Green and growing

My story about being a Green politician in Canada, and why it was the best thing I ever did.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

NDP - I hope you know what you are doing in Labrador

Today, the writ dropped for the by-election in Labrador.  In 2011, the results looked like this:

10004 Labrador  2011

1. Peter Penashue (CON): 4,256  39.81%
2. Todd Russell (LIB): 4,177  39.07%
3. Jacob Larkin (NDP): 2,120  19.83%
4. George C.R. Barrett (GRN): 139   1.30%

This riding was decided by 79 votes.  Peter Penashue is being investigated for having accepted corporate donations, and for having overspent the legal limit for his campaign. (See Pundit's guide for a very thorough analysis of the issues).

In spite of the allegations still pending, the prime minister is running Penashue for re-election.  The Green Party has decided to not run a candidate, so that we can assist in electing Penashue's replacement.

From the numbers from the last election, it is clear that the Liberal party has the best shot at winning this election.  Of course, things may have changed on the ground, but I have not seen any polling to suggest otherwise.  Since it is highly likely that Justin Trudeau will be the new Liberal leader as of next Saturday, I would suggest that support for that party will still be strong for this by-election, and perhaps stronger than under Ignatieff.

The NDP is running a candidate, new to federal politics.  In the past, I would have applauded this, as I believe that every Canadian should be able to vote for all of the major parties.  However, I believe it is time for us to use the Westminister electoral system, rather than having it use us (note: us = Canadians).

In this case, I hope that the NDP has done some polling and believes that it has a very good chance of winning this riding.  Anything short of that, and I believe they should pull out to assist in toppling Penashue.  The majority of Canadians do not want our present government, and this is a method by which we can ensure that the greater desire of Canadians is fulfilled.  This is one small step towards implementing proportional representation.

Don't get me wrong.  If the NDP thinks it can win the riding, as a result of the wave of support in Quebec and elsewhere, then have at it!  But, if you don't have the polling support, please consider having one less name on the ballot.  This will turn into quid pro quo in the next election.  The same argument extends to the Liberals, of course, but in this riding, there is good evidence to suggest they can win this riding.

So that is my message, sent wistfully and with very little hope that it will be heard.  The Conservatives have known about the timing of the by-election, and will be ready to hit the street today.  If they win, I will be shaking my finger at the NDP.  This could have been the beginning of something great.



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