Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where was this editorial months ago?

… 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.


Anonymous said...

The greens will have zero legitimacy politicaly in the future with may still at the helm.She played us all for fools to further her own narcissic self.

Saskboy said...

Bitter much? Perhaps you should wonder if Nettie Wiebe is going to ask Jack Layton why he wouldn't work out something with May, so Amber Jones didn't wind up a spoiler in Saskatchewan, and leave the Dippers memberless for a 3rd time in a row in SK.

janfromthebruce said...

In the next election, like Linda Duncan, Nettie Wiebe will win. May has ensured that Greens without a seat in the House of Commons will not be in the debates. Greens with less money and after what happen, with less clout to attract candidates willing to put themselves through a faux campaign.
The fallout of May's super ego is about to catch up with her.
Saskboy, being a good liberal and all seemed to be ok with the Greens being played by the liberals. Anyway, how is the knife fight going over in the liberal camp? Considering that Dion is toast and make no mistake, libs will not be going anywhere near the green shift, Dion's cat paw is also out the door. I'm sure the liberal party's first cut will be paying for May's digs on the hill. And by the sounds of the green noise from the executive green members, I doubt they will want to "waste precious resources" funding her digs either. Cutbacks are a bitch.

Leftdog, great post! You won't have to worry about threats of lawsuits now!

janfromthebruce said...

Forgot to mention a tidbit of info.
May's strategy in Central Nova ensured that she "woke up the dead" so to speak, who wanted to ensure that "a local" won. Consequently, her media circus allowed the CPC vote to increase in a time of declining voter turnout.
Further, May's total 2008 Green vote count - 12,620 - without a liberal running WAS LESS THAN the NDP'S 2006 VOTE COUNT - 13861 - against ALL PARTIES.

Way to shake up the election results in Central Nova!

Sean S. said...

Saskboy, the Nettie campaign didn't complain about spoilers. Why? Because it was their riding to win if they could get enough vote out. It didn't matter that the Green Party candidate pulled 6%, what needed to happen (but didn't) was a small shift of 2-4% in the rural portion of the riding. Combined, the Liberal and Green Party vote was just a hair less than 2006.

Anyhow, now what I was originally going to comment on was:

In Sask, if you look around at the riding results its interesting to see that in most cases the Liberals bled to all 3 parties. Primarily to the Conservatives, next to the Greens, and than the NDP (except in Rosetown-Biggar). So I would say (at least here) that pumping up the Greens ultimately gave the greens 2-3% more vote at the Liberals expense.