Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Greens Mean Business in Quebec

Green party shows first semblance of a feasible plan

If many Canadians didn't know better, they'd swear that Green Party leader Elizabeth May had a workable plan at making her party electable.

Recently, May elaborated on a plan to build her party up over two elections, and look to elect a rump of Green MPs in future elections -- particularly in La Belle Province.

"We will have green MPs in Quebec," May insisted. "Maybe not in the next elections, but the ones afterward."

"It's not just about winning seats," she added. "It's about supporting our grassroots who are working so hard, and making sure that the word gets out that the Green Party is on the move."

From within the party organization, at least, prospects seem far from bleak.

"They have three potential candidates there (within two elections)," explained Concordia University professor Peter Graham, who ran for the Greens in the last election. Graham notes that they have no political experience, and so will stand in their stead while they learn. "I'll do the debate, I'll talk to the media, I'll do the door to door, go through the meet and greets."

This strategy of building over a number of elections is a huge improvement on the previous strategy of "get Elizabeth May elected, nothing else matters" -- provided that May can balance the two.

Her recent nomination in Saanich-Gulf Islands doesn't really seem to have stemmed her previous habit of playing chicken with a political train (as she did in Central Nova). All May has really done is shifted away from trying to defeat National Defense Minister Peter MacKay to trying to beat Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn. This will naturally be difficult to do by splitting the left-of-centre vote even further.

Her nomination in that riding also featured a transfer of funds from the party's national committee that looked an awful lot like mass bribery, and has resulted in a complaint to Elections Canada.

This being said, if Elizabeth May is beginning to take the job of getting Green MPs other than simply herself elected, this should be welcome news for the Green Party.

If not, then it's still time to seek new leadership.

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