Buzz May


Remember when Buzz Hargrove said Stephen Harper was so bad Quebecers should consider voting for the Bloc Québécois instead? Here he is again, in a lovely spring smock:

“Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, says she’s ready to contemplate a strategic debate with the three opposition parties in Ottawa to work out new forms of electoral co-operation to block the re-election of Stephen Harper’s party.

“She would even be ready to imagine a strategy which is being discussed by some environmental groups, which would consist of calling in every region on people who are aware of the environmental stakes to put aside their party preference at the next election to support, in each riding, the candidate likeliest to beat the Conservative if the latter has the slightest chance of winning power.

“…She wouldn’t hesitate to make strategic alliances with the Bloc Québécois, as she admires the rigorous work of several of their MPs, even though she does not share their vision of Canada’s future.

“Elizabeth May particularly fears the NDP will do as it did in the last election and open fire on Stéphane Dion’s Liberals, rather than on the Conservatives.”

This strategy makes perfect sense if you’re a Liberal or a Bloquiste. In the overwhelming majority of ridings in Canada in the next election, the Conservative candidate will have “the slightest chance” of winning the riding. And in the overwhelming majority of those ridings outside Quebec, the best-placed non-Conservative will be a Liberal. In Quebec, the best-placed non-Conservative will usually belong to the Bloc.

In the stated opinion of the Green Party leader before the campaign even begins, it is pernicious for Green candidates to continue their campaign past the first local public-opinion poll. “I don’t want to be the Ralph Nader of Canadian politics,” she says in the Le Devoir interview. Ralph’s obligation, in her view, was to pull out before election day. In three-way races the only way to avoid being Ralph Nader is to be absent.

None of this is a surprise. Dave Chernushenko, who ran against May for the Green leadership, made this point the cornerstone of his campaign: do Green candidates have a right to stay in the race in every riding, including those where the outcome is uncertain? He knew that in the last election, May had campaigned, not for the Greens but for the “Think Twice” campaign, which was all about voting to stop the Tories.

He lost. She’s consistent. Best of luck to you, Greens. You’ll need it.


Buzz May

  1. Is Ms. May still campaigning to get on the leaders’ debate ?

    If so, whay ?

    So that she can tell people to vote Liberal/NDP/Bloc ?

  2. Best of luck to you, Greens. You’ll need it.

    Logic would dictate that this is a correct conclusion but May’s ‘don’t vote for me’ strategy seems to be defying logic according to the polls.

  3. The strategy makes sense as long as there is some quid pro quo for the Greens – for example if the liberals were to promise to bring in electoral reform, then I would say that this is a long term strategy in the Green’s best interest.

    However, there has been no public statement to that effect AND there seems to be no appetite in Ontario for Electoral Reform (BC on the other hand…)

    So, while May seems to be elucidating a strategy in the best interests of Canadians (from her point of view), it is not in the best interest of her party. While altruisic, that seems hardly compatible with the role of leader of the party, and it seems to send the message that not even the Greens think that they should be taken seriously.

  4. The Greens lose a $1.75 a year for every vote, she pushes to the BQ and Libs. If they drop under 2%, they don’t qualify for any funds at all.

    The dramatic drop in voter support is interupted as Canadians rejecting the Green Party and perhaps even the adoption of their policies by other parties.

    The Green Party folds.

    May runs as a Liberal in 2013. Now it makes sense.

  5. I’d suggest that the polls of the Green party continue to stay steady not because of may, but rather despite her, due in large part to the growing environmental awareness among Canadians and their disgust with politics as usual.

    May has moved the Greens from a reasonable political party under Jim Harris down to a party of activists. Activists are great if what you want is to raise awareness of issues, but at this point, Canadians are already aware, what they’re looking for leadership.

    Unfortunately, May’s election indicates that the activists have control of the party currently, and I fear that it will doom them to remain on the fringes, always complaining about not being included at the grown-ups table.

  6. She’s essentially an open Liberal mole, and any card-carrying member of the Green Party would be a fool not to do everything they could to have her booted from their party.

