FREDERICTON — After all we’re in an electrical vehicle.
Would Green Party Leader Elizabeth May travel some other way?
For her tour of the Maritimes earlier this week, May travelled in a two-Tesla convoy, the leader in a cherry red model in front while aides and a Global News journalist rode in a silver model behind.
If May has her way, everyone within the country might be travelling in electric vehicles in a decade and the inner combustion might be outlawed.
The Trudeau Liberals have the identical goal but their aim is to eliminate the gasoline power automobile by 2040 — in twenty years.
“It’s an important goal, 10 years too late,” May said on Monday here. “Where were they for 4 years?”
That, in a nutshell, is the issue Greens have with Liberals — not doing enough, not doing it fast enough, on the subject of fighting climate change.
“I might think at any time when I hear (Liberal environment minister) Catherine McKenna say the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand, the image that pops into my mind of the hand-in-hand is Thelma and Louise at the top of the film. We’re heading for a cliff and, hand-in-hand with the Liberals, we’ll go off the sting. It’s not adequate.”
And, on this a part of the country, there just may be enough voters which are able to send that message to Ottawa — to rush up and do more to fight climate change — by electing the primary federal Green MPs west of Nanaimo.
Here in Recent Brunswick, voters in 2018 elected three Green Party candidates to the provincial legislature. One, the provincial party leader David Coon, is within the federal riding of Fredericton, where the incumbent is Liberal Matt DeCourcey. The 2 others are within the federal riding of Beauséjour, where the incumbent is Liberal Dominic LeBlanc.
“Recent Brunswickers had been feeling poorly served by the old way of doing things,” Coon said.
Indeed, whereas 95 per cent of Recent Brunswick voters picked either the Liberals or the Progressive Conservatives in provincial elections only a decade ago, in 2018, only about 70 per cent selected either of those parties, a transparent expression of disgust with the political establishment.
WATCH (Sept. 26, 2019): Federal Election 2019: ‘This party has never called for more military spending’: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
“As Greens, we’re offering structural change to government, we’re offering fundamental change to how we do things with recent ideas and a transparent vision of where we wish to go and a part of where we wish to go is take away that vast gulf that exists between government and its residents,” said Coon.
The Greens, after all, are first-and-foremost motivated by coping with the climate crisis.
But they imagine that that’s best done, as Coon said, by changing the connection of presidency to its residents. It’s a theme May comes back to repeatedly as she campaigns.
“We’re focused on one thing: higher government for Canadians. And serving the interests of our kids,” May said at a night rally Monday in Charlottetown. “We’re very, very committed to principle over power.”
Some Liberals in Atlantic Canada are nervous in regards to the power May has to charm votes away from them and to the Green column.
Last week, on the potato farm of Lawerence MacAulay, the long-serving MP for the Prince Edward Island riding of Cardigan, a small crowd of Liberals had gathered on a bitterly cold, grey damp day for a rally with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
This was the day before all of Trudeau’s blackface and brownface revelations, but even still, Liberals waiting for the leader to arrived huddled around a wood-fuelled iron stove in MacAulay’s barn and muttered that they’d been disenchanted in Trudeau’s first 4 years. His goofy India trip topped the list of the things that caused them to look down on the coffees of their hands and shake their heads. They said they’d still vote Liberal, but that mostly out of loyalty to MacAulay, who has been winning here since 1988.
(He and Bloc Quebecois MP Louis Plamondon are the longest-serving members within the House.)
These P.E.I. Liberals, though, were still recovering from the shock of their recent provincial election, after they were knocked from the federal government side of the legislature to 3rd place and the Greens — the Greens! — were elevated to the official Opposition to square off against a Progressive Conservative government.
Were those that swept away the Liberal government of Wade McLachlan by voting Green about to do the identical thing to 1 or more of the island’s 4 Liberal MPs? Wayne Easter, the Liberal who has represented the federal riding of Malpeque since 1993, said that for the primary time he’s more anxious in regards to the threat from the Green candidate than he’s from his traditional rival, the Conservative.
