Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Thursday, April 12, 2007


This Dion-May deal stinks

Why does it stink? I'll tell you why.

1) Since Stephane Dion became leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, May has done nothing but sing his praises.

2) For a reason we basically figured out only today, Elizabeth May decided to run in a Tory stronghold she had no hope of winning. At the time, both the Greens and the Liberals said there was no deal or arrangement to accommodate May.

3) Dion finally decides not to run a candidate in the riding, despite growing protests within caucus and Nova Scotia Liberal circles.

I think May decided to run in that riding because she had at least an implicit understanding that the Liberals would back off. Would she have chosen to run in that riding otherwise? I'll let you decide that one for yourself. I think you know my answer already: fat chance.

I think it stinks, especially from two politicians who keep trying to tell us they represent something different. Doesn't look like it to me. Sorry.

UPDATE (10:13 pm): Something else that bothers me about this deal is that both Dion and May became leaders of their parties not too long ago. Yet neither of them bothered to get a mandate from their members about any kind of cooperation between the two parties.

Dion not running candidates in all the country's ridings is quite a decision for a Liberal leader to make. And May cozying up to Dion so much must raise the question with some Green members about what party May thinks she runs.

I know that some will say that both Harper and MacKay pursued merger without mandates from their parties, too. But they went back to their memberships to get one through a vote, and MacKay decided not to run for the leadership of the new party.

But beyond arguments of process and principle, this thing just seems confusing to me. Why not merge the two parties? Why are they not acting like individual parties if they're not merged? Why not run candidates against one another? What's the point of all of this? What's the message?

The Canadians Alliance and Progressive Conservatives contemplated some kind of electoral cooperation back in 2003. Why did they abandon the option? Well, because it doesn't make sense. You either have two parties or you don't. You're either running against one another or you aren't.

Yet here we have the leader of one party, Elizabeth May of the Greens, apparently ready to endorse the leader of another party, Stephane Dion of the Liberals, for prime minister of Canada. Just how in the world does that make sense?

If there's some kind of grand vision in this, I'm sure as heck not seeing it. And, for a guy who's messaging has been pretty awful so far, and who's grasp on the leadership of his own party has been somewhat shaky, I just don't see how this helps Stephane Dion.

I dunno. Maybe I'll figure it out. Maybe Canadians will, too. We'll see.

I so agree with all of your comments. As a GPC member I am disheartened by May's move and feel this will only add confusion to the political landscape. The ends do not justify the means; and it is unlikely that the means will get us to those ends, at any rate. I believe this will weaken the Green Party and by extension Canada's green voice for nature and the environment.We'll be swallowed and muffled by the big Liberal Machine.

Time will tell. I hope I'm proven wrong. This is so depressing.


Politics version 1.0 just ended in Canada, welcome to 2.0. The environment is what matters here, not the parties. Partisanship is the problem not the solution. Ask the bees.


Jerry, if partisanship is the problem, then what are these people doing running for political parties? And what did Dion do for the environment during the decade he had a chance? And why is May endorsing that record? And why is she even staying leader of one party, but endorsing the leader of another for prime minister?

Cynical and bizarre, if you ask me.


No one is arguing that partisanship or parties for their own sake is the end goal.

What people are overlooking is that the environment wouldn't be at the top of everyone's agenda if the Green PARTY had not grown up, gotten itself well organized, campaigned in every riding, and performed well enough to scare the bejeezus out of the other parties during the last election.

Don't doubt it--if the Green Party loses its focus and falls to pieces as an organization, the environment loses a key political advocate and it's back to business as usual for the other parties.

Stephane Dion and his dog may have hearts of gold, but a political party is more than just one man or woman. The vested interests are still lurking in the background and would be more than happy to see the environment agenda moved to the background where it "belongs".

May should just stand for the Liberals and let the Greens be Greens. She's muddying the water and I believe it's going to lead to the disintegration of the party and therefore a silencing of an important voice for this planet.


Dion is expecting an election call within weeks if not days, so he and May had to consumate their deal quickly. With no Liberal candidate for Central Nova, the local Liberals can just sit back and watch what happens, unless they actively campaign for May.

But perhaps Dion has shrewdly forced the Greens to follow their leader May and support the Liberals across Canada, because it's going to be tough for any Green candidate to explain why their leader is supporting the Liberals and essentially abandoning them.

Will Dion now claim the 10 - 15% Green vote for the Liberal party since it seems he can't win much else on the left or right. Lizzie May has effectively joined the Liberal party so you the Canadian voter should also vote Liberal if you were to vote Green.


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