  7. This is no way to grow the green party. If Elizabeth May continues to spend all her time supporting the Liberals why don’t I quit the greens to work for Dion.
    Why wouldn’t I? Because Dion was part of the decade of neglect by the liberals. Hes all talk in opposition and no action in government.

  8. Mr. Wells,

    You, like many media commentators, concentrate too much your attention on individuals and fail to be critical of the electoral system.

    A proportional represntation system (mixed-member or STV) would give greens their fare share of the vote. It would also discourage the kind of fillabustering the conservatives are generating and encourage parties to coopoerate.

  9. Gee, it’s strange how GPC support has grown so much under Elizabeth’s leadership. The idea of cooperation with other parties was a big part of her leadership campaign and she won that campaign handily against rival Chernuchenko. The party was polling around 4%-6% prior to May’s leadership and is now routinely polling at 10%-14%.

    I think many Canadians are fed up with the kindergarten antics we see in Parliament and are ready for some cooperation for the sake of the country and the planet.

    Elizabeth has been a bit too kind to Dion, IMHO, and I’ve told her as much. Her reasoning is simply that she feels only the LPC or CPC have a chance at forming the next government. Under Harper, the CPC has been decidedly anti-environment. Dion, not so much. The best of a bad lot, so to speak.

    If we had a proportional system, there would be 12 GPC MP’s sitting in the House today. We don’t have such a system, though, and we need to make the best of what we do have. To May, that means stopping anti-Earth Harper any way she can.

    In a political landscape where the BQ gets as many disproportionately elected MP’s as it does, it is quite likely that we will see minority governments for a long time into the future. When those minority CPC or LPC governments look for ways to gain seats, the most obvious way would be to woo the 10% GPC voters. Woo away, I say. We’re already seeing Dion attempting to win us over with the carbon tax proposal (taken straight out of the GPC policy book). Too bad Dion didn’t do a little consulting before fumbling on the presentation. A massive income tax cut would have made the same size headlines as the carbon tax and they are two sides of the same tax-shifting coin.

    It is my understanding that GPC membership has more than doubled under May. It is also my understanding that the GPC is the only party that is making any membership gains. If the suits in the Broadcast Consortium would allow her a seat in the televised debates, Canadians could do a better job of assessing her qualifications. Old boys and their networks!

    Despite the system, the Greens will eventually elect some MP’s. Because we appeal to a broad base and not a regional base, that hurdle is a high one.

  10. A proportional represntation system (mixed-member or STV) would give greens their fare share of the vote. It would also discourage the kind of fillabustering the conservatives are generating and encourage parties to coopoerate.

    Yeah, that’s a good point. After all, if Harper was obliged to govern only with the consent of a major opposition party, he’d have to tread carefully knowing that one misstep would have Stephane Dion sending Canadians to an election.

    Oh, wait.

  11. Mr. Wells,

    It seems to me that utilizing the existing system in every way possible to affect the outcome of policy and political landscape is something that all real leaders do. Italy, Israel and other countries have, albeit, delicately balanced parliaments of coalitions and deals.

    Our system as it is currently practiced fails to encourage cooperation between parties and invokes only bitter rivalries that are incapable as was recently witnessed in one committee of parliament, of even sitting in the same room together and doing the nation’s business.

    I am for one tired of the antics of the daily question period, and the acrimony about getting done what needs to be done. There are many like me I’m sure.

    Our system is broken and seeking out new ways to fix it and make it work seems like sensible and sustainable practice to me.

    The Green Party, as was witnessed in the the recent by-elections – even with low voter turnout – was the only party that really said anything new and resulted in a substantial positive increase in their popular vote.

    The Green Party represents one thing that none of the other parties offer – HOPE.Its working for Obama it will work here too. Hope that politics can be done differently – cooperatively – sustainably – leaving a future for our children and doing at least our bit to bring a planet back from the brink.

    Certainly anything other than a lobby group this party intends to elect members to parliament. A candidate in every riding making them a National Party. They have increased their vote – almost doubling it every election they have participated in. There will be Green members of parliament after the next election and one of the will be Elizabeth May.