WATCH (Sept. 26, 2019): How realistic is the Green Party’s fiscal plan?
And even when the Greens don’t win, they could peel off simply enough votes from the Liberal column to let another person be first past the post. That’s probably to occur within the west island riding of Egmont, where Liberal Bobby Morrissey will need every progressive-minded voter to ward off a Conservative voter.
That is the phenomenon Trudeau warns against in his speeches — that this election is a alternative between his party and the party of Andrew Scheer. Take into consideration voting for anyone else and also you hand it to Scheer. It’s a line of attack Liberals have relied on, often with great success in any variety of elections.
May could have none of that fear-mongering. She readily concedes she shouldn’t be going to be prime minister after Oct. 21. And while the Greens are running candidates in nearly every one in all the country’s 338 ridings, there are actually only a handful where they’ve any prospect of winning: on P.E.I., in a few Recent Brunswick seats, within the Ontario riding of Guelph, on the south end of Vancouver Island and possibly, May says, in Kamloops, B.C.
If global movements like this week’s series of Greta Thunberg-led climate strikes help give the Canadian Greens some momentum, they could, of their wildest dreams, reach official party status within the House of Commons with 12 seats.
WATCH (Sept. 27, 2019): Trudeau meets Greta Thunberg before climate march in Montreal
In the event that they did that, they imagine they’d be facing a minority government that may be keen to secure their votes in exchange for adopting a few of their policies, similar to constructing the networks and clean electricity grids that may speed the rapid adoption of electrical vehicles. The 2019 federal election is the possibility they’ve never had.
But for May and the Greens, there’s dreaming after which there’s the hard reality of campaigning without the financial and human resources the Conservatives, the Liberals and even the NDP can bring to bear to discover their voters and get their voters to forged a ballot on polling days.
Sophisticated database and fundraising programs? Marketing consultants and in-depth riding-by-riding polling? That’s for the opposite guys.
There’s money for a TV spot or two but not enough money to purchase time one in the course of the popular expensive broadcasts like Hockey Night in Canada. Low-cost social media promoting might be an enormous focus for the Green message but most of all, Greens depend on word-of-mouth and on their leader, May.
May, at 65 and just married this summer (to John Kidder, who also happens to be the Green candidate within the B.C riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon) doesn’t say it outright, but she would adore it if this could possibly be her last campaign because the leader of the party. She desires to proceed to serve because the Green MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands for an additional decade, if voters there could have her, but for her, she’s crossing her fingers that a future Green leader is amongst those elected in Oct. 21.
She might be difficult to exchange. Her role within the Green Party is totally and utterly unique within the political landscape. She shouldn’t be only a political leader but she also serves as grandmother, pastor, counsellor and best friend to the country’s Greens.
“Well, we’re family and I like the candidates,” May said in an interview with Global News in Halifax. “It’s a very important aspect of how we relate to one another, is that we actually do imagine this campaign is run on love. It could sound flaky, but should you’re gonna keep working this difficult each day it’s higher to be powered through knowing that you just love the people you’re working with.”
At a rally in Charlottetown, she always interrupts herself within the midst of what amounts to her stump speech when she spots someone in the gang that she knows. She’ll acknowledge the person by name and recall their last meeting before moving on. In Halifax, at the revealing of their platform tax-and-spending measures (measures, it have to be said, that were panned by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page), there have been tears as she acknowledged the work of a celebration policy one that, earlier within the 12 months, had been diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.
It’s an authentic, natural kind of coping with the world, together with campaigning for votes, that’s May’s on their lonesome and, to many Canadian Greens, May is a component of the rationale they’re drawn to the cause.
“Our young persons are stepping up and out on their very own initiative since it’s their future that’s in danger,” May said on the Sackville, N.B. campaign stop. “I’ll go to the wall for my grandkids. This shouldn’t be a difficulty where we cave or compromise.”