Monday, October 13, 2008

Green Party Thrown Under the Bus

Despite claims that she wouldn't, Elizabath has suggested that in some ridings voters should vote Liberal or NDP to block a Conservative win. In other words she is calling on her supporters to vote for Stephane Dion as Prime Minister irrelevant of the effects it has on her party. It is important for voters to consider the message sent through their ballot, even if their candidate does not win. It is another for a party leader to abandon her party on the eve of the election. She has done a tremendous disservice on many levels.

Candidates are entitled to be reimbursed for some of their campaign expenses if they capture a certain percentage of the vote. Some Green candidates could take a personal financial loss from this declaration. Also all parties that capture 3% of the popular vote are entitled to $1.95/year per vote of federal funding. The Green Party has benefited from this rule in the last federal election. Strategic voting will hurt the Green Party financially.

Each party has their own distinct environment policy. A blanket Liberal endorsement sends the message from Green supporters is that there number 1 priority is to get a carbon tax. The fact that the Liberals and Greens have very different ways of spending the extra government revenue does not matter.

The Green Party has always had the problem that their polling numbers on election day are about half of what they receive before the election. It has been understood that these results show that Canadians like to say they care about the environment. When push comes to shove Canadians have more important issues at heart like the economy. A dip in Green Party support will once again reinforce this message. In 4 years from now parties will decide how important the environment is for their election platforms. Once again all the parties (including the Liberals) will put it lower on the agenda because while important it does not win votes. Elizabeth May has managed to not only undercut her own party but the entire environmental movement she claims to support.

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