    Drew Fenwick

  12. I have not laughed so hard in a very long time. Maybe if she removed her head from Dion’s rear she might air out her brain enough to learn how Canada’s political system works. At present there are opnly two leaders in the house and that is Harper and Layton this is obvious to anyone not suffering from early onset Alzheimers.

  13. Another thing that’s working for Obama is “Change we can believe in”. Imagine what a change it would be if our parties actually cooperated in order to get something done, instead of worrying about poll numbers. That’s what Elizabeth May is encouraging the parties to do. At this point, very little is being achieved by our parliament because of the self-interest of the parties in our system. She is suggesting a change in attitude, and I’d say we could certainly use that, for the good of our environment, for one thing!

    Something else we could use is a more democratic attitude by those who are blocking Elizabeth May’s participation in leadership debates. Are they afraid to let her be heard? The GPC numbers in the past election make that completely undemocratic! A national party, polling at 10 to 14%, must be allowed to speak so more people are made aware of what the Green Party really stands for, rather than getting their education from people like Paul Wells, with his very selective, negative treatment of Elizabeth May’s position on the various issues that are important to Canadians. The Greens offer a reasonable, fair-minded platform that deals with Health, Justice, Peace, as well as protecting the planet. It’s time for the gag order to be lifted.

  14. Having been a long time Liberal supporter, and now a Green Party candidate in the next federal election, I too thought we were a lobby party when I turned Green. I have been thrilled by our transformation since Elizabeth May became leader of the Party. We are serious about electing MPs and I hope to be one of them. A vote for the Green Party will either send a Green MP to Ottawa or it will encourage the other parties to adopt our forward thinking policies on environmental and social issues. This is already happening as we increase our support in the polls. The Green Party is the Party of the future and under Elizabeth May’s strong leadership, and for the sake of our country, I hope that future comes soon.
    Valerie Powell, Simcoe North and Green Party Seniors Critic.

  15. Lizzie…the gift that keeps on giving.

    Is it Christmas already?

    Martin had a mad as hell tour, now Dion has a tax you to hell tour.

    Now Dion’s useful idiot says if you can’t vote liberal or Green vote for the gang that keeps threatening endless referendums.

    Sounds like a majority under these circumstances.

  16. Oh and BTW.

    It would only help the conservatives if May participates in the national debates.

  17. I am running as a green candidate for the simple reason that I am convinced that if we fail to elect green MPs during the next federal elections, we will fail to avoid climate catastrophes. Elizabeth May knows that and is honest enough to tell Canadians that it is imperative that we all work towards the same goal – she sees Stephane Dion as understanding the crisis and says it as she sees it.

    I support her fully and admire her honesty but have serious concerns about electing Mr. Dion for I fear his party would not let him do what needs to be done… UNLESS we have green MPs in parliament, smart ones like Elizabeth and Adriane Carr and Claude William Genest, and many others who can speak eloquently and sway other MPs so the right policies are enacted in time to save us from the disasters created by the old line parties that have failed Canadians so badly.

  18. Dear gimbol,
    Does the word Democracy figure in your vocabulary? In other democracies, a free press means free and equal access to mass media, especially during elections. Do you think a modern democracy is possible without a free press? Anything else is absurd – as absurd and outdated as our disproportional and unfair electoral system and your commentary.
    Does this bother you?

  19. Does Ms. May have the full backing of her party for this strategy?

    She wants to work with all parties and yet she can’t resist bashing the NDP with her comment:

    “Elizabeth May particularly fears the NDP will do as it did in the last election and open fire on Stéphane Dion’s Liberals, rather than on the Conservatives.”

    As an NDP member this doesn’t exactly endear me to her or her crazy strategy! Bottom line is this is strategic voting – it doesn’t work and if it did, it would only help the Liberal’s (aren’t they the one’s who were in power when the climate was ignored for years?)

  20. As the head of a non-partisan environmental group, advocating strategic voting makes some sense (although it’s a risky strategy at the best of times)
    However, as the leader of a national political party it makes no sense at all.

