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Take no prisoners Elizabeth May

September 8, 2009

Elizabeth May is back. With the signs and tea leaves all clearly indicating an election done and gone before Christmas, all the parties are getting prepared for a campaign.

  • The Conservatives need to get working on their new attack ads.
  • The Liberals need to write a whole bunch of long speeches about being the natural ruling party and start wooing people in Ontario, BC and Quebec with different messages.
  • The NDP need to polish Jack up, trim his beard, and pop in the tape about “running for Prime Minster”.
  • The Bloc need to work out a convoluted justification for an office they do not want.
  • And the Greens, don’t forget about them, they get almost as many votes as the Bloc, well, they need to figure out where Elizabeth May is going to run this year.

She’s tried Ontario, second with 25%.  She’s tried Nova Scotia, second with 32%, against a popular cabinet minister.  So, will she run again in Central Nova as she promised?  Apparently not, we have news that May is going to be running in BC.  It seems her party put their foot down in favour of strategic thinking and forced her to run in the riding with the highest Green support.  Perfectly rational, and I support the decision entirely.  I do find it a bit funny that the party machine came up with such a strategic choice since they seem to be against other strategic choices such as strategic voting (see my post May’s Resignation from last year).

It’s also a bit funny for me to support Ms. May’s party machine over her, because I’ve made no attempt to hide the fact that I Love Elizabeth May.  She’s the best thing to happen in Canadian politics in a long while.  We need her in parliament, and the Green’s need a member in parliament.  In fact, they deserve at least 15 members and its a travesty of our system that they have never gained a single representative.

After the last federal election I wrote that The Next Battle was passing the BC-STV referendum on electoral reform.  Sadly that referendum failed to pass amid a flurry of confusion and very negative messaging by interests who gain from the current status quo. So now we have the next, next battle. And its the same battle that was fought last year.  Vote strategically, get electoral reform on the radar, get the Green party a member in parliament. Oh yes, and choose whether the Conservatives or Liberals form government, that’s important too.  But less so since whatever ‘decision’ the Canadian people make it is necessarily distorted by our voting process. Liberal support will higher than it really is because of strategic voting. NDP and Green votes will be lower for the same reason.  Even Conservative results will be distorted by the fact they waste a large number of urban votes that only rank them second or third. We get the impression that the Conservatives have no urban support, which is false. Their urban supporters are simply always smaller than supporters of other parties.  But they cannot argue this to legitimize their rural+Alberta rule over urban Canada without acknowledging that all the other parties waste support in the same way.  The Greens are the most blatant example of this since their 1 million, spread out votes come to nothing  in our geographically focused voting system.

That’s why it is so important to get the Green’s to win seats, it will fix an injustice in our system and start the discussion about fixing it. Luckily there are some voters in BC, who have spent a lot of time recently thinking about electoral reform, who will be able to put a band-aid on this injustice. So to the voters of Saanich-Gulf Islands, please consider your vote extra-carefully this election, take the time to consider the issues and to look at the problems with our electoral process.  Vote for Elizabeth May. Vote for all the people in Canada who vote Green and never get a representative. Vote for all the people in Canada who vote for the third or fourth candidate in their riding and never get a representative. Vote for the 40% of BC who voted just a few months ago to change the electoral process of their province.  Vote to start fixing one thing that is wrong with this great country.  We deserve better.  We deserve Elizabeth May in Ottawa.

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