Sunday, October 22, 2006

Garth Should Go Green

Even though this would probably be his political swan-song, because it is difficult (but not impossible) to see him winning in Halton as a Green Party Candidate. (Note that at the Halton Riding event held on Saturday, and reported here, Garth's going Green was tied for second place among his constituents as an option after "remaining independent").

And even though Green Party leader Elizabeth May would almost certainly come to view Garth as a pain in the ass. (I would love to see some of Garth's blog postings on the internal machinations of the Green Party:"They're raising money by having a salmon bake?".)

But Garth's defection would nevertheless constitute a historical moment in Canadian politics. Polling at about 10%, the Greens still do not have a seat in parliament and, given the de-centralized nature of their support, will be hard pressed to win one in the Federal election expected for next Spring, especially since Elizabeth May will likely not have a place on stage during the leadership debates. However, if Garth switches, his seat comes along with him, and when an election is called Elizabeth gets her crack at addressing a national audience with the other contenders.

If you doubt how much influence a single good debate performance can have, remember the B.C. Liberals of the early 1990s'. Gorden Wilson's performance in the 1991 CBC debate propelled the Libs from zero seats in the legislature to Official Opposition status. Elizabeth May has been quite impressive in her televised appearances, and giving a good account of herself in this forum could be the shot that realigns Canadian politics.

And realigns it in God knows what manner? Many Tories would apparently pick the Green Party as their second choice in an election. Surely the NDP could lose support to the Greens. And I would not be surprised if a good portion of Liberal supporters would be happy to embrace a Left-wing party not so enamored with the Working Class Hero bullshit of the New Democrats.

In short, Garth Turner has a chance to to something of historic significance. I hope he takes it.


janfromthebruce said...

Yes, I wouldn't be surprise if there were lots of liberal supports who want to support a environmental party that would not just pay lip service to the environment, with empty rhetoric on Kyoto Accord.

Saskboy said...

I'm one Liberal who decided to go Green.
Garth should go Green too, because it's his best revenge against Harper. It would be a potentially politically fatal mistake for Harper, having given ousted an MP willing to be a maverick, and give the Greens their initial "in" to the House. The next election, the Greens could easily pick up a few NDP, Liberal, and Conservative seats once they are given the "TV legitimacy" that CBC and other media have been denying them. They should have been in the last debate, so I'd have to agree that unless they get an MP or senator soon, the broadcast media will continue to injure democracy and unequally cover only old school parties.

gfdgfdfd said...

As I posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago:

The Green Party is not "left" (for the last time!)

Rosie said...

I doubt that Garth would become a pain in the ass for Elizabeth May. Something I've learned since becoming a Green party member is that debate is really welcome. I don't think we are expected to agree with 100% of the party's platform.

There are still a few hardcore Greens around, who I find arrogant because they sneer at anyone who is not a card-carrying PETA member and subscribes to any "western medicine" or "mainstream". But those types of Greens are being diluted by more moderate, realistic individuals who really want to effect change in Ottawa by getting a Green MP elected. That's why I think Elizabeth May is going to be so great for the party. She is open and passionate and tolerant to other people's views.

All this speculation, but I believe that Garth is going to be staying an independent. it seems to be what his constituents want for now.

Anonymous said...

The decision is made and Garth will not sit as a Green. It would be nice however if he would campaign for May in London, give them both some extra press without tainting the GPC with any floor crossing bagage.

Just an idea.