The Greens enter Parliament — by the back door


Just when you think you’ve seen everything

The Green Party now has has its first MP in Parliament, and it is a Liberal who had been turfed from that party’s caucus over election financing irregularities.

“Today we make history,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said Saturday in a news release in welcoming Blair Wilson of B.C.’s West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding to her party.

“I am grateful for Mr. Wilson’s principled belief that the Green Party deserves a voice in Parliament and for his firm commitment to democracy.”

A possible election campaign is looming, with signals indicating Canadians could be going to the polls in mid-October.

May noted in the release that with “a Green MP sitting in the House of Commons, it will now be impossible to exclude the Green Party from the televised leaders’ debates in the next election.”

More here and here and here.


The Greens enter Parliament — by the back door

  1. MP Blair Wilson pushes to run again as a Liberal
    Challenges party on ban of his candidacy

    By Elaine O’Connor, The Province
    Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008

    – Wilson and his wife borrowed an estimated $1.6 from his in-laws, Bill and Norma Lougheed, to purchase properties, most of which they alleged had not been repaid.

    – Wilson and his wife owed an additional $2.1 million in mortgages on homes and had liens on three.

    – Wilson was sued twice in the 1990s by companies he had worked for, for allegedly misappropriating company funds. The cases were settled out of court and the allegations remain unresolved.

    – Wilson’s two restaurants had failed and he was taken to the B.C. human-rights tribunal by several employees, and was twice compelled by the courts to pay GST. The party’s “green light” nomination committee investigation found on three separate occasions Wilson failed to disclose such information.

    Elizabeth May has no principles she won’t compromise.

  2. Waiit… so they’re proud of having someone kicked out do to corrupt financing in their party? Wow.. they must be really getting desperate.

  3. Probably betting that the majority of the Canadian public won’t take notice of that, and merely take notice of “Hey, who’s this 5th person in the debates?”

  4. Well, if in the debates she continues on with her claim that “she’s not a politician and always tells the truth”, this may effectively counter the former claim. I’m sure some of the political operatives in other parties will now devote serious resources to try and counter the latter claim.

  5. Reading Kady’s liveblog on the other side, he says he’s been cleared of those allegations. I’m not sure what that means though. Was he really cleared, or were they settled, or what, I wonder?

  6. No, different set of issues I believe, to do with financing his political campaign.

  7. Wow, Did ya really miss seeing FIVE leaders duking it out in a leaders debate?

  8. Kudos to May for playing hardball politics.

    Let the spinning begin from all the party spokespersons. Anxiously awaiting the first official response from the Liberal “war room” (do they even have one yet ?).

  9. Was Preston Manning included in the debates after Deb Gray WON a seat in a by-election?

  10. “Was Preston Manning included in the debates after Deb Gray WON a seat in a by-election?”

    Yes, he was. Of course, he only read a statement for the French one.

  11. Kudos to May for playing hardball politics.

    Only if her goal is to collapse the soft support for the GPC in the debates. Otherwise, it’ll be her Ralph Nader moment.

    The Conservative Party, I suspect, would welcome her full paticipation in the debates. The Liberal’s Green Shift Plan is a carbon copy of the Green’s Plan. So, more potential for vote splitting.

    If her plan is not for self immolation, I suspect she’ll come across as a hectoring Rita Johnston (successor to Bill VanderZalm) in any debate. She’s good in supplying sound bites to overy accomodating reporters, but in any head to head patisan debates (on political shows) I’ve seen/heard she underwhelms.

  12. It is up to the other party leaders if they wish to debate Elizabeth May. No one should be forced to debate anyone else just like Maclean’s should not be forced to print stories not of their own choice. For example, Harper could decide to debate Dion, Duceppe, and Layton separately or all together. He could also choose to debate May separately or try to get her included with the agreement from the other leaders.

    The rule of thumb is that no leader will agree to debate another unless he (or she) thinks that he will gain more than he’ll lose (or at least not lose as much by debating. Currently, the other leaders have little to gain and a lot to lose by inviting Elizabeth May to any debate.

    If Elections Canada or some Human Rights Commission forced the other leaders to include Elizabeth May, there is no guarantee that the other leaders would agree to participate in a general debate.

    The only way Elizabeth May will be able to debate other leaders is if the others think they can gain more votes from the Greens than they can lose.

  13. Now this is exciting news because this could change the dynamics considerably hopefully the Greens will elect a few more MP’s after the next election whenever that will be.

  14. @Wayne,

    Central Nova would be a good place to begin.

  15. “No one should be forced to debate anyone else just like Maclean’s should not be forced to print stories not of their own choice.”

    Heh.. I’d like to see one of the other party leaders decide to walk away from the debate (which they do have every right to do).. that’d be fun.

