Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Woo, Woo, Woo Your Vote - Dion Targets Greens

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I was just over to Jason Cherniak's boog and I seen a quote from Stephane Dion that makes it even more clear that the Grits are casting a covetous eye at us treehuggin' Greens. Here's what Jason said that Dion said:
"We will ask Canadians to join our growing coalition - one that crosses party lines and moves us beyond outdated notions of what it means to be right-wing or left-wing".
Coalition? I ain't sure what coalition he's talkin' about. His reiteration of Green Party policy was sure to get support from Greens but I don't think there's much of a coalition beyond a non-compete agreement that affects just 2 of 308 ridings. Greens will be running against Liberals in 306 ridings.

It ain't the "coalition" part that says Dion's targeting Greenies, though. It's the part about "outdated notions of what it means to be right-wing or left-wing." Sheesh! The gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May, has been describing the Greens as neither right nor left forever. Jimmy Harris was on that theme before Lizzie.

Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. That's the mantra us treehuggin' Greenies been chantin' since day one. Neither right nor left.

It's flattering that Dion has been so eager to adopt GPC policy. First, he says he's going to impose a "price on carbon." Then, he morphs it into a a carbon tax, straight out of Vision Green. Then, he lets everybody know that it ain't just a new tax but it's a tax-shift and it's revenue neutral. If you've been keepin' up with Green Party policy, you'll know that these are longtime GPC planks.

Now, Dion is not just taking our policies, he's starting to describe his party as neither right nor left. I can't really blame Dion for trying to siphon off soft Green support. He may just find, however, that Green support isn't as soft as it was once considered. In the recent by-elections as well as the October 2007 Ontario election, Green support at the ballot box was pretty much the same as Green support in pre-election opinion polls. Even so, there was no concerted Liberal effort to grab Green votes. Next time will be different.

With the Liberals and Conservatives polling at a see-sawing virtual dead heat, the double-digit support that the Greens have been getting looks mighty attractive, I'm sure. If Dion could woo just half of GPC supporter into the Liberal fold, he could win a minority. If he could reduce GPC support back to the 4%-5% we got in the last two elections, he might even get a majority.

It's gonna be a lot tougher than just talkin' the talk on a few lifted GPC policies, I reckon. A lotta new Green support is coming from disgruntled Grits who had their fill of talk-no-walk.



Greg said...

By "coalition" he means abandoning the Green Party for the somewhat dubious embrace of the Liberal Party. Take it as a compliment. It is the same song the Liberals have sung to the NDP for years. BTW, ask Jason what he thinks about electoral reform if he is so eager to form a coalition.

Steve V said...

"I can't really blame Dion for trying to siphon off soft Green support. He may just find, however, that Green support isn't as soft as it was once considered."

If the Liberals are looking to expand support, then the rising Green support is the obvious target. You can't really blame the Liberals, because after all, it's Harper who gains from any division, all things being equal. The core Green support will probably be out of reach, but I think JB you have to agree, that it's fair to say half of the total is "soft", only because it has never expressed itself at the polls.

Short term, if the Libs start stealing your themes, it's really a coup for Greens, since they have influence, without any realistic chance at power. It really speaks to your growing presence, even if it appears an attack, which it is ;)

Sean S. said...

When the Liberals come a courting its a good time to walk in the other direction, nothing good will ever come of it.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Yeah, Greg, I figger that's the sorta coalition he's talkin' about.

Steve, in the most recent by-elections and in the ON 2007 election GPC pre-vote polling numbers held fast for the actual vote. I think the GRits will be able to get some soft GPC support. I just don't think it will be as much as they need. Also, by playing the green card so heavily, Dion stands to lose some support among those who buy into the Con scare tactics. His play for GPC support might end up revenue neutral in the vote department.

Anyways, like yer sayin' Greens is happy when ol' Mother Earth wins but we're also happy when GPC poll numbers are high. Also, the $1.75 a vote we get from EC is more important to the GPC budget than EC funding is to the LPC budget. Us treehuggers, by our nature, live more frugal lives and I don't reckon we got as many wealthy donors linin' up to give us money as you guys.


Steve V said...


Point taken, I`ve also pointed to the Green vote holding in Ontario, when people claim their current numbers aren`t real. That said, even if the Libs can appeal to 2-3%, it could mean the difference in close contests. I also think that some soft NDP support is out there. I voted NDP last election, particularly because of the environment, and I know I wasn`t alone (voted Green before that).

I think there is another reservoir of voters that nobody mentions, namely the 50% that didn`t vote last election, a disporportionate amount of those younger voters. Could a bold environmental plan speak to apathy, might it engage `new`` voters.

JimBobby said...

The non-voter is definitely a target. I've brought this up at my GPC EDA meetings when people say we don't need to be concerned trying to get votes form the 40% who don't vote. I see a lot of them as being "none of the above" voters who could be wooed. I tend to think an "outsider" party like the Greens have a better chance of bringing non-voters back to the ballot box than the tired old Liberals. ;-)

Mark Richard Francis said...

"The non-voter is definitely a target. I've brought this up at my GPC EDA meetings when people say we don't need to be concerned trying to get votes form the 40% who don't vote."

The undecided vote is always the primary battlefield (whereas getting out your base is motivational and logistical). The question is, what portion of the non-voters are really undecided voters? There's got to be enough points in there to swing many a riding, but aside from getting them to want to vote for you, you also have to motivate them to vote at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm just not that wooable. Before Dion even gets a first date here he'd better buy me a nice steak and put PR on the table to go with it.

Until that day, I'm screening my calls.