Monday, August 28, 2006

A Hare Beats a Tortoise

Faced with David Chernushenko, a moderate, practical, realistic, creative and inventive guy more interested in solution-finding than in show, the Green Party has selected Elizabeth May as Leader.

As an activist, May is accomplished and deeply principled, putting values over advancement, much to her credit. As a politician, I think she's a bull in a china shop - she is bombastic and obnoxious, and seeks to belittle rather than coax alliance, or unite. If she really *needed* to bring up NAFTA, she might have instead asked Canadians to re-examine it with their hearts and not their pocketbooks, or simply talked about how she feels the agreement is environmentally detrimental, leaving out the drawing-a-line-in-the-sand act. Most Canadians are generally pleased with NAFTA, and while they could be evenutally coaxed into a furor over it by a clever politician, they're not going to turn out en masse to suddenly defeat it.

As an activist, she's probably been Excellent. At very least she's been Very Good. I just don't see her as a viable Leader, and I don't support Leaders who are not focused on winning. She's more interested in being a "voice", and misses that actually having an MP (or two) is the best way to have a voice. She is interested in having a pulpit, not in being elected. She has Jack Layton ("We realize we cannot win")'s Disease -- at least Ed Broadbent really went for the gold.

Granted, she might have the sway to get onto the televised debates - which would be great.

I like a multi-party system, I'm an environmentalist voter, and I want to have a viable Green Party option. If she turns out to work out well, I'll happily - happily - eat my words.

(If you haven't, check out ChuckerCanuck's post on Elizabeth May, in which he theorizes that she might win over David Orchard, and that a May-Orchard combination might prove MP-worthy. I can't disagree with that, it is a possibility.)


Blogger Liberal Fortunes said...

I think May was the wrong choice, I find her to be rather of a flakey leader.

I do think she will win her seat in Cape Breton. Cape Bretoners are very much about the local candidate.

The NAFTA policy... I think it is not a big issue. Parties pass many crazy policies at conventions, yet they seldom enact them when in Government.

When Dave Barret won office, a lot of the grassroots activist were angry at him for not implementing many of the parties policies passed on the convention floor. It's The campaign policies that are of much more importance.

Monday, August 28, 2006 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

I really don't think most Canadians support NAFTA. Most Canadians realize that NAFTA is a one-sided mechanism where the US fucks us up the proverbial ass, just like all these "free trade" deals with the US are. That's why the Doha Round collapsed at the WTO, developing countries finally grew spines and said hey we want this to be fair not just you exploiting us, and the US said no no, that's not how economic imperialism works.

Plus under NAFTA the US essentially "owns" something like 75% of all oil produced in Canada. Not to mention how NAFTA and its neoliberal economic reforms have reduced Canadian sovereignty, caused massive job loss, promoted environmental destruction by giving corporations an out to the US or Mexico who have softer environmental laws, etc. etc.

Monday, August 28, 2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Brian C said...

There was certainly a left-right race that took place in the Green Party and obviously one side had to win. To be fair, the previous leader Jim Harris was an ex-PC and was on the right of the party.

There seems to be limited support in the Martimes for the Green Party. I have my doubts that even Elizabeth May can get elected in the Maritimes. She will be able to leverage some supporters such as Suzuki and Robert Bateman.

Really, even Elizabeth May is a better leader than Bob Rae would be.

Monday, August 28, 2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Calgary said...

I'm predicting May will be the worst thing that ever happened to the Liberal and NDP parties... well, in the next election anyways.

The Liberals are floundering all over the place, and all those real left liberals will see May as their great hope.

Layton just sucks generally, so the Dippers will flock to her banner like roaches at a open door fridge party.

Yep, good for the Tories, bad for the Liberals and Dippers.

Monday, August 28, 2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

Well, I'm intrigued at her decision to run in Cape Breton - it could end up tactically brilliant.

She has great credentials there and a lot of environmental successes for the little people. And support for the Greens there is as low as you can find. It's crazy/brave of her to run there - and I can really see it paying off with an actual seat.

And, a win in the least-supportive part of the country could crack open willingness in other parts of the country. Maybe she's secretly an ingenius politician after all....

We'll see. Always prepared to eat my words.

Monday, August 28, 2006 2:00:00 PM  

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