If anybody knows anything about the Green Party, they know that it is a Party whose members and supporters are not short of brains. In addition, they are idealists. They support the Green Party for a high moral purpose: to prevent the pirates and brigands of this world from destroying the planet Earth.
Having brains and principle, Green Party membership and supporters know how to vote strategically. In any election, if they become satisfied that another party's candidate shares their values, they will vote strategically and support that other candidate from that other party.
An example of this occured in Calgary in the last provincial election in the Riding of Mountain View. The Green support in the riding was strong. David Swann, the Liberal candidate, was a known fighter for the environment. As a matter of fact, he had been fired by the Medicine Hat Health Region on orders from a Tory Provincial Minister, because he had publicly supported the Kyoto Accord. A lot of Medicine Hat residents were appalled at this ham-handed move, and so applied pressure on the Health Region to reinstate Swann. The Region, feeling the heat, offered Swann his job back. He refused. He then ran in the next election in the riding of Calgary Mountain View as a Liberal. The Green Party knew he was on their side. He received the Green vote (and a good many NDP votes as well) and won the riding handily. The Greens had voted strategically for a person from another party that they knew represented their goals and values.
Stephane Dion has agreed not to run a Liberal in the next Federal Election in Central Nova so as to allow Elizabeth May, the Green Party Leader, a better chance to defeat Peter McKay, the current Tory MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Equally, Ms. May has agreed that the Greens will not run a candidate in Dion's riding of Saint Laurent in Montreal. This was a deft strategic move by Dion. It gives him extra cachet with the Greens (and very likely the NDP as well) right across the country. It was a move designed to show clearly that he supported their great cause. May, for her part, made clear her respect for Dion and that she believes that he is sincere on the environment. Convinced that Dion is serious about the environment, she helps the Green cause by helping the Liberals. And so, the Green Party leader has enhanced the credibility of Stephane Dion both amongst her following and amongst those of the NDP who are ardent Greenies on the issue that most matters to them.
This highly political and influential move is designed to get Greens and some NDP to vote strategically to elect Liberal candidates in the next Federal election. The message from this May-Dion pact that goes out to all Green and NDP voters across the country is simple one. The Liberals are friends of the Greens, and so a strategic vote for the Liberals is a vote for a better and cleaner environment.
This spells bad news for the Bush's pal Steve Harper and Jack Layton. There are twenty to thirty percent of the Canadian electorate that could park their vote with the Greens and the NDP in the next Federal Election. By this move Dion is sure to siphon some of that towards the Liberals.
Let's see, the SES poll done a week or so ago had the Conservatives at 36% and the Liberals at 33%. If 10% of the Green/NDP support goes to the Grits from strategic Green and NDP voters - why, that puts Dion and his Grits in majority country. Remember to say you heard it hear first: it will be 'Prime Minister Stephane Dion' after the next Federal Election.