, Tommy Douglas did it to keep Conservatives out of power in order to save social programmes.

When and where did he do that? And if May's goal is to keep Conservatives out of power, why doesn't she just endorse Liberal, NDP, or even Bloc candidates nationwide and be done with it?

Steve V said...

dale

I'm not a procedural expert, but I've read that the Tories have options to scuttle the Act if they choose, or render it essentially useless.

JimBobby said...

Gayle sez - "I think JB is going to show up and trash this post..."

I ain't sure how t' take that, Gayle. Sure, Earth Mother Lizzie May's the gal I adore but my adoration can be tempered. I am a GPC member and I vote in a riding with very little Green presence -- not even an EDA. The Reform/Alliance/RegressiveConservatives didn't start out by running in 308 ridings and look where they are now.

If there's no GPC candidate in my riding, it will bother me. I won't go ballistic, like Peter sez. (Lizzie sez she don't wanna hear any o' that military jargon like "war chests" and "war rooms", btw.) I'll be disappointed not to have my party on the ballot. Lucky for me, the Grits could be running a local bright light, Dr. Eric Hoskins, against Diane Finley. Hoskins was with Doctors Without Borders and WarChild Canada. I might vote for him even if the GPC DOES run a candidate here.

$1.75/year ain't a fortune. Increased party membership and donations could make up the shortfall if we don't run in every riding and somehow get fewer total votes than 2004, 2006.

Yer trashed. I guess. Whatever that means.

JB

Anonymous said...

Douglas/Trudeau coalition re: Charter of Rights, etc.

Keeping social services is key to the NDP - so what the hell is Layton doing?

May once said that a "Harper majority scares the hell out of her".

She was a Mulroney Conservative, so she knows the difference between progressive and Harper.

Josh Gould said...

Douglas/Trudeau coalition re: Charter of Rights, etc.

You mean the Lewis/Trudeau coalition, right? Douglas wasn't even in Parliament by the time the constitution was patriated from London, which happened, incidentally, during a majority Liberal government. Oh well, never let facts get in the way of an attempt to portray Layton as Harper's "bitch" (you've sunk to a new low in your personal attacks, Scotian).

dalestreet said...

Steve

That's what I was saying. If the Government takes any action to scuttle this amended bill, it should create an uproar, unless the opposition parties and the MSM let it die quietly. Call me a cynic, but that's what I think will happen. The MSM isn't really reporting on this at the moment and only the NDP has anything on their website regarding C-30 and the amendments. This is the closest we've come to having anything of substance to combat Global Warming and it looks like the Government will kill it and the Opposition Parties will be complicit, so they can campaign on the Environment in the next election. I hope I'm wrong.

Scotian said...

Josh Gould:

If that is my new low on personal attacks, I am still far, Far FAR above what appears to be the norm in the blogosphere. Thank you though for such touching concern about the matter now. Incidentally, if you are a regular reader of this blog then you know I have done many comments detailing exactly why I have problems with Layton, what actions of his vis a vis the Harper CPC have bothered me over that period, and how I see him as selling out the principles that his party always stood for. Therefore, since I have already detailed them out repeatedly here I felt no need to do so again when by putting the word "bitch" in quotes in that context it would be clear that this was I was referring to.

Incidentally, a personal attack is when you attack someone on personal characteristics and not over their political decisions. My entire reason for the "bitch" use was directly in relation to his actions as NDP leader and not regarding his personal life. So your criticism is not only foolish it is incorrect to boot.

BTW, what is it with you and this need to claim I have hit a new low in personal attacks? Given the amount of nonsense that we see online that are truly personal attacks this line of yours on this point was really out to lunch. Next time you want to accuse someone of reaching a new low in personal attacks, you might want to be sure it is a personal attack in the first place because this time out you were wrong. Thanks for playing Miss Manners though for us all, I am sure everyone else here is oh so grateful to you for it, I know I am... (yes, that was sarcasm)

Josh Gould said...

I've read (or skimmed) many of your lengthy, overwrought essays in which you go on about how Layton is some sort of Harper syncophant or his "bitch." And, yes, that strikes me as a personal attack, even though it pales next to the level of vitriol elsewhere. You ignore the fact that the NDP has been voting against CPC bills since Day One. But I won't bother trying to convince you, since you've long since made up your mind that regardless of what Layton does, he must be working to help Harper achieve his majority, however inadvertently.

s.b. said...

May is definately not in talks withthe NDp and particularly dislikes Jack Layton from what I have heard. Also since her deputy leader is running against Brionny Penn in Sannich Culf Islands, I doubt there is much talk of a coalition with the Liberals either. As far as not running in all the seats, that would be the smartest thing the Green Party has done in a long time. They are overstretching their resources bif time and could easily not run in ridings where they get under lets say 2% of the vote or even 1% and there are lots of those ridings.

Gayle said...

JB - I am sorry, I did not intend for my comment to be anything more than a joke (in looking at my post I see I forgot the smiley face),

Also, I was not referring to my post but to the topic of the thread.

No offence intended.

JimBobby said...

np ;)

Steve V said...

dale

It should come back on the frontburner once Parliament reconvenes. I suspect Baird will release the government plan, hoping the other monkey business gets lost in the shuffle.

Steve V said...

"They are overstretching their resources bif time and could easily not run in ridings where they get under lets say 2% of the vote or even 1% and there are lots of those ridings."

SB

That makes no sense. Just put a name up, invest nothing, and you are still assured votes, which translates into capital, via the financing laws. You aren't overstretching, because you have little expenditure in marginal ridings, yet you actually raise money through a candidate. If you are looking at pure economic health of the party, then it's a complete no brainer to run in all the ridings, unless of course you have an aversion to money.

JimBobby said...

"Just put a name up, invest nothing..."

It ain't quite that simple. Candidates must get 100 signatures from riding residents who agree to having them on the ballot and they must post a $1000 bond.

From Elections Canada --

"The nomination papers must be signed before a witness by at least 100 persons who are electors entitled to vote in the riding in which the candidate is seeking nomination.

...
A candidate is also required to pay a deposit of $1,000. This is reimbursed only if the candidate's official agent submits the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return (EC 20120) and related documents to the Chief Electoral Officer and unused official tax receipts to the returning officer within the time prescribed."

It requires work, time an' cash up front.

JB

Steve V said...

JB

Noted, but that's not exactly a large expenditure per riding, refundable too, not to mention 100 signatures. Given the Greens popularity, that is a paltry amount, wouldn't you say? I guess I erred in saying no effort at all, maybe I should qualify it, not much in the scheme, and certainly not something unachievable that would "drain" limited resources.

JimBobby said...

Yer right that it's only $308,000 t' field a full slate. Gettin' candidates who can get 100 signatures, gettin' them signatures, signing on an official campaign financial officer (a legal requirement, I think) can be a chore for a small, loosley organized party and des require some significant assistance from the national party organization.

These things are quite simple for a party with the membership of the LPC or CPoC. They represent hurdles for a party with a fraction of the number of card-carrying members.

JB

Anonymous said...

C'mon, how naive can people get. Parties pretty much know how the other party is going to vote - the NDP voted against when it was safe too.

Just like the budget - the NDP and Liberals knew the BLOC would support it - so they were safe to vote against.

MississaugaPeter said...

The Green Party fielded a candidate in every riding in 2004 and 2006.

ANYTHING LESS IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR MANY GREEN PARTY MEMBERS.

I spoke to a few Green Party members today and every one was confused (to varying degrees) with May's political maneuvering and disappointed with the good, former Green Party members (who got thousands of votes) who are now joining the Liberals.

wayward son said...

As I mentioned yesterday the Manitoba NDP was releasing their budget today. I just skimmed through the document but, I can't find any increase in environmental spending. So if that is true, that leaves NDP governments 0/2 this year on that file.

lance said...

Wayward son, as much as I dislike my own provincial NDP gov't, you can't actually expect either MB or SK to massively support environmental issues. It isn't going to happen.

We have much bigger problems then worrying about our air. It's _clean_ out here, there isn't any pollution.

We do have huge wait times, labour shortages, brain drain, bad highways, and a shrinking rural economy. You know, real problems that matter to people.

Please don't confuse SK or MB with Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal.

Cheers,
lance