    “Hello, I’m Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party – but don’t vote for me because, well, to be honest, I can’t win and neither can 99% of my candidates. But that’s OK because we have the Liberal party, who although they have a bad environmental record, are just a teeny bit better than the Conservatives and that’s good enough for me.”

    Yeah, that’s really got me fired up!

  21. For the benefit of Elizabeth May and those who think that her strategy makes sense, allow me to explain a few things:

    1. What we have in Canada is called “a democracy”.

    2. This system allows what we call “voters” to chose between what are called “political parties”.

    3. The Green Party used to think that it was one of these parties. Now it doesn’t.

    4. The NDP will continue to be a separate political party from the Liberals. That means that, yes, it will continue to “open fire” on both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

    5. Voters will make their own decision.

    There. That’s not so hard, is it?

  22. I’m thrilled there’s now a political voice looking, truly, at the best choice for all Canadians, BEYOND partisan politics.

    This, for me, is part of the beauty of the Greens — going BEYOND the boring old ‘fighty’ behaviours of traditional politics. I look forward to seeing Elizabeth May in the leadership debates – she has tons to add.

    Miriam Stucky
    Provincial Green Party Candidate
    Peterborough, ON

  23. The Liberals are already represented in leaders’ debates. Perhaps Ms. Stucky and Ms. May thinks that Stephane Dion needs help (lot’s of Liberals appear to think so too), but that’s not the way that “our boring old fighty” political system works.

    The Liberals AREN’T the best that we can do. If you believe that they are “the best choice for all Canadians”, then feel free to join the Liberals. But, please spare us the nonsense about the Green Party being “beyond partisan politics” when it’s clear that they have become a wing of the Liberal Party.

  24. If May thinks Dion is so great, that he should be the next PM (highly unlikely that, but we’ll humour May on this one) why would any potential Green voter bother voting for the GPC in the first place?


    Why would any self respecting environmentalist, or supporter of proportional representation, vote for the LPC which has consistently done nothing to advance these issues inside and out of Parliament?

    Has Lizzie May thought to LOOK at the Liberals environment record? Clearly not.

    And if she wasn’t acting as a surrogate propagandist for the LPC, May would quit whining about how the NDP, the only party taking on Harper in Parliament, doesn’t share her lunacy.

  25. Many would REALLY like to see the Greens included in the leaders debate. Many have never voted Green, but believe that as citizens they have a right to hear her ( E. May ) express if and how the Green’s policies are at all preferable.

  26. If citizens have a right to hear the Green policies, why not the Christian Heritage or the Communist Party policies – might be good for ratings too!

  27. Speaking as a 100% Card Carrying Conservative I agree with the posters above encouraging you to vote Green as you are helping to keep the left divided and the ‘ Right ‘ party in power (I thought that was clever)

  28. May’s success will be measured in how much she motivates new voters to become political, or to return to voting. The partisans here naturally are going to be cruel to a “new kid on the block” because they already have their stake on a brand name, and have long since sold their brain on the market to Dion, Harper, or Layton.

    If the TV networks block May from the debate again, it will be yet another crime against our democracy. Look up the election act for Canada – media has to give equal coverage to the parties of the country. Just because they’ve broken the law in the past, doesn’t make it right to continue into the future.

  29. “If citizens have a right to hear the Green policies, why not the Christian Heritage or the Communist Party policies – might be good for ratings too!”

    Actually, maybe to balance things out, if the left gets to expand/divide, then the right should get the same, errrr, ‘right’, and the Libertarian movement south of the border should be ideologically welcomed up here as well.

  30. “May’s success will be measured in how much she motivates new voters to become political, or to return to voting.”

    Is it still considered a success if she motivates voters to vote for the Liberal’s rather than her party?

    The Green Party uses the word ‘partisanship’ as if it were a 4 letter word. We have a party system, you’ve joined it, what do you expect?

  31. “Is it still considered a success if she motivates voters to vote for the Liberal’s rather than her party?”

    No, but it’s a more useful defeat than having Harper continue to ravage our country. At least the Liberal leader doesn’t have a history as PM of ignoring the Kyoto Accord, attempting to bribe an MP, or cheating Canadians out of nearly $1M in election rebates.

