My only point here, from the Liberal prospective, and I think all parties calculate this way, quantifying where appeal may come from through policy development. If the Liberals essentially adopt the Green position on carbon, then it is natural to think that could provide some sway at the voter booth. When Jim Elve lists all the policy planks of the Greens in his post, it speaks to the depth of the party, but my point, outside of the core Green voter, what is the primary issue that resonates?
The comment section mentions a Globe and Mail poll, wherein the Greens were easily the top choice on the question of who was best able to deal with the environment and climate change:
A very impressive total, considering overall voter intention, but also quite telling. If you look at the other issues mentioned in the poll, you see that the Greens don't fair near as well. In other words, the environment is the signature issue, voters don't have much identification with the party, apart from this issue. Further, it is no coincidence that Green support has surged in tandem with heightened awareness on the environment, the co-relation is solid. What findings such as the above real tell us, despite the solid platform of the Greens, the draw is the environment for many.
When I say the Liberals could "siphon off" soft Green support, it doesn't show a lack of respect, but it simply recognizes that by mirroring Green policy on the core identification issue, the Liberals have opportunity. If the Liberals are successful in showing leadership on the environment, if Dion presents a credible case, that draws on diverse expert support, then it presents a challenge for the Greens to get the message out on other issues, it negates the environment in a certain sense, or at the least has the potential to cut into any perceived advantage. You have the prospects of May agreeing with Dion on policy, which means the distinctions must come from elsewhere.
Many Green supporters will just ignore the Liberal plan, it won't sway them, and rightly so. However, it is also true that the casual voter isn't so invested, and that voter which has shown preference for the Greens can be moved. That is what I mean by soft, that is the target.