Green Party leader picking a new riding to run in
When a politician -- one would have to hasten to label Green Party leader Elizabeth May a political leader -- declares themselves to be their party's greatest asset, one has to imagine that the pressure is certainly on to get elected.
May seems to be feeling that pressure now, as the rush seems to be on to get elected -- absolutely anywhere she can.
May, who has previously run in Central Nova and London, Ontario, is apparently hunting for a new riding to run in. The most recent speculation has her taking a very close look at Ontario's Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound riding, where -- predictably -- a Conservative, Larry Miller, is currently holding office.
Miller certainly doesn't seem very threatened by May. “I think in most areas, and particularly in rural ridings, it’s important to be from there," Miller said. "It’s certainly not a prerequisite ... but ultimately it’s the people that make the decision."
Miller believes -- as many Canadians believe -- that voters prefer local candidates to parachute candidates.
The President of the Liberal party riding association in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound agrees.
“As a member of the constituency, I feel quite offended by parachute candidates. I think we should all be concerned," said Liberal RA President John Close. “Our idea is to represent the people of this riding and I don’t see how a parachute candidate can represent the everyday person in this riding.”
"If she can’t win in her own riding, why disrupt things in another?” Close asked.
That criticism should be especially biting for May, who couldn't defeat Peter MacKay in Central Nova even with the Liberal party's help. As part of an agreement hatched with then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion, the Liberals didn't run a candidate against May.
The Green Party's riding association co-President, Randy Dryburgh, is quite enthused at the prospect of the Green leader running as his candidate. He admits that she'd have a significant advantage over any local in attaining the Green Party nomination.
“Certainly, it’s pretty tough to beat Elizabeth May [to become the] candidate in your riding and I would be very pleased to have her run,” Dryburgh said. “On the other hand, if we have a really super local person, I think I’d be equally as happy to work with that person.”
Of course, there is a problem with Elizabeth May running in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound other than the troubles of being a parachute candidate.
She had previously said she wouldn't run anywhere other than in Central Nova.
"I’m never running anywhere but Central Nova. This is where I live and where I will always run," May had told reporters during the 2008 election.
The fact that she had previously run in a by-election in London, Ontario must not have fazed her at a time when she was uttering a promise she clearly had no intention of ever keeping.
But then again, this is Elizabeth May. She's proven so unwilling to stand by the principles she espouses -- ignoring Stephane Dion's failure on the climate change file when endorsing him as Prime Minister -- so one would have to wonder what would have changed for her to stop doing so now.