    Preferably the Liberals (given their poor track record) would lose to the Greens as well. But we (Green voters) may have to settle for 2nd place for a while yet until more Canadians hear about the platform once the media (ahem Wells) realizes that it’s more sound than the so called “mainstream parties” in the House now.

  32. “At least the Liberal leader doesn’t have a history as PM of ignoring the Kyoto Accord”

    You’re right, he has a history as ENVIRONMENT MINISTER of ignoring Kyoto.

  33. Fair enough, Da Truth – which is part of why I’m voting Green and not Liberal. I’m hopeful though that his government’s inaction was due more to Chretien and Martin, and not Dion’s lack of will. In any case, he’ll be a step up from Harper’s attacks on scientific personnel in our bureaucracy.

  34. So ‘saskboy’ you’re going to vote Green even though your leader may not want you to in your riding? Good for you, I say.

    I will vote NDP in my riding even though the Conservative won by a large margin. I figure I only have one vote and I want to vote FOR something. This ‘lesser of 2 evils’ nonsense doesn’t work for me and I would be apalled if Jack Layton suggested it.

  35. If the candidate in my riding bothers to respond to email this time around, I’ll probably vote Green. Last year that didn’t happen, so I took my vote elsewhere. Part of the problem with wanting to run a candidate in every riding instead of wanting every candidate to run to be be a good one, I suppose.

    However, I vote Green because despite Elizabeth May, certainly not because of her. Her anti-Harper, all-of-the-time strategy is doing her no favors out here in the West which is, bluntly, stupid. Because it’s out here in Alberta and BC that the Greens might actually have a shot at winning a few ridings if they start standing by their policies instead of May’s “Vote for the Liberals!” mantra.

  36. T., Yes some MPs are bad about writing back, I’ve had sitting (Conservative) MPs lose my mail to them. I’ve also had a Green shadow-cabinet critic fail to write me back. I try not to let the individual problems get me down about a party, and instead look at the bigger picture which is their platform, and overall performance.

    Mr. Wells seems willing to overlook how the Greens have grown under May’s “Anyone but Harper” leadership, and criticizes her strategy, instead of highlighting (or criticizing ) something that matters like platform policy.

  37. But does it really matter what your platform is if ultimately you tell people to vote for someone else’s platform?

  38. There is an alternative to the broad-based cooperation referred to by Wells which definitely seems to disadvantage the Green Party and that is a more limited NDP-Green agreement to cooperate in a relatively small number of ridings. Details of how this might work can be found on FB at NDP-Green Cooperation — NOW! What is proposed is that the Greens not run against the NDP in about 30 ridings which the NDP has a good chance of holding or winning; the NDP would not run against the Greens in about 10 ridings where the Greens have a strong candidate and a good chance of winning if all progressive forces work in one campaign; these 40 ridings plus about 20 safe NDP seats could result in a block of 50 or 60 MPs from both parties being elected — enough to negotiate with a minority Liberal government on servious climate change policy and voting reform to move to pr to the advantage of both parties in the next election. In the rest of the ridings, people vote either NDP or Green and the parties maintain their individual identities. Make sense?

  39. Jonas “But does it really matter what your platform is if ultimately you tell people to vote for someone else’s platform?”

    Yes of course, if that’s contingent upon the expected competitiveness of each candidate. There are 308 individual contests, remember? Give up some votes to ensure you get a party in power that you can at least work with. Layton’s too much of an ego-maniac to ever compromise in this way to ensure victory for someone else.

    It would be preferable for May to not have to do this, but alas, our electoral system is broken, something the NDP in my province famously ignored for their 16 year term (until they realized they were going down, and brought it up in the last 3 weeks).

  40. When a political leader expresses or even hints at an idea that is outside the box, it is the obligation of our national columnists to insult and ridicule that person individual into submission as quickly as possible.

    I think it’s in our Constitution.

