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Free agent


 

Elizabeth May wanders the country in search of a home to call her own.

“By the end of the next election campaign I’m going to be sitting in the House of Commons, and we’re trying to figure out which riding in this country is most prepared to want to be the riding that’s known historically as the place that elected the first Green MP,” she said.


 
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Free agent

  1. So much for even the pretense of MPs having some meaningful connection to the ridings they represent.

    • More seriously, it could certainly be argued that shared political values (or at least short-term political goals, if you want to be more cynical), which is basically what she's looking for, is perhaps the most meaningful connection an MP could have to her riding.

      • Quite right that May is hardly the first. I have the same problem every and any time a leader gets parachuted in to gain a seat. In the case of May, it's particularly galling to have her lecture us all on the decline of democracy, then turn around and be perfectly willing to choose a riding of convenience, despite the fact that she may know squat about the people, issues, economy, and history of that particular district.

        I'm not even sure what values May is trumpeting anymore, save wanting a seat. Isn't that the same lust for power so many of us decry in Harper?

        • As has been pointed out elsewhere here, May's conception of democracy isn't dependent on a deep connection between representatives and some particular geographical area, so I wouldn't say it's particularly hypocritical. Remember, too, that this only works if she finds a riding where at least a plurality of voters determine that, local connection or no, she is the best candidate to represent their views.

          Also, I'm not exactly the world's biggest Elizabeth May fan, but I'm sure she's capable of learning about whatever riding she ends up choosing. Hell, unlike any of the candidates from the bigger parties, that knowledge might even affect the way she would behave if elected.

  2. The ridings listed as possibilities surprised me in that they don't seem to be considering Toronto or Vancouver, two cities that I thought would be most agreeable to Green agenda.

  3. "we're trying to figure out which riding in this country is most prepared to want to be the riding that's known historically as the place that elected the first Green MP"

    So I guess they're only aiming for just the one seat next time, eh?

  4. I think she should put even more effort into making it as obvious as possible that allegiance to a particular region and its concerns are not driving her choice of riding. I think if she runs in Victoria her signs should say, “I thought of running in Guelph but on balance I like my odds here better.” Voters love that kind of stuff.

    • How about the reverse onus she's put on ridings, to be worthy of her majestic presence? That's pretty charming too, I feel.

    • Yes, heaven forbid that Canadians in Victoria or elsewhere be accused by the Canadian media of choosing a Member of Parliament based on an idea or any sense of National interest or purpose. Only Montrealers and Torontonians are capable of such high-mindedness.

  5. Perhaps they can come up with a national holiday or a star on the sidewalk or something to commemorate the riding that first breaks the Green Ceiling.

  6. "There's a bunch of messages from supporters saying, ‘What's most important is that you win a seat. We'll support you wherever you run,' " she said. "That's really generous."

    What were they going to do, boo her for running in a riding where they don't vote?

    • I think she should run in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.

      She has a local issue: "Hey you bums and creeps who work next door at Bruce Nuclear are unethical, selfish…", Tobermory would be a lovely place for her next "National" (in other words, the riding where she will be running) Party Convention, and she can revise her proposed high speed rail line from between Halifax and Sydney, Cape Breton Island to between Stratford and Owen Sound. Bonus votes if it runs along the Niagara Escarpment.

  7. I think May's problem is she doesn't think highly enough of herself to succeed as a politician.

  8. Hmmm….she writes a book about the lack of democracy in Canada and then plays this silly game.

    It's all about her – if a Green Party member one a seat – would she let them sit in the House, or would they have to renege?

  9. She made 2 terrible mistakes by not studying some history – (1) deals made with spoilers rarely work out as expected and if a person manages to sneak into a debate when the rules clearly state otherwise then they should actually act like they want to be a leader and not just spend all their time slagging the main opponet … had she been smart she would have focused on jack and even played a littel cat and mouse with Steven but she played it like it was a double barrel liberal shot – very stupid as she had an amzing opportunity. If I were Green there would be no way I would choose her at a leadership convention as she is more of a dead weight at present!

  10. yeah, I mean there's nothing worse than the leader of an upstart party, you know, thinking it would be a great — even historic — thing if that party got a seat.

