VICTORIA — Elizabeth May says she is looking forward to the Greens playing the role of “matchmakers” if Monday’s federal election results give way to a minority government.
The federal leader predicted that Green members would play an important role in bringing about more collaboration in Ottawa in what she anticipates will be a post-Stephen Harper era.
“We need Green MPs in a minority Parliament because we’re the only party committed to working across party lines,” said May following a final campaign event in Victoria on Sunday.
“We’re prepared to actually immediately start the work of being, for lack of a better term, matchmakers, to try to see if we can’t put pressure on both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau to come to some accommodation with either a formal or an informal coalition.”
May said the most ideal outcome would be the Green party with a balance of power, but added that isn’t crucial to the party playing an important post-election role.
“Greens will be in a position to exert a positive and constructive pressure on the parties that should have more in common with each other than the Conservatives to create a more collaborative Parliament that should last longer than a minority.”
Sunday marked the end of May’s three-day blitz across Vancouver Island, during which the Green leader visited all seven of the region’s ridings, including her own in Saanich-Gulf Islands.
May’s seat was the only riding in the country to elect a Green candidate in the 2011 election. Bruce Hyer is also an incumbent running for the Greens in the riding of Thunder Bay-Superior North, but he was initially elected under an NDP banner.
The Greens are hoping for more wins across the Island, especially in Victoria, where well-known former CBC Radio host Jo-Ann Roberts is looking to beat New Democrat incumbent Murray Rankin. Rankin eked out a narrow victory for the NDP in 2011.
Mounting pressure among progressives to oust Stephen Harper has led to some of the Green party’s traditional allies, such as environmental groups, endorsing either the Liberals or the NDP. They have in some instances encouraged voters to cast a strategic ballot, depending on which party is best positioned to defeat the Conservative candidate.
May said she recognizes that logic, but is concerned about the possible compromise.
“I understand being desperate to get rid of Stephen Harper but (not) being so desperate to get rid of Stephen Harper that it essentially eliminates the best chance to have strong climate action,” she said.
May insisted a Green vote is a strategic vote on Vancouver Island and predicted her party would win multiple seats.
On the mainland, pollsters predict that star Green candidate Claire Martin could upset Conservative candidate Andrew Saxton’s re-election bid in North Vancouver.
“My fingers are crossed every which way,” said May, laughing. “I need reinforcements.”
Whatever the outcome of the election, May said the work would start Tuesday morning to prepare Canada for the United Nations climate conference in Paris this fall.