  41. Party politics are one thing, the meltdown of the world ecosystems in quite another.
    Elizabeth May knows that the greatest threat to to the survival and continued existence of our civilization is George Bush and in Canada his poodle Steven Harper.
    Harper creates his policy as he goes along and the creative process is simply checking what Bush does adn says.
    The were 65% of Canadians who do not want Harper in 2006 and that number has grown. Given a secon choice those 65% would have voted for a another left of center party, not Harper.
    Based on the threat that the conservatives pose to survival on this planet, doesn’t it seem rational that getting them out is superior to getting the Greens in?

  42. I was shocked by May’s comments. How unprofessional and downright disingenuous.

    If, according to May, our government is the “worst in the world”, what does that make the military junta in Burma that lets up to 200,000 (by some accounts) of its people die by refusing international aid just so it can score a point against the nasty and meddling outside world? More importantly, what does that say about May’s grip on reality?

  43. Werner – context matters. Worst in terms of the environment.

  44. SaskBoy- don’t complain. My own MP won’t write me back. Nor would she meet with any of our delagation of tobacco farmers. Guess who’s my MP?

  45. “Elizabeth May knows that the greatest threat to to the survival and continued existence of our civilization is George Bush and in Canada his poodle Steven Harper”

    And yet she supports Dion who won’t bring down this terrible government……

  46. Caution is a good thing. Too much caution, however, and it suddenly looks like ineptitude.

  47. Suzie, Google tells all…

    “Tobacco farmers upset over the lack of a buyout strategy brought their frustrations to Tory MP Diane Finley’s office in Simcoe, Ont., Thursday.”

  48. In the last two years, Canada has finally recorded the first drop in GHG emissions since 1990.

    Dion, when he was environment minister, told his colleagues in cabinet that he could not care less about Kyoto, etc. (he was talking about the agreement, not the dog!).

    May, contrary to the motto of the Green Party, allows herself to be blinded by hatred and ideology. Jim Harris was a better leader; the Green Party has to get rid of this unstable leader as quickly as possible and get someone whom people will actually take seriously.

  49. Again Werner, context matters. The numbers you’re citing are based on environmental factors and to some extent (possibly) technological innovation, not political policy.

    People take May seriously, she’s a very serious person who has a history of being right.

  50. ‘people take May seriously, she’s a very serious person with a history of being right.’ Be that as it may, history has shown us that Canadians shy away from one-issue and idealogical parties. It’s not so much may herself or what she and her party sands for that prevents people from taking her seriously, but the green party’s image as (and I quote) ‘A bunch of pot-smoking, over-educated, rich hippies’ I accept that this is not true, but try telling that to millions of rural Canadians.

  51. Sophie, you make a good point. The Greens are not being permitted to get their message out as the other parties are, even the Bloq, for whom most of Canadians can’t even vote. The discussion above clearly demonstrates that too many people take the word of journalists and TV commentators and either don’t care enough or just don’t have the time to do a lot of research on their own. It’s a pity, because the Green Party website provides a full discussion of their platform on all major issues, not just the environment. The GPC is a whole lot more than a one-issue party!

  52. Never mind just rural Canadians. Many of the best Greens I know have rural roots (or live there now). It’s the media who is to blame, because they don’t like new kids on the block. If they do talk about a new party it’s generally as a “human interest” piece, which just gives the party more of a reputation for being “one issue”.

    Cherie’s right. People running magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV stations are ignorantly (or even maliciously) blocking the Greens from mainstream coverage like other parties get (and are required to get according to election law) according to fair journalism practice.

  53. There are 16 registered political parties. You’re saying they should all get completely equal coverage? That the media should spend as much time talking to Mr. Yo Gourd of the neorhinos and Mr. Christie of the Western Block Party, as they do to Mr. Harper and Mr. Dion?

    There is a limited amount of time in the day, and part of the problem of politics is an increasing reliance on the sound-bite as opposed to solid policy speeches, yet here you are wanting to shorten the time allowed for those soundbites (because there’s only so much time the media outlets will give to politics) to even less so as to get in the folks from the Christian Heritage Party?

