Home > Federal, Greens, Liberals > What Kind Of Strategists are Stéphane Dion and Elizabeth May?

What Kind Of Strategists are Stéphane Dion and Elizabeth May?

April 12, 2007

Obviously not very good ones.

It seems that the Liberals are not going to run a candidate in Central Nova, where Elizabeth May plans to run in the next election.

Now let’s look at this from the Liberal side for a moment, shall we?

Now arguably, there are three “progressive” parties fighting for the same voters in the next election: the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc. The Greens, to date, have been insignificant. Now what is the proper electoral strategy regarding insignificant opponents? You ignore them: acknowledging them or attacking them simply gives them media attention and credibility. But what Dion has done with this move in one fell swoop is given the Greens more credibility. So all Dion has succeed in doing is increasing his competition from 2 to 3. The Conservatives must like that.

As well, there goes the “308-seat strategy” that the Liberals talked about just after the leadership race.

Come to think of it, I can’t see Nova Scotia Liberals being too happy about this move either; and either sitting out the Central Nova vote or helping the Conservatives or New Democrats.

So what about the Greens?

Well, first of all, this quote from the article is telling:

In return, sources say Ms. May will promise not to run a Green candidate against the Liberal leader and will essentially endorse Mr. Dion for prime minister.

Now let’s think this through logically, shall we? To become Prime Minister, you need to have your party have a plurality of seats. Since Dion is a Liberal, those seats are going to have to go Liberal. So basically by essentially endorsing Dion for PM, May is saying to all of the Green candidates: ‘you don’t matter. What matters is that a Liberal gets elected. Oh and me!’

So yeah, as a Green candidate, I’d might be miffed about being sold out for a seat.

Secondly, by agreeing to deals with the Liberals, May is admitting that the Greens are not viable as an independent party. I don’t see Greens being happy with that either.

So what has happened here is that a cauldron of vote-splitting and confusion has been spilled out. And that is mostly going to benefit the Conservatives.

As for Central Nova: well, I think that the Liberals have just given the NDP a possible pickup.

Sidenote:

liberal_pacman_eating_greens.png
The future of the Greens?

Advertisements
Categories: Federal, Greens, Liberals
  1. janfromthebruce
    April 12, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Northern BC Dipper, how has Dion given the Greens more credibility? As it stands, Dion as environmental minister didn’t get the job done, and emissions grew by what, about 30%. And considering that the libs long-term MPs seem to dropping like flys, with your latest Belinda leaving the ship, well it looks like Dion was looking for a life raft.
    Latest numbers for the Greens was going down. Sound be interesting all around. One assumption here, is that Green voters will automately vote for the libs, well I wouldn’t make that assumption.

  2. JF
    April 12, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    No, it’s great strategy, for the Greens at least, even for the Liberals else who can gain a loyal coalition partner in an eco-oriented government.

    It’s not a snub to all Greens, and the people who won’t get to run for May’s riding or Dion’s should understand the fundamental of politics: politics is about finding compromise. Thinking that you’ll win it all is foolish and unrealistic.

    Put yourself in their shoes. You’re Elizabeth May. You’re the leader of a party that KNOWS it has no chance in hell of being the next government, so the part about saying “Oh, the Liberals will have to have the majority of seat, sucks for the Greens, eh?” is a bit silly in my opinion, because the Greens know full well they’re not even close to being in the range of taking a majority of the seats, so they have to pick who they’d rather see as government and it only makes sense they would pick Liberal since they’re fairly centrist. So in that perspective, what’s your goal then? To take the first step, get at least 1 MP in Parliament. Once that’s done, that’s when they get in debates, that’s when their place in Canadian politics is assured (as long as they can stay alive), that’s when they really start to be taken seriously (although they already are to some extent) There’s no chance that the Green Party candidate will win against Stephane Dion, so why not gamble it, save your ressources (that you can invest in May’s riding) and hope they reply? Which they did. So now Liberal voters in May’s riding (and remember, this is Atlantic Canada, this place is RED [with a growing number of orange, highest region in the country, but still predominantly Liberal]), who probably have a fairly positive opinion of the Green Party (since there’s been nothing but sympathetic talk between these two parties) are likely going to vote Green. The disgruntled PCers are also campaigning for May, or rather, against Peter McKay. Her prospects of being elected have just risen considerably.

    If you’re Stephane Dion, you know that poll after poll you’re faced with another minority government, even if your party surpasses the Conservatives. That’s the new normal in Canadian politics. You’re running on a green platform and you’ve got a party that’s been very friendly towards yours. Now you’ve got the choice of either a) splitting the vote and probably letting another Conservative in, that’s very much opposed to you, or b) let a sympathetic voice in in Parliament, that can grow, but for the meantime will be a good ally in a minority Parliament. Of course you’d go for b.

    It’s sober, strategic planning and pure modern multi party politics, something we could use a lot more in our ranks in the NDP.

