Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greens may not field candidate in St. Catherines

It's far from a done deal, but according to a story in the St. Catherines Standard there is a movement afoot amongst local Greens to not field a candidate in the next election, and instead endorse Liberal candidate and former MP Walt Lastewka (h/t Mark).

As the story indicates, Conservative Rick Dykstra beat Lastewka by 246 votes last election, while Green Party candidate Jim Fannon won 2305 votes, more than enough to swing the riding.

Fannon, who is now communications director for the riding association, says he'll present a motion at an upcoming riding motion declaring the riding won't field a candidate in the next campaign. And Fannon would like to see Greens support Lastewka.

I think this is the kind of motion that will show this is not politics as usual, and that the Green party does do things differently,” Fannon said. “Canadians have recently elected two minority governments. They want parities working together, and that is what this is all about."
It's far from a done deal, and not everyone is supportive. The Green riding president, Sergio Panone, is unhappy with Fannon's idea and the Dion/May deal. Riding CEO Sarah Giovannone also wants to seek the Green nomination herself. She said though that she feels the decision on whether or not to run a Green candidate in St. Catherines should be made locally, not nationally.

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Adam said...

I think it is goods news for May that some Greens are thinking of "What can we practically do to stop a Harper majority?" and taking the power into their own hands. It will probably reinforce the image she is trying to create that she and the Greens are practical and non-partisan when needed instead of a bunch of loopy tree huggers. Whether or not the St. Catharines Greens decide to do it or not, it is wonderful to see such direct action and pragmatism coming from the ground level. And as an added benefit, it would be more or less immune to the popular "wheeling and dealing" criticism that has been so disingenuously applied to efforts like these since it is bottom-up and not top-down.

Uncorrected Proofs said...

Given that Lastewka was one of a handful of Liberal MPs to vote against equal marriage and anti-scab legislation, I would hardly characterize a Green endorsed Lastewka candidacy as "progressive".

Sean Shaw said...

good way to build your party, give up on a riding where you were making in-roads.....I wonder if they will ask the Liberals for $4000 a year in funding that they will lose out on?

Scott Tribe said...

If it aids in the overall effort of removing the Tories, I can put up with a Liberal MP who has slightly less progressive views then I'd like if it gets rid of a whole government of regressives.

Gotta think of the big picture.

David said...

One way the Greens could ensure that the Libs get most of their votes in the next election is not to run any candidates in any riding in the country. Save for 2 or 3 in BC they have no ability to win any ridings (including Central Nova) so if Harper is so dangerous for the country and the climate why don't they say this time we want all our voters to vote Liberal? it does appear to be the logical extension of the May - Dion agreement

Mark Francis said...

Fannon was the candidate there in previous elections, and ran in the leadership race.

There is a debate right now as to whether the leader and council could even prevent this if they tried.

I'm concerned about a non-progressive Liberal, but in the scheme of things, it does not matter much as it's one less Conservative.

If Jim thinks this is a good idea, I would tend to follow him. He's a buddy of mine.

Fannon's dog died recently, BTW:

paulsstuff said...

Pretty flawed thinking. If they voted Green last time it was because they never wanted to vote Liberal.

Just adding Liberal and Green votes together and saying we will win is wrong.

Some of these voters might go Liberal. Some might go NDP or Conservative. Some of the Conservative voters might switch. Some NDP votes might switch.

Lets not forget that before the Alliance and PC's merged, there were ridings where their combined vote would have beaten the elected MP, but after the merger this proved to not be the case.

Never underestimate an election campaign and what might happen.

Adscam, fairly or not, will be regurgitated in the eyes of voters.

And if Dion tries to force a vote over withdrawing from Afghanistan, that might also blow up in his face. It might gain some votes in Quebec, but cost him votes elsewhere.

Adam said...

Paul: While it is true that it would be unreasonable to assume all the Green votes would go to the Liberals, of the 2,306 votes Fannon received in 2006 only 244 plus the number of Greens that go to the Conservatives (few, I imagine) would have to go to the Liberals. Of course, the entire point is moot since the next election will certainly not play out the same way as it did in 2006. But, it is reasonable to assume that less vote splitting on the left means a greater chance of a leftist [or leftish, as might be a better to describe Lestawka] being elected.

Miles Lunn said...

I think the problem here is no two elections are ever identical so it is highly unlikely the results in St. Catharines will be as close as they were last time. If the Tories make a series of mistakes and fall in the polls, they could lose the riding outright even if the Greens ran a candidate as happened in 2004. Likewise by the same token the Tories could win it even without a Green candidate if their numbers rise enough. In neighbouring Niagara West-Glanbrook, the Tories only won by 600 votes in 2004 making such a deal look attractive, but in 2006 by 10,000 votes. Now St. Catharines being more urban is far less conservative than Niagara West-Glanbrook, but my point is last election's results only give a vague idea of how things will turn out not the exact idea.