  16. Boy, it must be nice being the leader of the Green Party,and on short notice, while in BC attending a wedding, skipping the speeches, and flying red-eye at the earliest possible time all the way back to Ottawa to hold a hastily called press conference, one presumes with male prop in tow.

    Nice, because as we are often told by the Green Party Leader, air travel is one of the most environmentally damaging forms of transport in terms of GHG release.

    How much do you want to bet that the press conference prop soon flies back to the Sunshine Coast, and EM soon flies back to BC to pick-up her BC tour where she left off?

  17. To mangle Jimmy Breslin’s metaphor from “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, Lizzie Boredom has quick-kicked the Greens onto the scoreboard. If it gets her a podium in the debates, so much the better, but I don’t think anyone here harbours any illusions about the Greens forming the government just yet. ;) What I’m hoping is that this development leads to a few earned seats in Parliament and some new voices in the next iteration of the House.

    (Full disclosure: I voted for the other guy in the last leadership tilt.)

  18. What’s the big deal about this? I’m pretty sure the Liberals already have a bunch of seats!

    Oh, right, the Greens are a major new movement because they have one substantive policy which happens to be the Green Shift with the serial numbers filed off. Also, every MP in their history has been somebody who was too dishonest for the Liberal Party of Canada.

    Carry on then!

  19. Okay, I’m not much of a fan of the Green Party since Lizzie May took over, but let’s at least give a passing nod to honesty, Lord Bob.

    It’s a full fledged political party, with fairly substantive plans on everything from social security, health care, economic incentives, taxation, education, democratic reform, and yes, the environment.

    You can choose whether you like the plans or not, but don’t lie.

  20. Green as in other people’s money? Blair won’t even have to worry about the door hitting him on his way out of the house. He won’t even be seated in the House as a Green MP. Try again Lizzy if and when you elect a Green MP.

  21. T. Thwim:

    They do have policies, yes. But “substantive”, I’d dispute. Last time I read their platform (and I admit it was a while ago, and I’m at work so forgive me if I don’t do the research this deserves), half of their non-environmental policies seemed to say “we’ll do this! we’ll do that!” and just throw stuff out there without putting together any sort of plan. Their environmental policies, by contrast, seemed at least thought through, regardless of my opinion about their effectiveness or the accuracy of the assertions they were based upon

  22. Elizabeth May made a pretty compelling case for participating in the leader’s debate on Don Newman’s show. She’s met the bar set by the BQ in 1993.

  23. Conservatives continue to make the non-argument that somehow Dion is May’s leader because of the deal they made not to run in each other’s ridings. That’s absurd and should not even be printed as news except with strong disclaimers.

    Conservatives must have some poll that says that Greens draw from themselves in Quebec or Southern Ontario, or just be terrified of being caught in a cross fire between Dion and May on the lack of a price on carbon and Canada’s word being made worthless by the Conservatives.

    Let Harper boycott the debate. Who cares? It would show the public what’s he’s really made of.

  24. Also, every time someone mentions Blair Wilson’s issues with Elections Canada – which he has been cleared of completely – it’s an opening to bring up the fact that the entire Conservative Party of Canada engaged in illegal campaign financing last time and may do so again this time. So it would be pretty foolish for Conservatives at least to use the allegations against Wilson in any attack.

    Sadly, the combination of the first past the post system and Conservatives ignoring Elections Canada could leave us citizens in a position of having to decide whether a party with a majority in the House is actually the legitimate government or not. If they break the financing rules nationwide and have under 40 per cent of the popular vote, that’s not a mandate. Insurgencies of various kinds might result, particularly among native youth where gangs are rising and where Conservative racism is well understood. Pierre Poilievre as Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, anyone? Maurice Vellacott in Women’s Affairs?

    That’s what a Harper majority looks like, and it’s not a Canada we’d recognize. As promised.

  25. In the world of politics, it isn’t how it happened, but that it happened. Now they will get some $$$ too.

  26. Craig Hubley, come off it! I love the people who persist with the hidden agenda. As though Harper just wants 4 years to implement an extreme agenda, and then who cares if it results in the subsequent destruction of the Conservative party that he himself helped bring about.

    Logic is your enemy.

    As for the Greens not being allowed into the debates, I think it was a given, given past rules (having 1 sitting MP is not enough, you have to have one actually elected at large).

    But Oct. 2nd for the English debate? Did no one check the calendar and see that the U.S. Vice-Presidential debate is that night? Hmm, wonder if the Liberals pushed for the English language debate to happen on that night?

    Really, I think Parliament has to deal with the issue of election debates through legislation. And I think there should be Prime Minister Debates where only the bigger parties that have any chance of their leader becoming PM would be allowed in (despite what Layton says, that would be only Harper and Dion right now). Of course, Dion would never agree to a 1-on-1 debate with Harper, even though he asked for one in the summer.

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