Friday, October 10, 2008

May’s strategic voting ploy backfires

So civil war has broken out within the Green Party over Elizabeth May’s attempt to turn her party into an official branch plant of supporters for the Dion Liberals in the final days of the 2008 election.

In the Globe, David Chernushenko, Green Party stalwart and second place finisher to May in the 2006 leadership race has blasted May for telling potential Green voters to vote Liberal instead.

Every candidate deserves to be fairly considered for a vote, and I don't believe in strategic voting and I don't believe that any Green candidate, volunteer or donor should be sold out," Mr. Chernushenko said in a phone interview yesterday.

Asked if that is what he believes Ms. May has done, his answer was yes.

"If you are encouraging people to run and then telling the voter to go, however they feel, and not vote for your party, then, that's not full support for your candidate is it?" he asked.

Chernushenko is absolutely right. Every person who decides to support a party, give money to it, and run as candidates, deserve a leader of that party who fights for every vote and every seat. That’s how our system works.

What May has chosen to do by meeting with Liberal strategists and boosting the Liberal Party is in a word dishonest to voters and to those who joined the Green Party in good faith. In the long run, it breeds precisely the kind of cynicism Greens said they wanted to change.

The good news is, she has been caught out on it.


Jaytoo said...

You know, It's too bad. Elizabeth May surprised me by performing honourably in the debates. She intervened articulately on progressive issues. She did not do the manipulative tag-team with Dion that I thought she would. She nailed Harper effectively in English. I was truly hopeful.

Now I fear her performance was all about building capital for this same old endgame after all - of selling out her party to the Liberal plutocrats.

Mark Francis said...

She trying to serve Green policy in the end. The problem with the Greens -- and I was a semi-prominent one for a time -- is that they amount to being little more than a protest party. The conundrum that I faced was deciding between staying with them pushing policy on the outside, or moving on to another party and pushing good policy from within.

At this late stage in the election, it's very clear that the greens will have little to no influence after the election, and many of us regard this election as being crucial for the future of green policy in Canada.

This is not a question of party loyalty, then. It's a question of making some progress on matters of policy which the Green Party supports.

janfromthebruce said...

I also gained respect for May after the English debate. After what she has done to Green candidates (and I have run as a candidate) is a "fraud."
It's no surprise she called Harper that, as it takes one to know one.

Scott in Montreal said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but May attempted again to dispel any rumors about deals and strategic voting this morning.

Malcolm+ said...

She wouldn't need to "dispel rumours" quite so often if she wasn't constantly speaking out of both sides of her mouth.

Jaytoo said...

Oh my. Today, she has flipped again to passive-aggressively urge strategic voting (Toronto Star). No doubt another clarification will follow later today.

It occurs to me that her flopping around is quite tactical. There are two constants in these media-generating flips: (1) Another iteration of her praise for Dion; and (2) Another dig at Jack Layton.

Today, she goes after the only guy who has really taken on Harper, by saying this: "Jack is basically Stephen Harper's little helper and I'm sick of it."

On Elizabeth May, I've gone from suspicion to tentative respect to the repulsion I reserve for those who will say anything to achieve their goal of moment.

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