Monday, September 01, 2008

Is Stephen Harper afraid of the Greens

The headline in the Toronto Star was MP joins Greens; May now in leaders' debates?. It was announced that Blair Wilson, the MP for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country will now sit in the House as a member of the Green Party of Canada. What that means is, we finally got a MP. Okay so he was elected as a Liberal in the last election, but like he's the first guy ever to cross the floor, or I guess move down a couple of seats. He became an independent in January 2008. Apparently there was some concern with finances during the last nomination, however all that is in the past. He was cleared. He's an MP, He's a Green.

One of the major points to all this, is and you can read it in the article, the pressure is now on to have Elizabeth May join in with the leader's debate come election time, which might be soon. The criteria for involvement has always been that a party has to be represented in the House of Commons. No doubt its a measure from keeping all the fringe parties from demanding representation at the debates. It doesn't matter how the MP's got there, as long as they are there. After all the Bloc Quebecois started out when Lucien Bouchard left the Progressive Conservative Party and was joined by other PC's and disgruntled Liberals after the failure of the Meech Lake Accord.

However, what makes me think Mr. Harper is afraid of the Greens?

Consider this little quote in the Star:

Yesterday, Harper spokesperson Kory Teneycke said the overtures of co-operation between May and Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion should mean only one of them gets to participate in the debates.

An agreement for co-operation hardly means its the same party. By the way I blogged earlier about this accord and warned Ms May not to proceed with it. But I digress. It's not the same party, even if M. Dion now has a green hue on his website. The Greens are not the Liberals, and the Liberals are not the Greens.

I mentioned earlier that Elizabeth May's name and party is starting to show up in Conservative Party election material, it seems they reckon the Greens are a party they will have to deal with. It's not just a party of loopy environmentalists, it is a relevant organization on the political landscape of Canada. While some Conservatives may think of Greens as left of centre to centre, I wonder if there is some teals out there, by that I mean conservative greens who might be interested in voting Green rather then Conservative in the upcoming election. In places such as Ontario, a teal vote might tips a few ridings away from the Tories.

As for the accord, watch for the Greens to have a full slate of candidates in the upcoming election.

Something to watch.

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