Dear Mr. Murray Dobbin,
I am writing to offer some comment on the recent string of vociferous anti Elizabeth May and anti Green Party of Canada articles written by you and your colleagues at The Tyee.
In these articles you are proposing that Elizabeth May is both working to elect Conservatives and lying to the Canadian public.
You admonish her, her party, and her supporters in the aims of precipitating a widespread GPC candidate withdraw, or at least some depression of their surging support across BC. A vote for Green is a vote for Harper? Is that what I’m reading?
That’s an interesting, although not unfamiliar, dreamscape coming forth from long-time NDP ‘beasts of burden’.
I can agree with you on your central premise: it certainly would be an amazing rout of Canadian politics if we all woke up tomorrow and found the NDP working in electoral cooperation with the Green.
That type of electoral cooperation might lead to government, both federally and provincially; all be it, a shared government.
I can assure you, Green insiders understand this reality. That’s the central reason why, in the advance of every major election in recent memory, the Greens have extended an olive branch of electoral cooperation to the NDP.
The Greens have been rebuffed every single time.
That’s astonishing regularity, especially for politics. In fact, this time, Tom Mulcair didn’t even offer the courtesy of returning the phone call. Not only a major breakdown of decorum and professional respect, but also a massive insult to Green voters everywhere.
Are these the same Green voters the NDP is trying to court with their now perennial ‘vote-split’ argument?
It seems odd that no respect can be shown to these voters, especially now that they appear to be central to any concept of an NDP victory.
After all, the NDP can’t win on their own, isn’t that basically what you’re saying?
Let’s be clear about a few things:
- The NDP has never produced a platform that addresses the sweeping range of core Green issues, i.e. climate change, pipeline expansion, proportional representation (still not in the NDP platform by the way – have a close look)
- The NDP is beholden to the same industrial-extraction interests as all other ‘status-quo’ parties
- Future generations require far swifter movement than what the NDP brand is offering, in order to both re-ignite our struggling economy and avoid catastrophic climate change
I’ll happily inform you once again, that until the above gets addressed, you have no credible argument as to why the Greens should be supporting the NDP base.
As I’m sure you understand, the ‘vote split’ argument applies to parties that have, more or less, a congruent platform going after the same voters, offering them two identical options. This argument could easily be made about the Liberal and NDP platforms.
Point by point, it’s essentially the same document, except for minor nuances. Summarily, the slogans are even the same: ‘real change’/’ready for change’, and ‘middle-class economics’.
The same can’t be said about either the Conservative or Green platforms: they are materially very different than the near identical NDP/Liberal platforms.
At the Green Party of Canada, they’re talking about the big ideas:
- Eliminating post-secondary tuition by 2020
- 80% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2050
- Proportional representation and a return to community minded, principled MPs
- Opposition to all current heavy oil pipeline projects
There is no true vote split in discussion of this party, and what choice they represent to voters, in relation to other parties.
One should rightly be asking why the NDP/Libs are content to produce nearly identical platform documents, and go after the very same voter base, year after year, and truly split the vote in ways the Greens never have.
Should Greens suggest that NDP/Lib candidates withdraw with such indignity and disrespect that have been shown to them? I think we’re all pretty aware that the Greens will not be levelling these baseless attacks at their fellow progressive running mates.
Greens, in ridings across Canada, including my own and your own, now have the best platform, the best candidate, and the best leader.
Why on earth would they consider voting for a lesser candidate, lesser platform, or lesser leader, in another party?
Let’s cut to the chase: you, and your colleagues’, repeated attempts to demand Green support move elsewhere are fundamentally un-democratic and disrespectful to voters.
In light of the NDP ‘shutting the door’ to any meaningful electoral cooperation with Green for decades, voters will rightly be asking hard questions about your argument.
Greens have been subject to baseless and personal attacks for far too long, and without a dignified response, or a respectable forum to discuss the charge.
I think we need to really get to the bottom of the arguments you’re proposing, and so, I offer you a challenge:
I’m inviting you to a town hall in Sechelt and Powell River held before the general vote Oct 19th, where you can make your case to the public in person, and also hear my arguments against it.
I further propose that it be a parliamentary debate, with an independent moderator.
The topic: “Why don’t the Greens Just Go away”.
We’re both sideline commentators in this Federal election, what have we got to lose?
Are you game sir?