Sunday, July 15, 2007

Running Of The Green

Despite a campaign not to field a Green candidate in the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, in the end an overwhelming majority opted to do just that:
The Green party will run a candidate in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding in the next federal election.

Some members had urged their fellow Greens to avoid splitting the vote by not running against Liberal Briony Penn or NDPer Julian West, both former Green Party of B.C. members. They hoped to unseat Conservative MP Gary Lunn, who has long held the riding.

But in the end, after a heated debate, 84 per cent of the 21 members who turned up for a nomination meeting in Bazan Bay yesterday acclaimed Andrew Lewis as their candidate.

Green party member Bryce Kendrick wasn't sure how he was going to vote going in, but said principle won out over convenience and he supported Lewis.

"I thought on the one hand, I'd love to see Garry Lunn thrown out, but on the other hand I feel that as a Green party member I have a commitment to the party," he said, wearing a crisp Green party T-shirt.

Harald Wolf, one of the members who signed an e-mailed letter urging Greens to vote "none of the above," said he isn't happy with the outcome.

"I am Green and will continue to be Green but we'll have to see if I feel [Penn] can win, if she can represent me, I would trust her," he said, adding that anybody is better than Lunn, whom critics have described as no friend of the environment. "He needs to get out."

I admit, I was hoping for "none of the above", but having said that you can't really argue with the decision. There is something fundamentally counter-intuitive about trying to build an alternative party, and concurrently abandoning certain ridings that seem to have a good foundation. The question of fundings is also relevant- votes=money in our system, period.

I'm an outsider, but I have a feeling that this nomination debate may have a lasting impact when we do have an election. Clearly, the desire to defeat Lunn might still bring about a voter coalition around a candidate. It will be interesting to see if the people arguing for "none of the above" continue to make a pitch, that could ultimately undermine the Lewis nomination.

UPDATE
Accidential Deliberations laments the low turnout.

3 comments:

burlivespipe said...

Yes, they may have lost the opportunity of seeing a 'green MP' being elected, but in party politics the factor of 'self-interest' or political party loyalty has to mean something. I too wish they had took the option of supporting either the NdPer or Briony because they truly have a chance of winning this riding. They would have their 'green MP'... However, as someone who supports the fed Libs when they are on the rise and usually when they are on the downslope, I can't demand that they surrender their loyalty because it makes greater sense.
And since the NdP long ago amputated the 'greater good' element from their brain, I don't see they would be reasonable partners anyways.

Mushroom said...

So the Greens in Saanich can't decide between the Grits and the Dippers.

Oh well, I guess we can run a Hobbit there.

daniel said...

So the search for a squaredance partner continues...

I made a couple of replies regarding this area of discussion in a thread here from a couple of days ago (miles down the main page...), and juts posted a new reply there today, so go there if you want a general idea of what I think of this.