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Thursday, July 26, 2007 

Green Party Support Growing - But NOT Concentrated Sufficiently To Win Seats

I will catch hell from Green Party supporters for what I am about to say. Let me start by saying that the Green Party of Canada has done well in growing its support into the 10% range. In such a 'traditionalist' society - which Canada is - it is difficult for a new political party to crack the way that Canadians vote.

The Green Party has made a bridgehead into Canadian politics, have dug in and are experiencing modest growth.

(Now for the part of this post that will have Greens ticked off at me.) A friend of mine mentioned to me the other day that with the 10% mark of support now being consistently held by the Greens, he fully expected them to win 10% of the seats in the House of Commons. --Time Out--! No ... in Canada's 'first past the post' approach, 10% of the vote will likely get you 0% of the seats available.

The NDP win seats because there are regions and specific constituencies where their vote count is concentrated sufficiently for it to translate into seats. The challenge for the Green Party is to find federal constituencies where they can concentrate their support to the point that it translates into a win and hence a Member of Parliament.

If I go to an electoral map of Canada, I still can't point to a region where I can say that the Green vote will be concentrated sufficiently to grab a victory.

That is the Green challenge. We know from polling that Canadians would like to see the Greens have a seat or two in the House of Commons. Fair ball. But where is the strategy to target a 'realistic' seat - (certainly NOT Central Nova) and then throw everything they have at it.

Okay Greens, let 'er rip!

Ottawa Citizen

What's wrong with what you said? I don't get it, what's there to be pissed off at? It's not your fault there's a First Past the Post antiquated system, unless you happen to support it. It hasn't exactly been a good thing for Canada the last decade or more, and certainly not in Saskatchewan either. And obviously your federal NDP support doing away with it so they have a sniff of a chance of getting power. We're both in this together, whether you agree or not.

Hey Saskboy - being politically astute (as you are) we agree ... but I fully expect that there are a few readers out there who believe the Greens will win a few seats in the next election.

Oh, I think the Greens WILL win a couple seat even with the bustedass system we have in place. But the numbers indicate that we should have closer to 30 seats, and that's something we should be working to correct, instead of contorting to work in the broken system of voting we use now.

Damn you! I am so pissed right now I'm seeing GREEN. I can't even think!

On the other hand, you're probably right. While I'd LIKE the Greens to win a seat or two, its not going to happen anytime soon. Especially with the Cons in power. Many just want them out of the way and won't risk their votes on the Greens. Its unfortunate, but a reality. I'm in a relatively safe NDP seat (Halifax) so I'm not worried about voting Green...oh wait, I moved....Liberal seat.

Our time is coming. When it does, Kermy's going to be eating Ernie for lunch....bwahahahahaha!

Perhaps someone can shed light on why the Greens have so many seats in Germany and not here?

The Green Party's one and only chance to win a seat was the London by-election.

The by-election presented the best of all opportunities for the Greens in terms of timing, resources and the state of the other parties. And they still blew it.

Think about it: in their two strongest ridings of Ottawa Centre and Saanich they've respectively lost their star candidate and had a 21 member turn out for a high profile nomination. Not good signs.

With her infamous backroom deal, the Liberal spokesperson who runs the Green Party appears to have done Greens more harm than good.

You are not that far off, the only hope for Greens is the perfect split 4 way race.

May proved in London we could draw 26% with ideal conditions. With an ideal race going 4 ways,a couple of indies, or CAP PC candidates thrown in we might squeek one out. However unless May gets in the debates chances are very slim, if she does get the debates I'd be a little more hopeful. Considering our low exposure 10% seems pretty damn good, 1 decent debate could spike that considerably.

If by chance we could draw a star Quebec Candidate, 5 way races could go in any direction.

If Dion does not come out against SPP there will be a flood of Liberals looking for new homes. Shit happens maybe someday we will get a break.

It's true... under FPTP, there is no current riding the Green's have a strong enough presence in for a strong chance to win. In their best showings they still not competitive. Saninch Gulf Islands was their best showing in 2004 but have gone down since and even discussed not running a candidate.

Losing Cherneshenko doesn't help either, he had the most votes of any Green in 2006.

The good news: Nunavit might be one to watch for them, they have a former MP (from the 1970's) as a candidate.

Whooee! I'm a treehuggin' GPC member and I don't disagree with much of what yer sayin', Buck. I do disagree that CN is not winnable. Mackay's skeletons are startin' to pile up. It could end up as a GPC-NDP horse race.

The Greens are maybe a bit too egalitarian in our support for individual ridings. I've voiced my opinion to Lizzie and others in teh party that we should pour our resources into a few ridings and let the others more or less fend for themselves.

To this end, I've made targeted contributions to be used only in Central Nova. I encorage other GPC supporters to do likewise.

I also see this as yet another opportunity to make Canajun voters more aware of the unfairness in the FPTP system.

JB

I wouldn't mind if the Greens won a few seats next election...but I'm not overly optimistic for more or less the reasons you've cited.

On the other hand, GPC policy is a fairly natural fit with "classic" Progressive Conservative party policy lines. (What is now derisively called "Red Tory" by the CPC in-crowd) The biggest gains for the GPC to make right now are among disaffected former PC's.

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