GreenLibs pick Justin Trudeau to dethrone Stephen Harper

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      A strategic environmental voting organization has picked a champion to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

      In a perfect world, the group formerly known as the B.C. Green Liberal Caucus would choose Canada’s first Green MP, Elizabeth May. These days, however, GreenLibs is endorsing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over the NDP’s Tom Mulcair.

      It’s worth recalling the group backed neither when they ran for the leaderships of their respective parties. It endorsed Skeena–Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen for the NDP and Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray for the Liberals.

      “Mulcair is by no means terrible on all fronts,” filmmaker and GreenLibs member Jon Cooksey told the Straight by phone. “He’s a good politician. We just don’t think he can beat Harper because, ultimately, Trudeau has the brand name.”

      Cullen said he understands why many want to get Harper out.

      Tom Mulcair repeatedly says our number one job is getting rid of Stephen Harper, and we’ve also talked about being willing to be in a coalition government in order to do that,” Cullen said by phone.

      “Mr. Trudeau has got a bit of a walk to do here because he’s so far shunned the idea of a coalition government,” he added. “Many pundits are saying that there’s a chance of a minority [Conservative] government [after the 2015 federal election].”

      Cullen noted that although Trudeau opposes the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to the B.C. coast, the Liberal leader supports the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The NDP is against both pipeline projects.

      But it’s not really about policy, according to GreenLibs member Tarah Stafford.

      “The NDP do have lots of good policies,” Stafford told the Straight by phone. “It’s more that we believe that the Liberals are more likely to be able to win.”



      Scratching Head

      Jun 4, 2014 at 10:53am

      Boy, isn't democracy great?

      Chris Gilmore

      Jun 4, 2014 at 11:24am

      This is case in point as to why strategic voting needs to be discarded as a strategy by the Left once and for all. Historically it has almost never worked and rests on numerous false assumptions and methodologies. Attempting to predict the outcome of an election more than one year prior to the campaign itself, on the basis of opinion polls and name recognition is just plain silly. It should also be noted that the NDP has remained competitive, often polling only a few percentage points behind the Liberals and Conservatives. Thomas Mulcair is still in the race.

      The Trudeau Liberals are not going to cruise to power in 2015 on the basis of name recognition and celebrity status alone, particularly not when their leader has demonstrated himself to be amateurish, inconsistent and inarticulate. Attempting to construct a strategy whereby voters are encouraged to oust the governing party by voting for a party with a perceived better chance of winning is entirely unrealistic. Especially this early on and the announced strategy of "Green-Libs" demonstrates why this allegedly "non-partisan" group should not be taken seriously. It is also difficult to see how exactly Justin Trudeau is "greener" than Stephen Harper, with respect to energy policy they seem almost identical. Liberal support could theoretically be sustained until October, 2015 however it has shown itself to be rather soft as of late, particularly in Quebec.

      Nearly half of all Canadians regularly express a theoretical willingness to vote NDP and the party as mentioned earlier consistently polls above 20% and sometimes just below 30%. The more exposure Canadians get to Justin Trudeau the less they seem to have approve of him whereas the more exposure they get to Thomas Mulcair, the opposite seems to be true. That does not mean that an NDP victory is a sure thing either but it is far from being impossible. I urge progressive voters to ignore these half-brained voting "strategies" and instead to pay attention and in October of next year vote their conscience.

      Chris Gilmore

      Jun 4, 2014 at 11:27am

      Further food for thought, strategic voting can also be counter-productive as it assumes that voting patterns will remain consistent across the country and can confuse ordinary voters with respect to who has a better chance of beating the Conservative candidate in their respective riding.

      Chris Gilmore

      Jun 4, 2014 at 1:08pm

      One is also forced to ask why an announcement by an organization with a name that infers partisan bias and only 67 likes on its Facebook page qualifies as news in the first place?

      Mark Murphy

      Jun 4, 2014 at 1:35pm

      First-past-the-post electoral systems are ridiculous.


      Jun 4, 2014 at 1:59pm

      Justin has nice teeth and name recognition but no substance. He won't even let his cult members (oops, caucus members) think for themselves. He's going nowhere fast!!

      John Dooey Smith

      Jun 4, 2014 at 6:43pm

      Yknow if they really cared about 'dethroning' harper they'd merge parties because really there isn't much difference between the two now. The Liberal party doesn't want to be central anymore so what is the point in splitting the left vote besides handing elections to cons?
      More voters vote NDP and Liberal than con. They'd probably all vote for a Liberal Democratic party.
      NDP isn't new anymore so it's time for a name change anyway and we would still have Green to be a good protest vote.
      Too bad the LDP will only be in my dreams and we're stuck with con governments until they split themselves for some stupid reason again. :(

      Steve Abbott

      Jun 4, 2014 at 10:30pm

      Inertia. Inertia is the only reason that local ridings vulnerable to vote splitting, couldn't negotiate an agreement between Liberal, NDP, and Green riding associations, to have a local primary election. This could determine which of them should run a candidate on a platform of electoral reform. All three parties would benefit, the one running a candidate, by improved chances to win. The two associations agreeing to lend support to the first would be justified in supporting the best and most likely candidate, and would be able to direct local fiscal resources to their national campaigns. All of this, rather than waste them on a lost cause while handing the election to the CPC (Counterfeit Phony Concoction)

      Craig Buntin

      Jun 4, 2014 at 11:04pm

      There is no such thing as a perfect party or leader, and Trudeau and the Liberals are not perfection. But they have a better chance of beating Stephen Harper than Tom Mulcair and the NDP.

      The NDP was only able to win Quebec in the last election. They lost to Stephen Harper everywhere outside Quebec and we unfortunately ended up with a Conservative Majority. The NDP does not have the appeal to middle of the road voters, red tories & moderates that the Liberals have. The Liberals while flawed, and having some less than inspiring leaders like Michael Ignatieff, have a history of progressive legislation on the Charter of Rights, women & gay rights. They also have a history of beating the Conservatives and forming government - the NDP does not.

      Jack Layton had a lot of personal popularity and appeal and Canadians preferred him to the distasteful Michael Ignatieff. But even Layton wasn't able to challenge Harper anywhere outside of Quebec. Mulcair is likely to finish 3rd in Ontario, just as the ONDP is in the current Ontario election. We need a leader with the organizational and inspirational abilities of Justin Trudeau to bring our movement together against Stephen Harper.

      Tom Mulcair is a good cross-examiner and prosecutor, but those are not the only qualities that are needed in a leader. Those are good for a courtroom, but they don't help inspire voters on the campaign trail. Trudeau has beaten Mulcair in every by-election over the past year, and that demonstrates he has been better at coalescing the anti-Harper vote behind him.


      Jun 5, 2014 at 10:02am

      Trudeau and the Liberals have no hope west of Ontario. Decades of policies that stole western money to by cheap votes in the over-represented provinces alienated entire generations of voters. The people who run the Liberal party have been conditioned to believe the mythology of Trudeau the First and see no reason to appeal to western voters. The Liberals are have tried many times under a range of leaders to appeal to western voters but every time they announce such an effort it fails within weeks. They don't have anything in their play book that doesn't promise to keep pillaging the few "have" Provinces to buy the cheap votes in places like PEI and that won't sell in a "have" Province.