Based upon Elizabeth May’s rhetoric, and the earned media coverage in the 2008 election, the Green Party of Canada really has it in for the Conservatives. Well I have news for them, instead of hurting the Conservatives, they came close to gifting them with a majority, while damaging themselves, and their supposed ‘allies’, the Liberals.
Here’s a little kindergaten lesson in electoral politics. When five political Party’s are appealing to the electorate, the Party that you hurt the most is the one whose electorate you appeal to the most. It’s not complicated. If you say that all Conservatives are scum, and that the Liberals are really, really cool, then some Liberals will agree, and vote for you, and most Conservatives will shy away from you.
Now here’s a grade 5 lesson in arithmetic. If the Conservatives are tied with the Liberals in Riding
A, and along comes the GPC and takes two cool Liberal votes, and one scummy Conservative vote, guess what? The Conservatives win the seat. Now, class, let’s take a hypothetical situation where the Green Party campaigns on it’s true strength, which is using market mechanisms to help reduce expensive, and nasty pollution. The kind of campaign that stresses that Payroll Taxes, and Income Taxes are really nasty and ineffective taxes that kill jobs rather than reducing pollution.
In this hypothetical campaign, a strong media presence is leveraged by presenting simple, positive policies that appeal to Conservatives and Liberals alike. Perhaps a tad more emphasis is placed on fiscally sound policies that appeal to Progressive Conservative voters. In this hypothetical campaign, 2 Conservatives vote for the Green Party of Canada, for every 1 Liberal that does so. The Green Party wins many more votes because they are conveying a positive message, which of course sets them above the fray, and the Liberals pull of a minority government by a slim margin.
Now class, for your’ homework assignment, I want you to go home and prepare a positive message, based on sound policy, that appeals to a broad section of the electorate. Your’ assigment is due by the end of January, and you will be presenting it in front of the whole electorate, possibly in March 2009.