Elizabeth May M.P. is the leader of a party that never was. She is the only Green Party member in parliament and therefore is deprived of real recognition of that leadership status. She also appears to be the only real liberal in the House of Commons.
That must be the secret of Elizabeth May’s success. We know for sure that she would toe the line on environmental promises and would never compromise her standards. She would never have approved the doubling of the Kinder Morgan pipeline over the Rockies. She would never have agreed to President Trump’s go-ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline. She is certainly not cheering on the cross-Canada Energy East pipeline to Saint John.
But the noose around Ms. May’s neck is the Green Party of Canada. It is a party with nowhere to grow. It is why the Green leader gave up her summer in 2016 to be part of the special commons committee on electoral reform. It was the Green Party’s one chance to grow by pushing hard for proportional representation. It was the only hope for a party that had never received much more than five per cent of the total vote.
Proportional representation has been the bonanza for green parties in Europe where a small party can often get into a coalition amenable to their green conditions. They are wedge parties, not governmental parties.
And Elizabeth May seems constantly uncomfortable with her wedge role. She has far more to offer than saving the occasional waterway. Sure, it is important that we save waterways but it should be part of a balanced governance for a country.
To make matters worse, Ms. May has been dumped on by her own party taking positions that conflict with her values. Listening to her over the years and particularly during the special committee hearings last summer and fall, it becomes quite clear that she is instinctively a liberal. And she is also more open minded and more consistent in her political direction than our poster boy prime minister.
It should be obvious to Elizabeth May that the Liberal Party of Canada needs a conscience. She should be able to supply that direction while also lending the prime minister some gender balance with knowledge and political experience. She might be the last liberal but somebody has to point the Liberal government back to the proper directions.
Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry
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