Crawl Across the Ocean

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fear of a Green Planet

Note: Cross-posted to the e-group

It looks like some of the recent high poll results for the Green Party are setting off some mainstream alarm bells. Check out this article by Mary Janigan in Macleans.

On the one hand, the article does a good job showing how Green support has risen and tracing it to increased environmental awareness, disenchantment with the mainstream parties and most of all, the Green party moving to the political centre by eschewing the unnecessary divide between environmentalism and market-oriented economic policies.

But on the other hand the article is almost comical in its fear of a big green tidal wave swamping the country.

The increased support for the Greens is, "both remarkable and unsettling"

and also, "Canadians should be very sure that they are voting for the Greens' relatively radical platform" because "The stakes are high".

Voters should also remember that, "until we clean up the contract-tendering system itself, every party will eventually be suborned by power."

And a final warning to finish off with, "voters should be sure the Greens' evolving amalgam of the practical and the highly problematic is what they really want. Accidents do happen."

You hear that Green voters? - be careful or we'll accidentally elect a majority Green government - it's happened before! ok, it's never happened, but it could happen! Think twice before you destroy us all!

It's good to see smart policies being rewarded and Canadians having more options at the ballot box. I don't think there's really much 'risk' of us electing a Green government next election, but I am hoping to see the party continue to make strides and hopefully win a seat or two.

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  • I think if the Greens turn in a strong performance in the debate, they'll grab a handful of seats. Are there any polls that show Green support by province? I'd feel more confident in my prediction if there were a few provinces with Green support approaching 20%.

    By Blogger dejour, at 8:47 PM  

  • I did see something recently (cant find it now, of course) that showed Green support highest in BC and lowest in Ont. No surprise there. But we're talking like 6.something % vs 2.something percent - nothing anywhere near 20%... I am considering a Green vote this summer, but I dont think they're gonna win any seats.

    By Blogger skritchy, at 10:13 AM  

  • Taking the polls on average, Green Party support nationally is likely in the 5-6% range and fairly evenly distributed across the country (generally highest in B.C. and Alberta, usually weakest in Atlantic / Prairies).

    Support will need to rise some more in order for them to take a couple of seats in the next election. One positive is the drop in the Conservative poll numbers in B.C. since the Green's best shot is the Sunshine Coast / Vancouver Island / Gulf Islands areas where the Conservatives won some heavily split ridings last time.

    For example Saanich-Gulf Islands where last time it was 35% CPC, 27% Lib, 22% NDP, 17% Green.

    By Blogger Declan, at 11:38 AM  

  • As I said after the last election, the Greens really need to focus on identifying a few winnable seats and throwing as much as possible into them.

    Having MPs would boost their profile dramatically, especially between elections, where a lot of the real work has to be done.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:42 PM  

  • "I don't think there's really much 'risk' of us electing a Green government next election, but I am hoping to see the party continue to make strides and hopefully win a seat or two."

    Me too!

    By Blogger treehugger, at 1:43 PM  

  • Kevin - I think the Greens did apply that strategy somewhat last election, but it should be more effective now that they are on a bit more of a level playing field financially going in.

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:19 PM  

  • ah - but will they be invited to the debate? That's the big question. I think there is a legitimate fear on the part of the mainstream parties as to the future threat the greens represent, and thats why the're contiunously excluded. Participation in a nationally televised debate would drastically improve their profile as a legitimate and resonable option instead of a freak fringe party like the marijuana or sex parties.

    That said, without a seat in the commons going into the campaign, they'll be easy to shut out of the debates once again.

    By Blogger one-dimensional man, at 2:21 AM  

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