    Incidentally, what law is it that requires the media to provide equal time to all parties? I’ve looked through the Elections Act briefly and saw no such restriction — perhaps I skimmed too quickly though, so if you could provide me the page/paragraph, that’d be most helpful.

  54. Oh, for heaven’s sake, T. The other parties to which you refer above do not poll consistently at 10% or more – as was mentioned above, if we had a political system that reflected the wishes of all voters, instead of our first-past-the-post system, there would be Green MPs in Parliament. This means Canadians want to hear more from a party that offers real change!

  55. T., the law I mentioned is linked to from my blog, try a search of “election act” there if you can’t find it otherwise.

    “There are 16 registered political parties. You’re saying they should all get completely equal coverage?”

    Yes, it’s the law. Get used to it, or call for it to be changed (like I am, in some minor ways). Of course in practice the media would still give preference to the traditional sweethearts, so you don’t have to worry about the CHP getting as much national coverage as the rest – they don’t have as many candidates to cover! Any party that could mathematically form government or opposition, ought to get a fair amount of coverage from our national public broadcaster. There’s nothing in the law saying they have to give the CHP prime time, there’s room for journalistic bias, and they could slot their time in at 1AM on a Tuesday night. But that party would welcome the additional free coverage, for which the other parties stay in power using. Democracy does not suffer from hearing more voices – only ad revenues might. That’s why the CBC, as our broadcaster, is letting us down by failing to uphold the most important part of the Elections Act – equal broadcast coverage to the candidates.

    Candidates should be judged on their platforms, not on their ability to pay for more 6:00 PM attack ads.

  56. Ah, so you don’t actually want the system to be fair, you just want to change the metric. Instead of the current, rather obvious metric of “Having elected an MP” you instead want to have the metric be some arbitrary number in the polling percentages?

    I agree, our FPTP system sucks. I don’t like it that, living in Alberta, my vote is simply wasted tree. But that said, I think the media has established a very fair and sensible line in concentrating on those parties that actually have people in government. An arbitrary percentage is a lot harder to justify, and actually could lead to a discrimination case.

    What the GPC needs to do is put together a winning campaign strategy that can get at least one of their MPs elected.. and no, putting your leader against Peter McKay in his home riding that has been historically conservative, and then doing so on a long-running anti-conservative mantra, is not a winning strategy. Neither is giving the Liberals the Green nod by endorsing Dion.

    Let’s be honest, May doesn’t really want Harper out. She wants Dion in. If she really wanted Harper out, she’d go to the fiscal conservative policies that the GPC has and be promoting the hell out of those in the West, where a number of candidates came fairly close to winning, rather than consistently slamming the conservatives and thereby hampering her chances in Alberta.

  57. “Instead of the current, rather obvious metric of “Having elected an MP””
    That’s not the metric. The goal posts are moved at random, it’s time for that to stop, and for the media to follow the law!

    “An arbitrary percentage is a lot harder to justify, and actually could lead to a discrimination case.”
    It already is arbitrary, except not on any *one* percentage marker, and *has* led to legal challenges.

    “May doesn’t really want Harper out. She wants Dion in. ”
    Hogwash. She’d rather Dion be in than Harper, but she wants to be PM, it’s really that simple. She’s an easterner. They hamper the chances of Albertans by their very existence in politics :-) There is not enough east/west cultural-political sharing in this country.

  58. Okay, I read through the areas indicated, and what it’s talking about there is purchasable time, not free time.

    In other words, there is nothing in the elections law that says that the TV stations need to give equal time to all parties. It says each party gets at least two minutes free, and that each party is allowed to purchase an equal amount of time. If they don’t choose to purchase said time, so be it.

    So no, nobody’s violating election law. Besides, if they were, all it would take would be a complaint to Elections Canada to get that ball rolling. Or are you now accusing Elections Canada of being in on this conspiracy as well?

  59. Complaints have been made over the years, the Greens have documented them. Check out http://www.demanddemocraticdebates.ca

    I found the blog post I was thinking of. Where do you get “paid time” from in the Act? The section I’m looking at it sounds like the Act doesn’t make a distinction, and if it does (which I’m not convinced yet), do you want it to?


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