Strategic campaigning


Adam Radwanski explains Elizabeth May’s first-past-the-post conundrum.

Of all the arguments to examine how we elect our representatives, the plight of the Green Party probably isn’t at the top of the list. But just as it was beside the point to complain about Ms. May’s exclusion from this year’s debates, which was really just a reflection of her relevance within the current system, it’s equally beside the point to criticize her for making the best of what that system dealt her.


Strategic campaigning

  1. “criticize her for making the best of what that system dealt her.”Has anyone actually been doing that? People may dislike her party – even laugh at it, but she went to a riding, and got elected. She has been ‘politicking’ for years, so no one can say that it fell on her lap. It is funny that she had to move across the country to do it, but that is the system. I personally haven’t heard people who are critical of her for doing what she has done.

    • What May did was a rational response to the system, playing the cards that have been dealt to you. I think a far more interesting issue is what was discussed in the Margaret Wente article to which Radwanski refers in his article, i.e., the policy challenges and dilemmas faced by the Green Party, and environmentalists generally.

  2. “Unless and until we provide parties with meaningful reward for seeking broad support, they really can’t be judged too harshly for failing to do so.”

    Radwanski has wrong conclusion. Forming governments is ‘meaningful reward for seeking broad support’, not sure what more incentive they need.

    Why do Radwanski and others want to change system that has brought peace and prosperity for centuries in order to accomadate party that has hard time earning plurality of votes in any individual riding? How is foisting MPs on people who don’t know them going to improve democracy?

    • Because governments are not formed with “broad” support. They are formed with “targetted” support, such as the Conservatives in most Alberta ridings, or the Bloc (used to be) in Quebec, or the Liberals (used to be) in large urban centres. You can have the same amount of support, but if its spread across all 308 ridings, you’ll have very little to show for it.

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