  3. MarkG
    April 12, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    It’s an interesting strategy. I figure that Dion is looking to minimize the NDP, and feels that the
    Greens are mostly damaging to the NDP’s prospects; hence, helping them gain a bit of stature hurts
    the NDP, which helps the Liberals. Further, I feel he figures that it’ll make him look sincere on the
    environment.

    This could backfire. It may make the Greens look less of an alternative, and just a small branch of
    the mainstream. It could also make Dion seem desperate, even strange, rather than sincere. If this
    perception comes to fruition, this move could be helpful to the NDP.

  4. April 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    This would only work if the NDP was to take part. They won’t, so in the end Dion has just taken away from Liberal supporters in Nova and May has raised the white flag for her party. Though, in the end this will not hurt May and Green’s as much as it will hurt the Liberals.

    There is a reason why the NDP steers clear of this kind of silly stunts….

  5. Northern BC Dipper
    April 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    @ janfromthebruce

    It gives Greens credibility because the “Large Mighty, Natural Governing” Liberal Party obviously believes that it is a big enough threat to make a deal with them. I don’t think that the Greens deserve it, but Dion was silly enough to be game, so here we are.

    @ JF

    Nah, I disagree with ya. It might be smart strategy, IF it applied Canada-wide instead of two seats. I think Accidental Deliberations’ post on the subject, paragraphs 8 and 9 are rather illuminating regarding this.

    Now, I’m not one to suggest that parties should never seek to work together, and indeed I wouldn’t mind seeing a genuine concerted effort at an electoral coalition which actually had the effect of reducing the likelihood of a Harper majority. In that vein, one could make a relatively plausible argument that the above costs to the Libs and Greens could potentially have been worth it for both parties if the result had been a national cooperative effort that actually led to significant strategic advantages.

    But instead, the Libs and Greens have unleashed every possible negative about running a fully coordinated campaign…while still having to compete against each other in 306 ridings as well. That is, unless they each separately decide to abandon other ridings in addition to the two included in the agreement – or decide they have no choice but to expand the deal, which if done later would serve as evidence that neither party really thought through the consequences of today’s announcement.

    And really, I don’t think this deal really gives May that much of a boost to get a seat. MacKay is still the incumbent, with all of the advantages that bestows. In return, what do the Greens get. A weakened position in regards to its other candidates. I can see it now: “I’d vote Green, but your leader said that Dion is the best PM, so Liberal Dude gets my vote instead.”

    As for being Dion, It does not make much sense to sacrifice a lot of position in the Liberal Party simply for a coalition partner that may get a single seat – if they are lucky. It make more sense if the coalition partner actually has seats in the first place. But we know that Dion won’t do that.

    I don’t see how this is sober planning in a multi-party system at all, especially since one has to deal with the cold hard realities of FPTP, in which big-small party alliances tend to result in a punishment at the polls for a smaller party.

    @MarkG

    Another way I can see it backfire is that people might think that Dion has given up his so called “strength” on the environment by passing it on to the Greens.

    @Sean S.

    Yeah, this is a stunt. The question now is: who pays for it?

  6. SBV Liberal
    April 27, 2007 at 8:06 am

    Northern Dipper: You said the appropriate strategy to adopt is to ignore insignificant
    players. So, in line with that approach, why are the NDP going nuts over this alliance
    publicly? The message becomes that the NDP are very concerned about this alliance because they may well lose votes in the next election. Let’s face facts. The NDP sees Elizabeth May as competition, pure and simple. You can see it on the faces of certain NDP environment critics when they are on panels together. And, if you really are a progressive alternative that is in favour of proportional
    representation and working in co-operation with other parties, then it is inappropriate to try to keep May out of the leaders debate and collaborative alliances between parties.

    The NDP certainly does that when it suits their purposes but wants to be able to take all
    the credit for any accomplishments. I’m sorry, but on the May issue and others, the NDP hypocrisy slip is showing.

  7. Northern BC Dipper
    April 27, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    SBV Liberal,

    You said the appropriate strategy to adopt is to ignore insignificant players. So, in line with that approach, why are the NDP going nuts over this alliance publicly?

    Dunno, Dippers being stupid I guess.

    And, if you really are a progressive alternative that is in favour of proportional representation and working in co-operation with other parties, then it is inappropriate to try to keep May out of the leaders debate and collaborative alliances between parties.

    Now that’s just a silly statement. That would be like somebody going to a casino and setting up all the games so that they won all of the money because they wanted to distribute it more equally instead of changing the system to have that result. The Dion-May Alliance is the same way; I don’t like the current electoral system, but I expect everyone to play by its rules.

    The NDP certainly does that when it suits their purposes but wants to be able to take all the credit for any accomplishments. I’m sorry, but on the May issue and others, the NDP hypocrisy slip is showing.

    Really? When the NDP goes and tries to current the system and its party members in the same way, then you can say that. Meanwhile, the Liberal hypocrisy slip is showing

  1. April 12, 2007 at 7:19 pm
  2. April 12, 2007 at 7:36 pm
  3. July 12, 2007 at 11:49 am
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: