WTF? The unthinkable happened. After over 1600 straight loses, the Greens have won a seat! Green Party Leader Elizabeth May took Saanich Gulf Islands from Gary Lunn. It’s a breakthrough!
…or is it?
Elizabeth May’s plan to focus the entire Green Party on serving–electing her has led to the loss of many members. The campaigning machine of the Greens has been decimated outside of Saanich Gulf Islands. Greens only converted half of their 6% average support in polls at the end of the election for a 3% total. Half their supporters nationwide simply stayed home. The youth vote abandoned the Greens for the NDP. That’s as close to a “base” as the Greens have.
Now Elizabeth May will have to run the party with half of the federal funding she had from the last election… Lowering the budget by approximately 40% is going to hurt… AND that’s if public funding isn’t completely gone in months… Leaving the Greens with next to zero income. With no money, it will be difficult for her to even re-win her seat, and there will be no money to put 2000 volunteers into each riding in an attempt to win.
And just when the Greens have gained some legitimacy and earned a place in the House of Commons as the fifth federal party, the talk of the country is about uniting the left to oppose the Conservatives, not adding an additional party on the left to split the vote even more… The weakening of the Green vote in the 2011 election shows this.
If the Greens had only won a seat in the last election… and gotten into the debate in this election where “change” was in the air… Call me an idiot, but I think if Elizabeth had put better people in place for national organizing years ago, we may have seen a Green Growth instead of an Orange Crush.
The victory of Elizabeth May is bitter-sweet in a Harper Majority, and she has an uphill battle to save the Green Party.
In a majority Harper Government, Greens may have their first irrelevant politician from a near-dead party. Elizabeth isn’t going to like not being in the spotlight, and I suspect she will cross the floor to the NDP to not be the Green dot in the corner that will get only a handful of opportunities to speak in the house of commons in the next four years.
My question to Greens is: Now what?