… because now this just seems ironic.
“In the campaign's final days, Ms. May shamelessly shilled for the Liberals, pleading with voters to cast ballots for Mr. Dion's party if that would stop the Conservatives from being re-elected. She turned her party into a false front for a competitor, in other words. It was a disgraceful move, one that made fools of all those (such as this editorial board) who argued she should be admitted to the televised debates.”
The Red-Green deal was dirty politics from the word go. Everyone who called it that was right and everyone who said otherwise was either naive or in on it.
Credit goes to these valiant soldiers: Ed Broadbent who from the beginning called it the kind of politics that is as “old as the hills;” Green partisan David Chernushenko who predicted May would turn the party into a Liberal cheerleading squad; Paul Wells, who astutely called May “Dion’s auxiliary backup party leader”; and New Democrats who responded to May’s pleading to be put in the debates by saying “the Liberals already have one leader in the debates.”
This is not to say that all, or even many Greens were in on this. Watching Claude Genest, the deputy leader of the Green Party here, you can see how May and Dion’s endgame maneuvering left a lot of niave Greens flat-footed.
What’s lamentable is how much uncritical time and oxygen was given by the mainstream media to build May up as a independent political player given how obvious her strategic voting scheme was.
The Red-Green deal did not “squeeze” the New Democrats, as it was intended. And it did not even deliver voters to the Liberals. After months of scheming to fatten up the Green Party the Dion Liberals were still too weak and tired to catch it and eat it themselves. The Red-Green deal backfired because once Liberal supporters left their former affiliation, they didn’t want to go back, no matter how much Dion and May begged them to.
This may not be the last we ever hear of “strategic voting,” but it should be.
Political parties owe it to their supporters, candidates, donors and adherents to fight to be heard and to win as many votes as they can based on what they stand for – not for what another party stands for. That’s what Jack Layton and the New Democrats did in this campaign, and Canadians rewarded them for it with near historic support.