How the Green Party of Canada can really hurt the Conservatives

Better luck next time

Better luck next time

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

Attention Class!

Attention Class!

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.

Class dismissed.

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14 Responses

  1. I hope this post gets read by every armchair politician that opposes the neoconservative party.

  2. Thanks tqb. I hope so too. It’s sooo obvious that nobody ever seems to mention it.

  3. Well put and a good strategy.

    I don’t think the GPC can change their stripes fast enough for March 2009. Mid-2010 is a different story.

  4. Hello,
    It is my understanding that Provincial Divisions are no longer allowed to be formed. Manitoba wanted to form a Provincial Division- but at the time I did not realise their frustrations .

    Take care,

    • Hi O.
      Even if it were allowed, under Elections Canada legislation the leader of the Party has to sign off on approval of a PD. By law, a PD is not a distinct financial entity, and it’s financials are under control of the Financial Agent for the National Party. This renders the independant existence of a PD impossible, or at least impractical. Please note that there are no regional, or even practical limitations to an EDA’s political activities. The formation of an EDA, and the acceptance of the executive is still the prerogative of the Leader, but the central Party cannot contro the flow of funds, personel, or data between EDA’s. These basic facts in law render EDA’s the natural vessels of any grassroots action. Do you follow my arguments here?
      In, for example, the Liberal Party, a dissident group may be found within an EDA under their control. They are entitled to solicit, and receive donations from anywhere in Canada. This is where factional warchests are built. They must plan around potential ‘coups’ from the centre, but it’s all lily white and legal.

  5. Here’s another way to hurt the Conservatives…

    Highlighting their fiscal conservative roots may find the GPC a new group of supporters.

    • Absolutely! I would still say that we would be wise to continue on a three track growth course, and thus shape the Canadian political landscape. 1) Win over the progressive conservatives, still squirming under the Reform Party’s thumb. 2) Continue to hammer at the Liberal Centre, mostly the same way we pick up the PC’s, with fiscal conservatives, and progressive policy. 3) Invigorate the non-voters, and the None Of The Above constituency. That is the way to Parliament, to grow, but not in an unbalanced fashion that guarantees a left, or right majority Government.

  6. BGB,
    Thank You for the explanation.

  7. […] Conservatives devour babies, and are in league with Lucifer, then plan to actually clobber them by emulating their succesful ideas, as I explained in this previous post. Read ‘Harper’s Team’, or at least read my synopsis of lessons for the GPC.  […]

  8. […] win in either of them. That is to campaign with the message that targets the Conservatives. Please read this post I wrote in January for a nice and simple explanation. Guelph is the obvious target though. The big caveat is that the […]

  9. […] in either of them. That is to campaign with the message that targets the Conservatives. Please read this post I wrote in January for a nice and simple explanation. Guelph is the obvious target though. The big caveat is […]

  10. […] some prior posts, I blogged about just how weak and ineffective the GPC’s attack on the Conservative Party was in the 2008 general election. The basic fact is that in electoral […]

  11. […] some prior posts, I blogged about just how weak and ineffective the GPC’s attack on the Conservative Party was in the 2008 general election. The basic fact is that in electoral […]

  12. […] The per vote subsidy is the lifeblood of the GPC, so there is no question that this is almost an existential question for us, and we better be ready, but why should we give a hoot about the tax credit, and especially the 60% electoral expense rebate? Sure, some of our best ridings receive the rebate, but I promise you, we aren’t going to get elected to enact this policy, so they will still have their turn at the trough.  Since the way has been prepared so neatly for us, how about we simply steal this issue away when it hits the headlines next? So how about we build up a forceful counter-proposal, that is actually grounded in facts? The burden on the public purse represented by the vote subsidy is a mere pittance compared to how much money Canadians shovel at their political Party’s. As the in-and-out scandal has highlighted, 60% of all electoral expenses get rebated to the local campaigns, (provided they exceed 10% of the vote). Then there is the political donation tax credit, which reimburses the donor up to 75% of their political contributions. Combined, these two gifts to the political Party’s amount to literally hundreds of millions of dollars over a complete election cycle. I do not have the time to go dig up all the actual numbers, but they are in the public realm, so it will be as easy as falling out of a tree to create a factual compelling narrative about Democracy for sale, the taxpayer funding of sleazy mud-slinging political ads, closed shop debates, and the slow death of fair play in the Canadian electoral system. One of the planks would be the elimination of both the expense rebate, and the tax credit, and the beauty of it is that it will disproportionately appeal to the typical Conservative supporter. […]

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