This is fun.
This morning I posted this post on Elizabeth May’s interview with Louis-Gilles Francoeur at Le Devoir. I figured the Green Party might not be delighted.
And indeed it was so. At 12:04 p.m., Camille Labchuk at the Green Party HQ sent this email out to some number of Green Party members and supporters:
Hello Media Response Team,
Elizabeth May and deputy leader Claude William Genest did an interview
with Quebec paper Le Devoir yesterday and the piece appears in Le
Devoir today. Maclean’s magazine writer Paul Wells has posted a blog
in response to some comments she made in this article
It is quite negative in tone. I’m hoping that some of you will take
the time to read his blog and post comments to refute his premise that
seeking to cooperate with other parties and prevent another Harper
government is a bad idea.
Some points to consider:
-The idea of inter-party cooperation was widely discussed and debated
in the leadership campaign and Elizabeth May’s views were widely
known. She overwhelmingly won that campaign and since that time has
managed to triple Green Party support in national polls.
-He says we will need all the luck we can get in the next election.
You might wish to point out that under Elizabeth May, the Green Party
has tripled its support since the last election and is posed to elect
MPs in the election. We are the only party that has gained momentum
since the last election.
-In the only electoral tests we have had between elections, Greens
have done well. Elizabeth May finished a close second in the London
North Centre by-election and in the March by-elections, Green
candidates dramatically increased support in BC, Sask and Ontario,
coming in ahead of the Conservatives and NDP in certain ridings.
Provincially, Green Parties have been tested in most provinces in the
last year and have increased support each time.
-Re: Ralph Nader. Elizabeth does NOT state that the only way to avoid
splitting the vote is to pull out of tight races. She has always been
clear that for democracy to work, voters must be educated and aware of
all facts about each electoral option. This is why it was dangerous
that the NDP focused on the Liberals in the last election and did not
highlight the threat of the Conservative party.
-Mr. Wells’ commentary brings us back to the fundamental truth that
our electoral system is broken. It fails to encourage cooperation
among parties and instead leads to bitter rivalries. It fails to
return governments that reflect the choices of voters (i.e., only 36%
of Canadians voted for Harper. The rest voted for parties who support
action on climate change yet we are left with Harper’s regressive
Thank you for your help. Please let me know if you have any questions
I know this happened because two of the recipients forwarded the talking points to me as soon as they got them.
And then nothing happened.
For quite a while, nobody bothered to use the Greens’ talking points as the basis for a rebuttal of my argument from this morning, which is that on the plain face of it, Elizabeth May is arguing that no party has the right to hurt the Liberals’ chances of replacing the Tories as the next government.
Finally, three and a half hours after the Greens launched their rapid-response effort, Jim Elve posted a reply. It admirably encapsulates and rephrases the arguments in Labchuk’s talking-points email. Excellent work, Jim!
So far, he’s all alone. If anyone else wants to post in response to my original post, you now have your talking points. And you should not worry about having to wait in line, because it’s actually kind of lonely out here for defenders of Elizabeth May’s strategic sense.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.