  11. I think the point is that there's nothing worse than the way that May has been trying to go about it. (Although it wouldn't necessarily be historic if she did win. That would depend on the future of her party.)

  12. An argument premised on the study of "history" usually provides an historical example,as allegory.
    An argument premised on "two" terrible mistakes generally goes further than the bracketed numeral "one".

  13. Hypothetically, MPs serve the electorate, not the other way around. Acting as this kind of free agent – demanding that voters of any particular riding prove they're worthy, before she deigns to run there – comes off as arrogant, to people without a stake in the messianic-redemption-of-Parliament theory of the Green Party.

  14. Mark gets the steak knives for non sequitur of the week.

  15. Has anyone actually bothered reading her book? Because she makes it clear there that she supports proportional representation, a system that does not make a fetish of local representation. In the absence of PR, her decision to shop around for a seat is entirely consistent with not only her own views on parliamentary reform, but also with the views of what sometimes seems like about 90% of the people who comment around here.

  16. In several Alberta ridings, the Green Party came in second in the vote count, beating the Liberals and the NDP. Maybe Ms .May should move to Alberta.

  17. In several Alberta ridings, the Green Party came in second in the vote count, beating the Liberals and the NDP. Maybe Ms. May should move to Alberta.

    • Let's just say that Ms. May's threat has taken this Alberta vote away from the Green Party.

  18. Has any journalist ever looked beyond her soundbites and done a little research into what she says, what she claims?

  19. Well – I for one think she should run in Pierre Poilievre's riding – then those folks would have a REAL DEMOCRATIC choice!

  20. Not really. I suspect that many of her claims about the economy, etc. wouldn't stand up to close scrutiny. Unfortunately, journalists don't seem to take the Green Party platform seriously enough to pay it the compliment of a close reading.

  21. Not really. I suspect that many of her claims about the economy, etc. wouldn't stand up to journalistic scrutiny. Unfortunately, journalists don't seem to take the Green Party platform seriously enough to pay it the compliment of a close reading.

  22. But it's only Tuesday. Surely we can hope for better.

  23. So what you're saying is: Journalists are too lazy to be bothered demonstrating how stupid the Green Party is. This terrible restaurant, the food is so bad… and don't get me started on the portions.

  24. Here's a good example. While the book Andrew mentions deals with the lack of democracy in Canada's political parties etc. (typically berating Harper, I presume), this example is telling – how she undermined a GP candidate in Ottawa Centre [comment won't go through with links]

    A second question, from a GPC staffer I am told, asked about uranium mining, and during John's answer Ms May interjected a comment that most uranium was mined for export to be made into weapons.

    Easy to fact check. From World Nuclear Association
    Uses

    For many years from the 1940s, virtually all of the uranium that was mined was used in the production of nuclear weapons, but this ceased to be the case in the 1970s. Today the only substantial use for uranium is as fuel in nuclear reactors, mostly for electricity generation….

    While nuclear power is the predominant use of uranium, heat from nuclear fission can be used for industrial processes. It is also used for marine propulsion (mostly naval). And nuclear reactors are important for making radioisotopes.

  25. Good example, Dot. The problem here is that Ms. May is such a marginal figure in Canadian politics that she can make asinine and demonstrably false statements and nobody bothers to call her on it.

  26. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Journalists view the Green party as a fringe party, and who wants to waste time fact-checking a fringe party? It's a pointless endeavour. One might as well fact-check the Marijuana party, or post a scathing review of the cuisine at the local hot dog stand.

  27. Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying . Journalists view the Green party as a fringe party, and who wants to waste time fact-checking a fringe party? It's a pointless endeavour. One might as well fact-check the Marijuana party, or post a scathing review of the cuisine at the local hot dog stand.

  28. Good example, Dot. The problem here is that Ms. May is such a marginal figure in Canadian politics, she can make asinine and demonstrably false statements and nobody bothers to call her on it.

  29. Why, Ms. Leading, of course. Also, Ms. Placed and Ms. Directed.

  30. Why, Ms. Leading, of course. Also, Ms. Placed and Ms. Directed.

  31. Theft ! – well at least a Ms. Demeanor

  32. "… we're trying to figure out which riding in this country is most prepared to want to be the riding that's known historically as the place that elected the first Green MP."

    This was already determined in the last election… none of them.

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