Friday, April 13, 2007

Red and Green

Not just for Christmas anymore!

The deal that's been brewing between the Liberals and the Greens was made official this morning. The Greens will not run a candidate in Stephane Dion's riding in return for the Liberals not running a candidate against Elizabeth May in Tory Peter McKay's Central Nova riding, with the objective of ousting McKay.

It's a good idea in some ways. Both parties share the right-of-center position on the political spectrum, so a Green voter might vote Liberal if there was no Green Party candidate. The "mushy middle" they occupy is also much prized by the Conservatives -- if the conservatives are ever to get a majority (gag, heave) it can only come from the center. Co-operation between the Greens and Liberals also reaffirms the Liberals' environmental credibility, so it might help head off the loss of environmental voters to the born-again "green" Conservatives.

In any event, it's a wonderful PR move for the Greens, giving them a much higher profile. Whether the deal is successful in ousting McKay or not, it demonstrates a spirit of co-operation that's been lacking in Canadian politics lately. Canadians are getting fatigued with the inter-party squabbling that gets in the way of important issues. As Jim Bobby sez: "When politicians put the long term good of the country above the short term good of the party, Canajuns win."

Regardless of how one feels about other aspects of May's politics -- I wasn't happy with her talk about "nuanced debate" on something that's past debate and nobody's goddamn business anyway -- it might not be a bad idea to unite the non-conservative vote somewhat. Even as a solidly NDP voter, I can't overlook the fact that unity got the Conservatives elected, and it might be the only way to defeat them.