Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Democratic Space analysis & article from Ottawa Citizen

April 16, 2007

Democratic Space analysis & article from Ottawa Citizen

Can Elizabeth May win Central Nova? Click HERE.

Even with the Liberals not running a candidate in Central Nova, there are many who question whether Green Party leader Elizabeth May can defeat Conservative incumbent Peter MacKay. People typically look at previous results and see the Greens so far back that they discount the possibility that May could actually win. People would be wise to re-think that position. I, for one, think it’s certainly possible for the Greens to win...

The comment section is a great discussion.

Grit-Green pact rattles
Susan Riley, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, April 16, 2007

Jack Layton, with trademark piety, expressed disappointment that May has climbed into "the muck" with the Liberals. "If she wants to be a Liberal, why doesn't she just run for the Liberals?" sniffed his former aide, Jamey Heath. For the Conservatives, the deal is further evidence -- along with the Ottawa Senators' second-game loss and this month's miserable weather, presumably -- that Dion is a "weak leader."...

...Pay them no mind, Ms. May. These are the delusional mutterings of a dying cult. These are the custodians of politics as it always has been: stupidly partisan, pathologically afraid of innovation, mean-spirited and self-interested. Faced with a bold gesture -- particularly a gesture motivated by idealism -- they are, naturally, frightened and confused. But only for a moment. Too soon they fall back into the cynicism that sustains their tired, increasingly-exclusive little club...

...So why didn't May pursue an alliance with Layton, whose green credentials go back farther than Dion's, whose environmental policy has long been more progressive?

Well, she tried. She says she phoned Layton a number of times, but got no response. So she called an old friend, Stephen Lewis, to see if he would intervene. Layton has characterized this as "backroom wheeling and dealing," and accuses May of betraying her own high standards. As for his private meetings with Harper last fall (a relationship that has since cooled?) that was a noble attempt at co-operating in the public interest, of course -- a distinction that may escape outsiders.

"What the hell is wrong with Jack Layton that he can't answer a phone call?" May retorts, when asked." I don't understand this. He talks to Harper all the time. Surely, the shared values are much closer between the NDP and Greens."

Layton, however, has a history, a venerable institution and a fragile footing in the polls to defend -- not just a climate change plan. The Greens are competitors as much as allies. As for May, if her goal is electing a green government (and it is), cold calculation comes into play: Dion is more likely to become prime minister than Layton...

...May will have trouble beating MacKay, no matter what. But she really is doing politics differently, not just claiming to. She is fearless and Dion isn't weak. No wonder the old guard is closing ranks against them.

A specific google news search netted me 180 stories on the internet today. One hundred and eighty internet hits on the Green Party of Canada.


The Anonymous Green said...

Say Cameron,

How will Elizabeth May's close association with David Orchard, and her apparent willingness to use his campaigning skills(if he wasn't busy) go over in pro-free trade Alberta?

Here's what she EM in Friday's National Post:

Liberals accumulating unpredictable allies

Garth Turner, Elizabeth May and David Orchard

Kevin Libin, National Post
Published: Friday, April 20, 2007

Shortly after Elizabeth May revealed plans last month to challenge Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay for the Central Nova riding in the next election, “one of the first calls I got was from David Orchard,” the federal Green party leader says. “He called to congratulate me and saying that he’d love to help.”

As far as actually pitching in on Ms. May’s Central Nova campaign — helped last week by Liberal leader St├ęphane Dion’s promise not to run a competitor in exchange for Ms. May’s endorsement of his leadership — the Green leader doesn’t expect Mr. Orchard will have much time.

“He’s also seeking a nomination in Saskatchewan, so he’ll be quite busy in his own race,” says Ms. May, who has been friendly with Mr. Orchard “forever.”

Isn't this Orchard fanatacism, reflected in Brad Thomson's recent endless cheerleading on the GP site, a bit of a risk in alienating potential green voters?

I am from the political centre who tends to agree with noted G&M journalist Jeffrey Simpson, who wrote last Oct 3rd:

On the prairies, especially in Saskatchewan, Mr. Dion has made an alliance of sorts with David Orchard, a flaky, marginal political figure who is almost a cult. Mr. Orchard ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, then switched to the Liberals. He helped Mr. Dion win delegates, but he's hardly the kind of ally Mr. Dion wants to put in his national political window.

So, how will this apparent ongoing flaky political association go over in Crowfoot?

Cameron W said...

"...So, how will this apparent ongoing flaky political association go over in Crowfoot?..."

I wouldn't say it's flaky, but you're entitled to your opinion.

For the most part, I don't think most voters will notice here in Crowfoot, and of those that do, I'm not sure many will care very much.

The Anonymous Green said...

Sorry, I should have used quotes. It was Simpson's term.

But, given that you are the Alberta member of council, no concern about how the Cons will use this against the GP in the rest of the province?

I thought parts of Alberta were considered a beachfront - where a breakthrough may occur for the GP.

Yeah, Crowfoot may be a CPC stronghold (didn't you mention it went 80% CPC last election?). But what about the rest of Alberta?

Not too many are still stuck in an anti- FTA 1988 time warp, where Orchard first emerged. They realize the world extends beyond N. America.

No concerns?

Cameron W said...

Sure there are concerns. I've heard many concerns from GPC members here in Alberta.

one of the benefits to agreeing to the Leader's courtesy of not running in each others riding is it raises the profile of the Green Party tremendously, and it's not necessarily perceived as negative. For the most part, only partisan Conservatives or NDPers are saying it was a mistake.

We'll have to wait and see how this is received by Canadians. One recent poll has the Greens and the Liberals up. If a trend emerges then we'll know it was worth the risk.