Elizabeth May intends to run in Central Nova again; time for the Green Party of Canada to change leaders

Monday, March 02, 2009

Well, looks like it's time for the Green Party / Parti Vert to elect a new leader:

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she will run again in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova, despite her decisive defeat in the last election and Michael Ignatieff's pledge to run a Liberal candidate against her.
This is a very boneheaded decision on her part if she's really serious about running against Peter McKay again in Central Nova, for a number of reasons. The first is the one written above, that Michael Ignatieff is not going to carry on the pledge that Stephane Dion made last election to not run a Liberal candidate in the riding in the hopes that May would be able to collect enough votes to unseat him. It didn't work last time, and next time there's going to be a Liberal to vote for, and at the same time Peter McKay is still the MP for Central Nova, and a cabinet minister (Minister of National Defence).

Peter McKay has never lost in that area since he was first elected in 1997, and let's not forget that his father was also the MP for the area for quite some time as well. In short: Elizabeth May will never be able to unseat McKay, short of some sort of major scandal.

Now let's take a look at the current state of the Canadian Green Party. The last election held in Canada achieved a low water mark for interest in politics, and really was an election that shouldn't have happened. It was Harper's attempt to gain a majority but the election didn't go so well and during the election the economy began to tank, and as a result he came out with a slightly stronger minority, and little more. The Liberal Party also did exceptionally bad with Dion at the helm, which meant that the Green Party got a fair amount more support than before for two reasons: 1) As a protest vote against the other choices, and 2) The idea that this time they would finally be able to elect an MP somewhere.

Now that the election is over, two things are certain: 1) There's no chance that Canada will put up with anyone putting the country through another election for no reason, which means that next time around there will have to be a driving issue behind going to the polls again (and if there is no reason, one or more parties are going to be punished for making it happen), and 2) Canadians are now well aware that it's going to take a lot more for the Green Party to be able to elect an MP.

In other words, in this next election the Green Party is going to have to show that they have a serious chance at getting a seat if they want Canadians to continue to support them, and this move is going in exactly the wrong direction. If Elizabeth May is serious about wanting to run in Central Nova again then she is essentially telling the country that once again the Green Party doesn't care if it ends up without a seat in the next election, and that's a very bad thing. If 1) the Green Party can't get a single seat with 6.8% of the vote, and 2) their leader has no chance of winning a seat, what's the point of voting for them?

The leader of the Green Party should be David Chernushenko, who has now resigned as deputy leader of the party. He's 100% correct when he says that May's mixed messages during the last election cost them a ton of votes...and votes aren't just symbolic in Canada; they represent real money.

David Chernushenko, who came second to Ms. May in the party's 2006 leadership race and has accused Ms. May of selling out the party, disputes Ms. May's assertion that the media are to blame.

“I've actually listened to the tapes. I've watched her and cringed as there have been words, at the end, following a very clear statement, that: ‘You've got to vote Green, except in ridings where I leave it to the voter to do the right thing.' What in flaming heck is that supposed to mean?”

I would like to see May elected as an MP, by the way. She's just not cut out to lead the party.

Finally, you can see the video yourself with the interview with Ms. May here. Her response to the question "how do you intend to win the seat in Central Nova, and why choose there?" is more or less "well, the first-past-the-post system is unfair".


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