Canada’s first Green MP yearns for the era she views as Camelot on Parliament Hill.
As Elizabeth May puts it, the 1960s were an “extraordinary time”, when Liberals and New Democrats put the interests of the nation ahead of those of their political parties to create “the Canada we want”.
That was when many of the country’s social safety nets, such as the Canada Pension Plan and universal health care, were put in place, the Saanich–Gulf Islands representative recalled.
“One of the sort of Camelot eras of the Canadian Parliament was the government of Lester B. Pearson,” May told the Straight in a phone interview. “And it was a Camelot because it wasn’t a majority [government]. It was a [Liberal] minority government, and the opposition was the New Democratic Party.”
According to May, all Canadians have to do is remember the Pearson years of the ’60s and try to convince current NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau that if they cooperate in this year’s election to defeat Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, Camelot may return.
“That’s what I want out of the next election, whether it’s a Prime Minister Mulcair…or Prime Minister Trudeau,” May said.
Although May acknowledged that New Democrats and Liberals aren’t willing to work with each other or with her Greens presently, she said she will keep reaching out to them, as she’s done in the past.
“It’s something that could happen,” May said. “Certainly, there’s a lot of Canadians who think it should happen.”