Green Leader Elizabeth May says Justin Trudeau more cooperative than Thomas Mulcair

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      Compared to Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are easy to work with, according to Elizabeth May.

      The Green party’s leader and lone MP was talking about her experiences with the two parties ahead of the conclusion on Sunday (April 14) of the Liberal leadership race, which is expected to be won by Trudeau.

      “Over the last two years, I found Justin Trudeau to be collaborative and friendly,” May told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.

      For the Saanich–Gulf Islands MP, collaboration is important. During the Green party’s convention last summer, she received a mandate to seek cooperation with the NDP and the Liberal party to defeat Stephen Harper and the ruling Conservatives.

      Her experience so far with New Democrats has been “discouraging”. Last December, she wrote to NDP and Liberal MPs on the subject of electoral cooperation.

      “It was a personal and confidential letter, but the NDP made it public and attacked me for sending it,” May recalled. “And Tom Mulcair prohibited his members from answering my letter.”

      Although Mulcair and Trudeau have both stated they are not interested in the idea of an electoral alliance, the Green leader believes she may have a better chance of success with Trudeau.

      “I think he’ll be much more open to cooperation…at least with the Greens, than will Tom Mulcair,” May said.

      Survey results released in February indicate that the 41-year-old Trudeau has emerged as a serious contender for prime minister.

      Forty-one percent of respondents in a Forum poll said they’d vote for a Trudeau-led Liberal party. Thirty percent would go Conservative and 20 percent NDP.

      With the exception of the management of the economy, an Ipsos Reid survey released this month shows that the Quebec MP beats Harper on every leadership attribute. One of these characteristics relates to representing the values
      of respondents.

      In January, Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry declared in an interview with the Straight that she’s supporting Trudeau for leader because the Grits need someone who can “actually win and bring the Liberal party back”.

      In a new interview, Fry noted that the recent polls back up her view.

      “The person who can bring it back to being a strong party and who can take it to win the next election is Justin,” Fry told the Straight by phone. “There is no other person even close to being able to do that.”

      With a winnable alternative to Harper and Mulcair’s lack of interest in cooperation, Fry doesn’t see why the Liberal party needs to seek an alliance.

      “Who are we going to cooperate with? The Greens? The Greens have one seat,” Fry said.

      According to Fry, the Liberals are open to forming coalitions with other parties, but only after they’ve won an election.

      “Liberals have always cooperated in the history of this country in times when we have minority governments,” Fry said. “We did it with [Paul] Martin. We did it before with [Lester] Pearson.”

      The Greens’ May isn’t giving up. There are a couple of years between now and the 2015 election. Various grassroots organizations are campaigning to promote the idea of a one-time alliance to defeat the Conservatives and then reform the winner-takes-all voting system.

      But she needs to work on getting better access to Mulcair. According to May, she’s sat down for a meeting with Mulcair only once since he became NDP leader last year.

      “Maybe…because they’re the third party and smaller and sit near me in the House, but I find it very easy to get a meeting when I ask for a meeting with the Liberals—the House leadership or the Liberal interim leader when it was Bob Rae,” May said. “And I found it extremely difficult to get meetings with
      New Democrats.”

      As for Trudeau, “we sit near each other in the House, and we have things to chat about,” May said.

      The Green leader hopes their warm relationship persists. “It may change if and when he becomes leader,” May said of Trudeau. “It may be that he becomes surrounded by gatekeepers and it’s very hard to get time with him. But my sense of him is that he’ll continue to be [accessible] because we have a basis of personal friendship. Let’s see.”

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      15 Comments

      Teuchter

      Apr 11, 2013 at 4:59am

      Elizabeth take your ball and go home. You only have one seat. Nobody but nobody cares about your Green Party.

      hollinm

      Apr 11, 2013 at 6:12am

      So May thinks Trudeau is more cooperative and easy to work with. Does May know that Trudeau is not the leader of the Liberal party and simply a back bench MP with little responsibility and no accountability. That may change next Sunday but Trudeau I doubt will give this silly woman the time of day. What leader advocates not running candidates in a riding?

      Marc

      Apr 11, 2013 at 6:24am

      For the love of God, Elizabeth. JOIN THE LIBERAL PARTY AND

      Lawrence

      Apr 11, 2013 at 7:03am

      Out of all the party leaders that we have I think that Elizabeth May would make the best Prime Mininister.

      I like Thomas Mulcair but his downfall and Justin Trudeau's will be if they do not unite, Harpo will get a minority government and he runs the minority government almost like a majority. We need a new elective system.

      Ron

      Apr 11, 2013 at 8:32am

      More anti-NDP, pro-Liberal stuff from a Green leader who has systematically conspired in backroom deals with the Liberals from her Nova Scotia days.

      Interesting that this so-called Green leader has ignored the 35% increase in green house gases under a so-called Liberal government that signed the Kyoto agreement for cosmetic purposes!

      No surprise, however - both these market-oriented parties seem incapable of understanding the destructive nature of the capitalist system on the environment, individuals, families, communities and nations.

      ProgressiveVoice

      Apr 11, 2013 at 9:22am

      Yes Elizabeth May, I agree that Justin Trudeau is more cooperative. In fact his cooperation and support of the tar-sands is shocking and very disappointing that you support him. Aren't you the leader of the Green Party? Isn't that why we voted for you? For you to stand up against leaders who want to destroy our environment? Instead your evaluation of leaders is based on your ability to get to meet with them. Well us little people have NO choice of meeting with any of them. Your job is not about trying to be seen as a mover and shaker, but to stand up for our environment. Quit being a star and be a leader.

      griffin

      Apr 11, 2013 at 10:12am

      All this left, right nonsence is blinding all of us.
      We should applaud co-operation bewtween parties where ever we find it. To be effective, decisions in Parliament need to be more reflective of the people, to reflect the fact that no-one ever gets more than 40% of the electorate, and therefore to govern reflecting this fact. This is one of the reasons that we spin our wheels, one government comes in, and the next one coming in spends their capital, time and energy undoing the previous one. If we could get together on the things that we all agree on and work on a consensus on what we do not, Parliament would be a lot more effective and reflective of Canadians. Co-operation is a strength; we should applaud it.

      Rod in Forfar

      Apr 11, 2013 at 12:37pm

      What the naysayers condemning the Green Party to insignificance don't seem to realize: Green may have only one seat, but they can sway up to ten percent of the popular vote. That's a potentially huge advantage in an alliance with another party. What has kept my Green friends away from the Liberal fold so far has been hidebound ideology and old sins. Justin's start-from-zero approach with a friendly attitude toward the Greens might produce a new Liberal-Green party. Lizzie would make some waves as Minister of the Environment, eh?

      RUK

      Apr 11, 2013 at 3:34pm

      If only we could cherry pick ideas and people from the various parties to create an All Star team of promising, evidence-supported theories and able, non-embarassing public representatives!

      James Blatchford

      Apr 12, 2013 at 9:59am

      Lizzie, did it occur to you that all Justin wants is to use your phone booth for a change room?

      Can't have too many outfits when you're an Ottawa dandy!