Every Monday, I trot off to the Hill Times website to imbibe the best political reporting in the country. This morning, I saw an intriguing article entitled: May ‘closes the door’ on a byelection run for Greens, seeking new riding . As usual, it was a little frustrating to find the balance of the article blocked, and I even, (briefly) considered ponying up for a subscription so as to get the whole story NOW. It isn’t only the Hill Times, apparently Elizabeth May has told several journalists that she is out of the running for any Federal by-elections, and is focusing on finding the best riding for herself in the next General election.
The Owen Sound SunTimes seems to think that Elizabeth is looking hard at Bruce Grey Owen Sound as a target riding. (As does the Toronto Star). It is also reported that there are still 2 other target ridings. Saanich – Gulf-Islands, (SGI), and Guelph. I had been under the impression that the decision had already been made to run in SGI, but unless Elizabeth is deliberately playing coy, these interviews seem to indicate the choice is still open. Two of these ridings are pretty serious Conservative strongholds. BGOS, and SGI. There is only one way to 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 Campaign Committee needs to actually discuss this with the Guelph EDA, and see if there is enough support for Elizabeth with the local membership. There were some very upset people in Guelph last fall, but maybe they’ve gotten over their ‘mad’ enough to give a leaders campaign a whirl?
In the same article, the Suntimes report that CCMV has been discarded, because the by-election hasn’t been called yet. Since no by-elections have been called anywhere, I think that means that Elizabeth isn’t prepared to take the risk of declaring for any by-election, and then having the rug yanked out from under her if a general election super-cedes the by-election. I can understand why. She has to win in her next trip to the polls, and while a by-election is the best opportunity, the ridings available aren’t very good candidates for her in a General election.
The problem of course is that Elizabeth very publicly, and frequently promised to run in the first possible by-election, so now she has to find a graceful way to back down from that commitment. In my estimation, she will have to eat a wee nibble of humble pie, and back down. It will help a lot if she were able to make a grand announcement of a couple spare deputy leaders decisions to run in Quebec, and BC by-elections. Who to get for CCMV I don’t have a clue. Better get cracking though, the by-elections will be happening this fall, and the GPC cannot afford to lose any ground in the event the general election doesn’t happen this fall.